Disney Princesses Are NOT White Washed

So before the very popular movie 'Frozen' was released a teaser photo of Elsa was posted. Apparently people were upset that Disney was "white washing" and that there weren't enough black princesses. So they were actually considering turning Elsa black (as you see in the right picture)

Disney Princesses are NOT white washed

White washing? you can't just throw diversity in for the hell of it, it's a DANISH fairytale. Plus she's THE SNOW QUEEN. You know what color is associated with snow? Fucking white.

Lets look at the other Disney princesses, shall we?

Snow white. The very first princess. The reason her name is Snow White because she has "skin as white as snow" Plus this fairytale is German. You know what color people are in Germany? White.

Cinderella. This movie was made in 1950. Hmm..I wonder what was happening in 1950? I don't know, maybe segregation. Disney had all white employees, so they wouldn't make a black princess. Unfortunately, white people in 1950 were racist. Oops sorry but it's true. Also the fairytale is French, French people are white.

Aurora, or Sleeping Beauty. This movie was made in 1969, there were still racist a**holes then. But she was also was French. In her original fairytale, she had hair as gold as sunshine. Have you ever met a black person with naturally blonde hair? No? Niether have I.

Ariel. (My personal favorite) Her fairytale is Danish. It was based off of sailors who claimed to see a girl in the ocean with bright red hair.

Belle. This time the fairytale wasn't just written in France, the whole movie was based in France. Every person you saw was French. you don't see the 'blonde hair, blue eyes' thing on her either.

Jasmine. She is not white. She has a beautiful brown skin color. She is Arabic and she looks so. This is where white washing would come into play, if she was white. But hey look, she isn't. She was based on a real Arabic princess.

Pocahontas. No white washing. Nice beautiful Indian features.

Mulan. She lives in China before anyone immigrated there. So everyones Chinese...yeah.

Tiana. The very first black princess. The movie was based in the 20s. She lived in the slums/ghetto with the other colored people in New Orleans. Disney kept it accurate to represent the time period.

Repunzel. The first white princess in 20 years. The reason Disney didn't do this movie soon is because they didn't want another white blonde damsel in distress. They waited and made her an awesome badass.

Last but not least, Merida. Technically white, but not with a typical American accent, or long straight hair. She is Scottish. What I love about her story is that it wasn't about finding love.

So yeah there a lot of white princesses, but thats because a lot of fairy tales come from mainly white countries. All Disney is trying to do is stay true to the roots of the story, they aren't going to make everyone is the movie black if the story is based in Germany, just how if they make a movie based in China they aren't going to make all the characters white (Remember these movies are based in different time periods, so it could be at the time before any people immigrated there or it was in the middle of segregation)

So I don't see any "white washing" in any of these stories.

but I did just hear there was a live action version of Mulan with almost an all white cast or something like that. Now THAT'S white washing.


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What Guys Said 22

  • Really I mean who even cares it's a fricken cartoon if I am going to watch something I really don't give a flying **** about their skin color. People get so offended these days and micromanage everything, instead of trying to find something to bitch about in everything they see, how about they try just enjoying life, the movie or whatever. They might find life is a lot more enjoyable.

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  • i wish princesses still existed.

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  • I love how white people try so hard to justify their racism. It's hilarious.

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  • Color is a problem if you make it one :/

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  • My favorite were always Mulan and Pocahontas.

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  • Anyone who really has the time to bitch about the ethnicity of cartoons should find something more useful to do with their free time.

    Boo fucking hoo, a picturesque and physically impossible fictitious character isn't what you think it should be.

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    • The point of this take isn't just about cartoons. The point is that people accuse everything of 'white washing' or racism when that clearly isn't the case. There are many more examples of people saying things about certain things being racist just because there is no diversity in it. I could care less about Disney princesses, this isn't anything more than an example. I just think it's ridiculous when people complain about white washing

    • Well said. And it sounds like an angry rant

  • Disney princesses give me cancer. Disney just fucks up these classic stories and kiddy-fies them straight to hell. I hate nearly all of their films that are based on some kind centuries-old fairy tail because they deviate so far from the original source material that it is no longer the same thing. Disney... just... ugh I need to punch something.

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  • You do realise that there are black people in all of those countries too right? What they ban them or something? And yes there are black people with naturally blonde hair and blue eyes too. Look it up

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    • Exactly! This take was just ignorant as fuck.

    • The black population in these countries when these stories take place was miniscule. Even today it is a minorty. Stop being so PC. People dont care about PC anymore, at best they give it lip service.

  • Anyone know of some cool African folk tales? Send that to Disney and maybe they will make a movie about it.

    I'm sure they exist. I think something involving South Africa, or the struggles of trying to survive in a war torn nation like Somalia is plausible, but you can't stick a black girl in a story that came from European folklore and have it make any logical sense.

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    • Princess and the frog is French folklore and that movie makes complete sense. Because French influence play heavily in lousianna. Also their races aren't relevant to the movie. Mos people actually think the little mermaid is Caribbean because sabastian has a Jamaican accent (notice people are okay with a secondary character not matching the ethnic origin of the folklore) and because it has Caribbean themed music

  • I think that racism will never truly be dead until we consider the color of a person's skin to be no more worth noticing than the color of their hair or eyes.

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  • fair enough if the story is based from a Danish or German fairy tale.
    But why can`t Disney take stories from other cultures there are plenty.

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    • True, I think they should look into Arabian or African stories

    • Because Disney is allowed to take stories from wherever they like and tell them however they like; given laws permit certain stories to be sold. If you or anyone wants stories from other cultures, then find them and tell them. Create your own diversity. Its not the job of anyone to do it for you.

  • *Stands up in applause*

    Thank you for this scholarly contribution to humanity!

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  • Ok so I'd like to point out a few things about this article that are just... wrong.
    "So they were actually considering turning Elsa black (as you see in the right picture)"

    No they weren't. That's a fan photoshopped picture.

    Also, I don't think you entirely understand what whitewashing means. Whitewashing is about making other races appear more white, for instance through makeup or by photoshopping their skin color. It also happens, for instance, when a person in a story is described as having dark skin. And when that story is made into a movie, the person who is cast for that role is white. Here's some examples of photoshopped whitewashing.

    media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6xakgAWQK1qa9dfj.jpg
    www.chicagonow.com/.../...humb-640xauto-298931.png

    Making white characters based on white characters isn't whitewashing, so nobody could have possibly complained about disney "whitewashing" anything when they decided to make Frozen.

    And really, disney needs to get a grip. 8 goddamn white princesses and 4 princesses of other races? Like come the fuck on. Either stop basing your stories on ~*~white~*~ European fairytales or start making your own, interesting stories about people of other races. This is just embarrassing as far as diversity and representation goes.

    I'd also like to point out that there are, and have been, people of different races living in European countries for forever. Just as a side note. So some diversity wouldn't exactly be historically inaccurate. Plus, these are fairytales. The characters could have freaking green skin and nobody would bat an eye. So you can shoot ice out of you hands, talk to animals, befriend stone trolls and have a fairy god mother whip up a horse driven carriage out of a pumpkin, but god forbid you see a black or latino character somewhere in the background because THAT'S just inconceivable? Lmao.

    And to continue on the whitewashing topics, disney actually HAS whitewashed Mulan, Pocahontas, Jasmine and Tiana before.

    media.tumblr.com/.../...line_mhhusdDH5E1qz4rgp.jpg
    beautyandrace.files.wordpress.com/.../..._1280.jpg

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    • This whole post is a courtesy of Lumos by the way. She's blocked so, I offered to post this for her. I actually don't care about the whole white washing thing. I just like Disney movies.

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    • Thank you I love you

    • If I could give the person who wrote this a jar of cookies, I would. It's all a fairytale, so the whole "accuracy" take is flawed and moot from the beginning.

  • I think people are really missing the point of this take. People assume "hey, there are more white princesses, they are racist!" THATS the problem here. That people are making these assumptions. I'm sure she would of made the same take about another series or movie, if they were complaining about white washing there too. It has nothing to do with the princesses, but of the idiots who think that racism is the reason they are mostly white. I haven't even seen any of these since I was little and some I haven't seen at all, and I still agree with her that people making "white washing" accusations about it is ridiculous.

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  • We need a Disney princess in a burka.

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  • Yay Mulan!
    Disney princesses are cool. I love learning about what cultures they all originally came from. I'm a big fan of the French ones and the Danish and German ones are cool as well. How come none in Britain? (unless you count robin hood)
    I also like Pocahantas wonder what native American tribe she was... Should have one set in Africa that's not about animals although lion king was awesum

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  • Beautiful take.

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  • Disney is stupid anyway.

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  • Leftists in a nutshell.

    Self loathing is strong in them.

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  • Who the hell cares about Disney Princesses. I'm not a kid, life moves past Disney.

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    • Oh of course, written by a 14 year old. No wonder this take is about princesses.

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    • Plus have you actually READ any of the original stories? Some parts are completely disturbing and not appropriate for a child's movie

    • White washing/racism is an important topic. It happens everywhere. This example just happened to be about Disney characters. But there are accusions of white washing in a lot of other different scenarios. Just trying to show that not EVERYTHING is white washed and that the people who are the ones getting angry about the "white washing" are the ones who don't know what they are talking about.

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What Girls Said 38

  • sad to admit it.. but this post is true *cries*

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  • Thank-you for writing this. People are so quick to claim racism when it's not that at all.

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  • Oh god if they stayed 100% the way the fairy tales went. A lot of kids would be greatly disturbed and grow up very depressed. They would be so horribly traumatized, lol. Some of the actual fairy tales are really fucked up.

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  • great take! Ariel is my favorite also <3

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  • Interesting Take

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  • Ideals created by illuminati pedophiles... :P Nothing to mull over for.

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  • Belle is perf omg

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  • "The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it."

    George Bernard Shaw

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  • That's not white washing. What your referring to is a lack of diversity by Disney, which until the 90's was pretty true. So that's the wrong word
    But the reason making Mylar white is a problem is because her being asain is relevant to the story. Else being white, isn't. Just like with the new Annie movie that came out, the point was to put a less accepted racial group because that was the original purpose of Annie.
    Also the princess and the frog actually was French but instead they went with Louisiana because 1) they needed diversity and 2) it has French influence. So you can venture from the original plot line to make it original and not cookie cutter (like when they have modern adaptions of Cinderella)

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  • You can be a Snow Queen and be black. Did her skin have anything to do with her abilities? I doubt it so who cares?

    I think people make too big a deal out of this on both sides. Just like people were upset with the remake of Annie. Annie's backstory could have happened to someone of ANY race. What did it matter?

    People need to get over it. BOTH sides.

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  • Black people blaming racism in everything is just like feminazis trying to constantly finding men's fault in the world. I don't know what the deal is. I've rarely heard other races complain so much about white people being everywhere.

    I'm a PoC as well, but I don't give a flying shit about the disney princess' skin colors. Or how the smileys all look yellow. Or how many PoCs there are in popular TV shows.

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  • Loved you post :)

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  • I don't think Elsa would look right any other way.

    I liked this take. :)

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  • You mean to tell me that Prince Charming isn't going to come in and sweep me off of my feet? Dammit!

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  • To be honest I don't really pay attention to any of this stuff. The whole princess and barbie thing just breeds bad messages to young girls. They grow up with this whole princess and fairy tale complex. good post though

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  • I don't really care about the race of disney princess. But, if I wanted to defend those who care I could say that if they wanted to include more other race they would have include more other countries. A disney movie could have been based in the carribean for example.

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    • In the caribbean? Haha I'd love to see how they do that one. I bet it'll mostly be the beach

    • Ya, with a 3D cartoon, it would be a beautiful environment for sure.

  • I truly love this post

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  • Just Disney Princess in general teach girls the wrong message.
    Even in Tangled, she ends up being married despite being badass.
    And Merida spends the whole thing rebelling against marriage.

    If ONLY we had a princess story where potential romantic interests just weren't involved at all in the progression of the story.

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    • Amen. Disney tries to teach girls that some handsome guy is going come along, rescue her and sweep her off her feet. Not unless you are willing to remain locked in the tower till after he plays poker and such. I can rescue myself just fine and a lot faster!

    • Quick question though would not just Disney but society overall want to teach girls all of that?

    • @kelvinmed Ofc, but the media is a tool but at the same time a reflection of society.

  • Thank you!!! These princesses are from all over the world. You don't see Indian girls complaining because there's only one Indian looking princess. Same goes for Chinese girls. We've had very different princesses in the last two decades and before that... well, we all know what was happening, but the fact that they were mainly white back then doesn't mean that things haven't changed.
    These women could have been mad back in the 70s but it just doesn't make any sense today.

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    • I haven't seen a lot of mad black girls today so I don't know who people are talking about. Now I do see black girls who do still wish there was more diversity (an not just black but rooting for other cultures unlike I saw other races doing for a black princess)

  • They could still do more black stories, or fairytales that state no race. They don't have to be black or anything. People in the comments please don't generalize and say we all overreact. You do have to realize we waited a VERY long time for Tiana and she didn't do well as other princesses. I personally blame Disney's lack of promotion. Also to whoever wrote it, black people CAN be naturally blonde, it isn't common at all but it is possible. I like the post and the point of it, a little rude but I agree with it.

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    • They do stories without race all the time. The don't even have humans in a lot of their movies.

      Personally I think the princess and the frog failed do to the music more than a lack of promotion. The music just grated on my nerves until I had to stop watching. They were way trying too hard to have music from that area, instead of creating music that a wider audience would like.

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    • @crystalt70 most Disney movies are inaccurate

    • That may be true, but I don't see the inaccuracies, so it doesn't bother me. Tons of movies are filmed herenow and I have a hard time watching any of them, so I just don't.

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