Why Representation Is Important For Young Girls
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Politics and Activism

Why Representation Is Important For Young Girls

"The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of them all." - Mulan

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Why Representation Is Important For Young Girls

I've grown up with television and movies; they shaped into the person that I am today. However, there's one singular character that had always stuck to me since I was a kid.

Like any other little girl, I was always obsessed with being a princess. I loved princess movies like Snow White and Beauty and the Beast, but I could never really identify with the characters that were on the screen. I didn't really see myself in them. It was just a movie, not something that could ever connect to my real, un-princess like life.

That was until, I saw Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella movie from 1997. Seeing Brandy, of all people, play Cinderella changed my life. It made me believe that I too could become a princess. I could accomplish all the things that Cinderella had accomplished in that movie, and there was nothing that was going to come in my way throughout life. Seeing a black girl, like me, play Cinderella made a huge positive impact on me as a child. I felt that I could have that perfect happy ending, just like Cinderella.

Even, as a young adult, I was amazed at the marvel of seeing a black Disney princess in The Princess and the Frog. It was mind boggling. Every little girl should be able to feel that connection with characters that they see on the small and silver screens.

Still, today, we need more diverse characters in our movies and television in order to uplift our children and give them people to look up to. Children need to know that there's somebody going through the same things that they go through. They need to know that they are not alone.

For example, the lack of diversity in the Disney princesses is just mind boggling. There're only four racially diverse princesses out of eleven, and they've only come about in the past twenty years. Reaching out into diversity is a new thing for Disney. I can see that they are trying, but there are still other problems that need to be fixed.

And it's not just race that should be diversified. For instance, why hasn't Disney had a plus-sized princess?

Every single Disney princess has the same exact body type. It's like they have a mold over at Disney studios to plop out every single perfect-bodied princess. We need tall princesses, short princesses, skinny princesses, short princesses: every type of princess.

Every little girl should be able to look into Disney princesses and see a piece of themselves in them. They should believe that they can be a princess. They all should be able to see positive representations of themselves on the big and small screens.

America is a place that often boasts their diversity. What type of place would we be if we didn't try to uplift our children as much as possible and make them believe that they can do anything that they put their mind to?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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