Disney's New Princess Scandal
by sfarn1 on September 18, 2013 - 3:48pm
In a recent article "Disney's New Princess" by Nina Strochlic, she discusses the new release of Disney's Princess Sofia and her representation of Latin Culture. At the first release of the New Disney princess fans were ecstatic to hear that a Latina Princess would be the new princess to represent Disney. However the image that was released of the Princess did not live up to expectations. The fair skinned, blue eyed Princess looks more Irish then she does Latin. In response to the controversy Disney released a statement declaring that Princess Sofia was to represent a "multicultural" heritage rather than just being Hispanic. Senior vice president for Disney Junior, Nancy Kanter, issued a statement saying that Princess Sofia's story line will "include elements that will be familiar and relatable to kids from many different backgrounds including Spain and Latin America” (Strochlic 2013). Although Disney insists that their characters are obviously fictional, and are not supposed to represent any real meaning or representation in real life, are we really to believe this? In the article it draws the comparison that although Disney does not outright say that Jasmine is an Arabian princess we can all agree that she is a symbol to young girls as an Arabian woman. The article goes on to point out that Disney has made its great profit with multicultural Princesses in movies. For example the movie Aladdin made more international profit then it did domestically unlike” Beauty and the Beast” or the “Little Mermaid”. Strochlic concludes that although Princess Sofia is no longer said to represent a Latina Princess, but rather a multi-cultural one it is still a symbol of “our own increasingly blended planet.” (Stochlic 2013)
Although Disney claims that their Princesses aren't supposed to represent a particular cultural or ethnic group, we all know that it is done anyways. When little girls are growing up society and social norms teach them to choose their own “Princess” (mine was Belle from Beauty and the Beast). And although I have never been able to personally relate to the hardship, I have always felt bad for Hispanic and other minority groups that have not been rightfully represented through Disney princesses. I like how in the article Stochlic states how Disney makes one of their biggest profits by doing multi-cultural Princesses. Not only should they be making Princesses with different ethnicity's so they can better represent the women and young girls of the world, but in return they will make a better profit! Overall I believe Disney has to get their act together. It’s a different world now, we are more connected and accepting of each other across the world and different ethnicity's should be represented. Most importantly every young girl should be able to grow admiring and identifying proudly with their own Princess.
Strochlic, N. (2012). Disney's New Princess. Newsweek, 160(19), 8.