This is probably the 1000th post about this topic that has appeared on the internet. I have big issues with what Pixar, a branch of Disney has done with Tiana, our favorite and only Black Princess. Colorism and whitewashing is always a controversial topic because so many people feel offended on both sides. Colorism in itself is a conversation a lot of people are not ready to have because they don’t want to face the reality and the history that makes up our media and society today.
Let’s talk about it.
Tiana is a dark-skinned Disney Princess that has prominent black features like I and many other black women and girls share. Her dark skin, wide nose and full lips made her appeal to black girls and women all over the world. I personally didn’t think Disney would ever make a Black Princess, let alone a dark skin one but it happened and even though I didn’t like the movie The Princess and The Frog was a success. Tiana was brought to us a hard working woman fighting to make her dreams come true. I didn’t see anyone having an issue back then about the way she looked but they have an issue now when people want her to have the same look in every movie she’s going to be featured in.
Another issue with the new Wreck-It Ralph movie is that they changed Tiana completely. You can’t have a character look one way and then make her completely different with different features in another movie. I honestly didn’t even know that this was Tiana until the internet pointed it out. My first thoughts were who is this Princess and where is Tiana, I was confused that they would take Tiana out of a Disney Princess scene, Tiana looks nothing like herself! Pixar caught wind and addressed the matter but the corrections they made should not have been necessary. The Tiana we got the first time around, should have been what we got this time.
Disney probably wasn’t expecting the backlash from changing her appearance or maybe the change was intentional. One of the reasons they said Tiana came out lighter is because the CGI process lightens darker characters yet here we are with the correct version of her in all her glory. I think Pixar wanted to branch out and make Tiana look like the media portrayal of a black woman which in many cases happens to be lighter women.
I know what people are going to say, it’s just a cartoon why is there such an uproar about whether Tiana is light-skinned or dark-skinned. It matters because this is what little black girls will see and start to think they have to have lighter skinned in order to be beautiful or featured in media. We’re trying to break the cycle not continue it.
The issue became bigger for me when I started seeing comments from other Black women saying there’s nothing wrong with the new way Tiana looks. There was a disconnect there for me that made me really question if people really process their thoughts or are they just ignoring the issues of colorism and erasure.
It’s mind boggling how people are perfectly fine with this issue but then again people don’t care for issues that don’t personally affect them. I swear I try not to think too much about what people say but I can’t help it at all and sometimes I just end up with a headache at all the stupidity on the internet.
Light-skinned and mixed Black Women didn’t find an issue Tiana’s look because she’s literally just another replica of them in the media. It’s sad that there are so many people bringing up this topic up yet people still don’t get it.
Anika Noni Rose, the voice of Tiana had an issue with them changing Tiana’s look and contacted Disney for a meeting. She even took it to Instagram to let the world know how she felt. The story behind Tiana’s look was for her to look like Anika Noni Rose…THE VOICE OF TIANA…A DARK-SKINNED BLACK WOMAN! I love that she spoke out about this and said her piece and I hope this was a lesson learned and others will see this issue and make sure not to repeat it.
I have so many questions and most of them will not be answered. I’m happy that they did change Tiana back to herself and since this will only be a short part of the movie Tiana was portrayed correctly and that’s all that matters.
I’m not sure if I’ll see this movie because this really did get me in my feelings and usually if I feel some type of way about something like this I normally don’t support it. The movie comes out next month, I guess we’ll all have to wait and see. I also want to see if other people will make the choice not to go see this movie because of what happened with Tiana or will they go see it since they corrected the issue.