Some of you may remember my Disney Rant Post from March. Yes, I was miffed with this company that I love (I still am, really) but I think it would be good to see what good the Mouse House has done.
I have heard countless stories about how some Disney character or other helped a child cope with a difficult time in their lives.
For myself, Disney has been a rich source of inspiration. My four favorite Princesses/Heroines, Belle, Jasmine, Mulan, and Megara, have had a huge impact on my writing of female characters.
Inspiration has struck in the most unlikely of places from these movies. Even one character who makes a solitary appearance can stick with you.
It seems like people love to complain about the Disney Princess sector, and while I will say that they are grossly over-marketed, but they are not useless. These characters represent traditional femininity in a world that outright rejects it. The Princesses are able to use their influence to teach about modesty in actions, helpfulness, hard work, forgiveness, and optimistic attitudes.
Such color and beauty has graced our screens courtesy of Disney! The inspiration of so many artists has come from their work!
Disney's magic has touched countless lives, and for better or worse will continue to do so. It now depends on us to see which it will be.
As a longtime collector of dolls, I have come to notice something. I noticed it even when I was a kid. There weren't that many dolls that were not white. Sometimes I will see my friends or my mom's friends' kids playing with their dolls, and I see little black girls playing with white dolls. Not that there's anything wrong with that, in fact that's great, but I would like to see girls having the option to have a doll that looks like them.
When I was a little girl, I had a bunch of dolls of color. I had Jasmine, Mulan, Esmeralda, Barbie's Japanese friend Kira, Teresa, who lest anyone forget is Latina, and many other characters who did not look like me. My two favorite princesses were Jasmine and Mulan, so you can see what's going on here. But up until recently, when Hasbro bought the rights to the Princesses, it was harder than anything to find any of the princesses of color. Jasmine was more common, but still not as common as the others, Mulan was harder still, Tiana and Pocahontas? Forget about it. There was no way in the world you could find them outside of the Disney store. And Disney dolls are just the tip of the iceberg. What about Barbie or some of the other fashion-type dolls? Where are their girls of color?
Now, why is this important? It's important because it effects how girls (and boys for that matter!) see the world. Now, Boys don't have the same problems. There are black superheroes like Falcon and Black Panther, there are black GI Joe characters, (like Roadblock, portrayed by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), there have always been black Power Rangers. Asian heroes you can find by the score, usually in martial arts capacities, but sadly few Native American heroes. Of course, mutant turtles and giant transforming robots and Legos need no color ;)
This matters because both boys and girls need to see themselves represented in their toys. Boys will eventually be dating, and they need to see that there is beauty in all colors. Girls need to see themselves in their dolls because they need to know that they too, are beautiful, even if they don't meet the blonde, blue-eyed, stereotype.
Now, where can you find dolls of color? Well, let's start with the basics: Online shopping!
I have lived through many ages.
I'm T.K. Wilson, Read my blog for great information and stories about dolls, toy restoration, Christian Fantasy and so much more! Blog updates Mondays and Fridays.