I'm so excited about Disney's new movie "The Princess and the Frog"! It's going to showcase Disney's first African-American princess, Tiana, who is voiced by "Dreamgirls" and Broadway star Anika Noni Rose (who is just fabulous!).
How cool that there is now a Disney doll for nearly every skin color and cultural background (Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontus, and now Tiana)! I remember growing up in the 80's and thinking that a doll like Barbie didn't look like me (and I'm white!); but also, that this somehow meant that I was not beautiful, because I didn't look like her. It didn't help that my two younger sisters were the "classic" beautiful babies - blond, curly hair and big, blue eyes with pale white skin - I had reddish hair, freckles, and had horrible, huge plastic glasses! My sisters looked like Barbie...and Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, etc. It was rough at times.
Having the dolls you play and dream with look completely different from you (especially as a young girl) seems to send the message that beauty is quantifiable and something that you'll never be. When you grow up (if you're wise), you realize that beauty is multitudinous and broad in definition. Beauty can be found in nearly anything if one has a mind open to such things.
It's simply tragic that it's taken Disney so long to create a black princess (or lead character at all), but it's better late than never, I guess. At least Baby C will grow up in an America where is are so many options for toys and makeup and anything else that she will need to feel comfortable in her own beautiful, brown skin!
The lady herself! Princess Tiana (available at http://www.amazon.com/).
And a toddler version too! I'm totally going to buy this one! http://www.toysrus.com/
This cute version that turns Tiana into a frog, then back to a beautiful princess is available from Amazon