Working in media, it comes to my attention a lot that representation is not where it should be.
Children grow up without seeing anyone that looks like them in the movies that are made for them. They grow up thinking that no one wants to see them, no one thinks they are interesting, no one thinks they are worthy of being shown on screens.
Yes, at this point in time, I am talking about racial representation in media.
The majority of films that are created for children, mainly from Disney, are set in Europe or in a make-believe place that resembles Europe. Because of this, the characters are white.
Many will jump to the defense of the filmmakers and animators, saying things like “The film is set in medieval Scotland! There aren’t going to be any people of color there!”
That is entirely untrue. There were people of color there. History reveals the truth. Why is it then that people of color are not represented?
The facts stand that while there are oodles upon oodles of white characters for white children to look up to in these films, children of color don’t have that same luxury.
If the media is going to continue to insist that there were no people of color in Europe, then why not explore different stories from different continents? Why do we continue to remain in Europe and places that remind us of Europe?
Currently, the Disney princess line-up consists of: Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel and Merida.
The list will soon be joined by Elsa and Anna from the upcoming film, ‘Frozen.’
Out of that list, only Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan and Tiana are women of color. That is a ratio of 9-4.
This post mainly covers the representation of women of color, specifically in Disney films, but representation of men of color is under similar circumstances.