Friday, December 11, 2009

"A Princess that's brown like me!"

(The title of this thead is a quote from my 3 year old niece.)

Today is the official opening of Disney's "The Princess and the Frog." As many of you know, this will be the first major animated motion picture that features an African American heroine. As a result, it is an exciting day for many young girls, especially girls of color. (And, admittedly, it is exciting for many adults of color as well; though I'm in my thirties, I am pleased to be able to experience the unveiling of Princess Tiana myself, as I longed for someone, ANYONE, who resembled me while I was growing up watching animated shows and movies (well, we did have "Storm" from X-Men, I suppose.)

There has been great deal of controversy regarding this film. Some of it might be legitimate, and some of it is probably not. I'm not going to rehash that argument here; certainly there are elements of The Princess and the Frog that I am not crazy about, and will have to explain to my daughters. But I am happy for what this film represents, and that is the message that African American women are just as worthy as the other races of women Disney has portrayed.

As the pediatric HIV community is disproportionately made up of children of color, it might be beneficial for other adoptive parents to take their children to see this movie so that they, too, can celebrate the beauty of brown-skinned and all people together. But even those who are not of color should still consider giving the movie a try. A very good friend of mine from undergrad, who is white, is taking her cousins, who are also white, to see the film, just as she take them to see other "kid-friendly" blockbusters.

See you at the movies!