Thursday, April 23, 2009

Disney FINALLY creates a black princess - Tiana kisses a frog who turns into a Non-Black Prince. WTF?

Before you interracial dating advocates attempt to slay me for being a little pissed at Disney's newest heroine let me state emphatically, I don't care about who you love or even why you love them. Of course, I do have one exception. If your SOLE REASON for dating outside of your race is due to an unfavorable experience or set of experiences you've had while dating within your own race, then you have some personal demons you need to address. Being treated badly by a cadre of men/women with whom you share your ethnicity may say more about you than it does about them. I'll talk more about this later, but please be forewarned that this post will NOT be PC (As if anything I ever write ever is).

So Princess Tianna is DC's newest heroine. There is an interesting conversation happening over at What About Our Daughters? regarding this movie. I was going to comment over there about this topic, but since I respect Gina and her blog, I chose not to fan the flames of the small amount of foolishness being expressed over there. For the most part the comments centered around Tianna's portrayal of being this superwoman/princess, thus reinforcing the stereotype that all black women are strong, defeminized, invulnerable, and ALWAYS in survivor mode. I can see the argument that Tianna deserves to be just as "dimwitted", stupid, and damsely so that she can spend less time saving herself (and more than likely her prince) and more time looking like the frail damsel typified by the boy meets princess-boy saves princess story line. However, I think if Disney had portrayed its first black princess as a voluptuous Sambo, there would be hell to pay and black women would be decrying the mammification of Tianna. Disney obviously won't be able please everyone and I believe has no intention to.

The Washington Post ran an article about the movie which is slated to be released in December of this year. Tianna, is actually a young lady who has a dream of being an awesome chef and owning her restaurant in what appears to be NOLA. She kisses a frog, turns into one, and then her journey begins as she battles Louisiana swamp and marsh creatures to visit an evil voodoo queen to get a cure to be turned back into the "Skrong Black Wummin" she is. Sounds like Heaven, huh? She has cascading black hair, pulled back into a bun and typical black animation features: white, with brown skin and eyes. But for the brown skin, it's very apparent that Tianna could have easily been a white doll with hazel eyes.

Then comes the foolishness! So Tianna is the first black princess, where is Disney's first black prince to accompany her? While I can understand that premise of interracial dating and love seeing no color, I am completely troubled by the fact that Disney saw NOTHING wrong with it's latest minority princess not being able to find love with a prince who looks like her. What's wrong with Tianna being able to find love with a black prince? Jasmine had Aladdin, Ariel had her white man, Pocahontas had her John Smith (only because the Disney story adapted the "true" story), Mulan, Belle, Megara from Hercules, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, Anastacia, etc. All of these princesses had boy toys who looked like them. They lived happily ever after etc. What is Disney REALLY attempting to say to black women and girls about their prospects for relationships if those same black girls desire to be with black men? This problem isn't just limited to Disney animation. Entertainment media has been on a non-stop mission to negatively portray healthy and loving relationships where both people are black. With the exception of the Cosby Show in the 80's, there has not been a program with such broad appeal that has made a deliberate attempt to demonstrate that black people aren't prone to bad relationships.

There is a definite misstep here and one that involves the further vilification of black relationships. This is where I disagree with the handful of commenters on WAOD who hate black men and make no bones about it. One commenter in particular, is an ardent lover of white men and and enthusiastic hater of black men, who is also a NON-AMERICAN black. She wears the hell out of me with all of her vitriol for black men, but she comes off as bitter and kinda stupid, but hell... it's her torn up life so I believe in letting people who are ignorant stay blissful. From the tone inferred by their comments it's a wonder if any man would date them, black or white. Being bitter, angry, and hateful of black men because your experiences with the ones you've chosen to date and fuck is YOUR problem. It does NOT mean that an entire race of men can be indicted for the shortcomings of your suitors. It also doesn't mean that white men, asian men, middle eastern men, etc. are more appreciative or more protective. The last few weeks and HISTORY should demonstrate that equal amounts of evil exist in all men regardless of race. The failure of some black men does not constitute the failure of all black men.

How Disney finds it so convenient to exclude black men from having romantic relationships with black women is offensive. I will NOT be watching the movie.


Attorneymom said...

I agree. The prince should have been a black male. Thanks for pointing this out.

DJ Black Adam said...

I am with you on this one, the Prince should be Black. Hell, I was pissed at their "cinderella" with Whitney Houston and Brandy where the prince was Asian. Sure, no porblem with interracial relationships, but can we show some BLACK ones before we get there?

BLKSeaGoat said...

DJBA and AM,

Both of you are successful intelligent black people who are MARRIED to the same. This is why I have such a problem with the vilification of black love.

Attorneymom said...

I was upset about the prince being Asin too Brandy's Cinderella. Am I racist?? LOL

Randi523 said...

This is the reason I cannot watch "Lincoln Heights," no matter how good of a show it might be.

Like you, Shane, I don't care who someone decides to love and marry. However, I do take issue with switching races b/c of bad experiences with your own. Look at yourself first. People of ALL races, religions can do you wrong. While I do get disgusted with some of the actions of SOME Black men, I get just as disgusted with the actions of some of the White, Asian, and Indian men (JERKS) at my job. It just bothers me more with Black men b/c I love them. Heck, my dad, cousins, and granddads are all Black men! I wonder how Black women (men) that act like they hate Black men (women) feel about their own Black relatives.

Great post.

Anonymous said...

"here's a way to please both crowds: disney, for the next movie, draft up a black prince and continue with your interracial love binge... no? doesn't work? am i missing the point? had to try..."

that was going to be my original response to this post. but then i read the comments that came before mine and that is a good eff-ing point: cinderella and asian prince charming man? so princess tiana makes two in a row? as in this is starting to seem intentional.... damnit! we need a black couple!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is 2009. Who cares what color the prince is. Stop being so racist and appreciate love in all colors. We need to see more interracial couples, and stop judging folk. Unless you're in the relationship, you don't know why the person is dating outside their race. They are first and foremost the human race.

BLKSeaGoat said...


I published your stupid comment because I'm fair, but DON'T EVER comment on this blog again without reading the entire post.

Your comment is indicative of your ignorance, lack of awareness, and obviously your inability to read and comprehend.

I want you to stop judging me for pointing out Disney's and Hollywood's inconsistency when it comes to validating black-on-black relationships. Who you decide to fuck and date is up to you.

Miss Thang said...

I agree with the both of you. You know it is odd that the frog turns into a non-black man. Especially, when you consider that black women are not out in droves trying to find non-black men.

For some reason it doesn't bother me though. I guess I take this from a different angle. I'm sorry but brothas are not running out in droves trying to wife us sistas. Black women need options or they'll end up alone with 9 cats. The marriage statistic in the black community is depressing. Too mnay brothas are not committed and too many sistas are waiting for that black prince that may never come. I'd rather young black girls know that there are other options v. waiting for a black man that may never come or wife them.

BLKSeaGoat said...

Miss Thang,

Too many black women aren't wanting to be married. I have three sisters, each are well educated, financially independent, and have dated men spanning the color spectrum. Two of my sisters have turned down proposals simply because they don't believe in marriage.

My youngest sister is bisexual and thinks that marriage would inhibit her ability to love whom she chooses to.

This post was NEVER about approving or disapproving IR relationships. This post was about the fact that Disney and Hollywood has an agenda which involves the misrepresentation of black love. Why is it not worhty of being validated since it (as you point out) is so rare?

Naima said...

Hollywood for some reason will not put a black couple as a lead in a movie for fear that it would be a "black" movie b/c they will not be able to sell it overseas. Thats why Will Smith never gets paired with a BW and Taye Diggs has basically made a career of it, although he hasn't had a hit since How Stella Got Her Groove back, but he keeps getting jobs on TV being paired with various WW.
This movie is getting a lot of attention b/c of the IR, but if you look at some of these TV shows and music videos have been selling this IR especially BM with "others" for the past few years now.
I really think black Hollywood needs to poole their resources into making movie studios, to hale with trying to sell a movie to white folks, isn't black folks supporting a film in America, Africa and the Carribean enough for them to make tons of money. They really need to find a way to distribute movies to all over the world where black folks live. For some reason it has worked for music. I wish black folks around the world weren't exposed to that minstrel rap mess we have created in America.

Anonymous said...

I'm okay with IR dating too. But like its been said, its not about that.

Right on. Every other princess has someone who looks like her but we want to pratice "one race, the human race type love" only when the princess is Black.

Mari-Djata said...

This kinda irked me as well (although, obviously, not as much as it did you), and I won't be watching the movie either. However, I am tired of Disney in general, from its past or present representation of women. Disney is probably the oldest most sexist, racist, classist movie producer in the world, and no amount of "black princesses" will make up for that. Instead of making princesses, can Disney make a movie that crushes the dreams of docility and the messiah complexes that it has implanted in little girls for over a decade?