Tonight, my daughter and I watched Frozen for the second time in a row. As she cuddled up next to me on the couch, she glared wide eyed at the singing Disney Queen on the screen. I smiled to see her delighted and fascinated.
“Mom,” she says, “I wish I were as beautiful as the queen.”
I quickly reached for the remote and paused the movie.
I told her, “You are so much more beautiful than she is. You are real and she is not real. She is a cartoon. You have beautiful skin and I love your curly hair. You should absolutely love how beautiful you are.”
My daughter seemed uncomfortable at my words, but smiled anyway.
Soon after, I fought hard to resist my now sudden urge to throw out every Disney and Barbie movie we own. I hadn’t quite realized the impact that was being made on my young bi-racial daughter. She felt that her complexion wasn’t pretty because it didn’t match the pale skin she admired on the television screen. She begs for her curly hair to be straightened, because she doesn’t find it as pretty as the other girls or princesses with long flowing straight hair.
I pray that she learns to love and even admire her diverse genetic makeup. It would be nice if Disney or Pixar would catch up with our multi-cultured society and create a new set of diverse princesses that are just as beautiful as my daughter with her light skin and long curly hair or create a princess with thick soft curls all combed out in a fro and skin as smooth as dark chocolate like my beautiful niece.
Until then, I will continue to remind and tell my daughter that she is in fact, prettier than any Disney Princess could ever dream to be. It’s the only way to keep it real.