BLEACHING OUR CHARACTER'S SKIN?!

by cath_1107xx on October 16, 2015 - 10:32am

 

About a year and an half ago, on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014, Brooklyn Tucker published an article titled “Frozen” whitewash controversy: Disney and racism on the website The Reflector concerning the controversial case of one of Disney's most successful movie to this day, Frozen. One of the first points explored by Tucker is the fact that many movies are not considering the character's real ethnicity and no matter where they come from, they are all "whiter" than they should really be. Even though some characters such as Mulan, Jasmine, and Tiana are not white like the other princess, people still think that their culture are misrepresented and see this as a racist gesture from the corporation. In addition, Disney is accused to disrespect the Samí culture by representing the aboriginals in the movie as white. However, Tucker admits those accusations are vague since the Samí community itself does not feel attacked in any way by this movie. Ultimately, they feel that their traditional music is well pictured and it does not bother them that the characters have lighter skin.  

 

 

In response to The Reflector article, I do not have the same opinion at all as the Samí's. The fact that they are not represented as they really look like in the present day is a mistake. Yes, Disney justified their gesture by saying they were portraying their traits from many decades ago, when they were paler yet I do not feel it is fair towards the community. The multinational may find their actions harmless toward the actual children who watch their movies and may think that it is only the older part of the population wanting to create controversy, but it impacts their young public directly. According to Children Are Not Colourblind: How Young Children Learn Race by Erin N. Winkler, children are able to make distinction between races at a fairly young age but then again, they may form racial biases in their mind. Not representing all the different races in children's movies may therefore affect their development and also may hinder their future judgments about people with different skin color and culture. They may think that white is the standard in our society; it definitely creates a supremacist ideology. Adults should not feel attacked or revolted about how they are characterized, but be more focused on their children's future. What can the society do to explain them how wonderful the world is due to diversity?

 

Tucker, B. (2014, March 4). “Frozen” whitewash controversy: Disney and racism. Retrieved October 9, 2015. 

 

 

 

Comments

As I was scrolling through the various posts, I came across this one and was drawn in by the title. In class we recently had a discussion about the presence of racism in children movies, and I was curious if this particular post was talking about similar things. As I read through the summary I discovered that it did, indeed, discuss very similar elements about children’s movies to what we were discussing in class. I feel as though this is a very big issue which we must deal with. So many children’s movies present the “white” European culture as the norm and the main characters are most commonly white themselves. As this post states in its summary and response, even when a movie does present a different culture, they often represent it in an inaccurate way, and racist elements are commonly incorporated. I believe this is something that movie producers must revaluate and take into consideration the next time they are making a children’s movie. As it states in the article “Children Are Not Colourblind: How Young Children Learn Race” by Erin N. Winkler, children as young as 6 months old are able to make distinctions between people of different races and gender. Children do have the capacity to make the distinction between different races, and as they continue to see “whiteness” as the norm, they will begin to believe just that: that being white is “normal”, and being anything but white is “different”. Children are very impressionable and absorb everything like sponges. This is the age when we should begin teaching them about diversity and present them with the idea and beauty of multiculturalism. What if it was the norm to present children to multiple cultures from a young age, and grow up being knowledgeable about the concept of equality, would they grow up as a generation that is less racist than we are today? I would hope so.

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