Hey guys! I hope you’re all doing well! If you know literally anything about me, it’s probably that I love Ariel and The Little Mermaid. You can read me talk all about her and all things Disney in my Disney Tag. Recently, the part of Ariel was casted for the live action remake of The Little Mermaid and it caused quite the stir. The part of Ariel will be played by Halle Bailey.
I’ve wrestled with the idea of this post all weekend. On one hand I want to speak out against this topic because it’s upsetting to me that the casting is not being happily and openly accepted. On the other hand I don’t want to misspeak, or speak on something that is not my place. I’ve decided today I do want to have an open discussion about it, and that includes calling me out if necessary. In this post I hope to talk about how I feel about the casting, and what I’m hoping this remake does for coming generations.
Who is Ariel?
This might seem like a stupid question. I don’t mean it in the literal form of who is Ariel. I more so mean it in a way of who is Ariel to me, what does she represent? To me, Ariel represents adventure and exploration. Ariel is a headstrong young woman who knows what she wants and is determined to explore more than the edges of Atlantica. She wants to experience more than what is available to her.
One of the arguments I’ve been seeing is that Ariel is white, so why cast a young black woman? This is really disheartening to me because as much as I love Ariel, she is a fictional character. Ariel’s race is not rooted in the plot, like in Mulan or Aladdin. I believe this argument that Ariel should be white because she was white in the animation is a lazy, selfish, and disgusting excuse for white people to play the victim.
My hopes for the remake
I am really excited to see what this remake of my favorite movie turns out to be. This is a huge step in the right direction for Disney and I’m looking forward to it. I have high hopes for this movie, but not in regards of what it’ll do for me. I hope that young black girls will see this movie and see themselves in Ariel, and see that they can be whoever and whatever they want to be, even a mermaid.
The first time I dyed my hair red I instantly exclaimed that “I look like Ariel!!” My hair stylist was a bit concerned because she didn’t realize I meant that in a good way. To see this character I grew up loving within myself was really special for me, and I want that for young black girls.
Disney has such a huge platform and the ability to make young children feel heard and understood. For a young girl to be able to watch The Little Mermaid and see a princess that looks like her, that’s special. That’s what Disney movies represent, that is what matters.
I know this post was fairly short but I wanted to just speak my mind on this topic. I do hope I didn’t misspeak, because I am white and I know the privilege that comes with that. It’s evident that the issue with this casting is a part of a bigger problem regarding race. I’m not educated enough on that topic and I certainly would never want to speak for or over anyone so I’ll leave this post at that.
What do you think about the casting of Ariel? Are you excited for the live action remake of The Little Mermaid? Thanks for stopping by, until next time…
Be Nice. Be Good.
(With this post being about such a hot topic, I want to make it know absolutely NO form of HATE or DISCRIMINATION is welcome here. Any hateful comments will be DELETED)