Dear Disney.. and Precious Moments. I am writing to you to protest the Happy Birthday Train. It features Disney Princess from Snow White to Merida. Problem is someone is left out. Can you guess who..yep once gain Tiana did NOT make the cut. How and why does this keep happening? 12 opportunities for a princess spot on the train and Tiana gets sidetracked by two “fairies (Tinkerbell and Periwinkle).
I have to be honest the working princess story line was NOT my favorite; along with the fact that she ultimately ends up marrying a guy who does not look like her or share her ethnicity ( he was however brown). Once again we have to be grateful for “slim-pickins”. Earlier this year it was”leaked” Tiana was getting new skin and hair permed for her cameo in “Wreck-it Ralph 2”. The outcry was so loud that Disney went back in and made Tiana look like she did in HER film. The African American Princess we have come to know and LOVE!
I started on my mission. I promptly called Disney(and had Precious Moments on my list to call next). It may seem small and insignificant but where does our sense of self-esteem begin? I will give you a “for-instance”I have a granddaughter and she is beautiful, brown and sports NATURAL hair. I however wore my hair straight and chemically processed for 30+ years. Yet, I kept her hair in braids for ease as well as beauty. One occasion I requested her(now our) stylist leave part of her hair out in a puffy bun. It was gorgeous! I told her how pretty she was and how good her hair looked.
One weekend she spent with me she asked me to twist her hair up. I asked her did she like her hair. She responded “Yes but I just want it twisted.” I read much more into”yes but”. I thought of how OUR stylist over the course of 2+ years once asked if I ever though about going natural?” Without a pause I promptly answered,”No.” Me who constantly commented on how good natural hair looked on other women, me who constantly spoke of how wonderful it was for black women NOT to be forced to wear OUR hair in a fashion that made “others comfortable or how we were no longer relegated to “other’s” standard of beauty. As I twisted my little granddaughters hair I though of what Addison saw everyday. Her mother’s hair was in a straighten style but it was natural, her other grandmother wore her hair straight and me her “Abuela” straight as possible with no curl. Again where does self-esteem start, what message was this little girl reading?
3 years this year since I got off what is fondly known as “creamy-crack”. Do I miss it? NO! What do I love. I love getting out of bed and my hair is the LAST thing I have to worry about. I love rainy/drizzly weather and walking past women getting their umbrellas into position. I love driving with my windows down. What does this have to do with the Birthday Train ? Well it has to do with perceptions and self esteem. One MUST be happy with oneself for that sense of self to be positive. So Disney I love you BUT I love being brown-skinned with hair that is not necessarily straight unless I choose for it to be. There are MILLIONS of little girls who look like me and need to know they are fabulous JUST AS THEY ARE! Leave Tiana alone looks-wise, but don’t exclude her because she looks different. Hell, Ariel has a TAIL!