Celebrity
Little girls’ touching reactions to Ariel looking like them proves why representation matters
This literally put the biggest smile on my heart.
Caryl Jane Espiritu
09.19.22

Every girl’s childhood, including mine, will not be complete without getting to know the Disney princesses. We have all enjoyed watching princess movie after princess movie and as young girls, these princesses have influenced us in a lot of ways.

Pexels - Benjamin Suter
Source:
Pexels - Benjamin Suter

Walt Disney Studios have provided us with various kinds of princesses to admire and look up to.

Who can forget Snow White and her cute dwarfs? Or Cinderella and her fairy godmother? We loved singing with courageous Princess Anna and explored the world outside the tower with Rapunzel.

IMDb - The Little Mermaid
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IMDb - The Little Mermaid

One of the first and favorite princesses from Disney is the Little Mermaid. Ariel and her flowy hair and fun personality made quite a huge impression on little girls.

And in 2023, Disney has announced that they will be showing a live-action movie of this well-loved tale.

Just recently, the film giant launched the trailer of “Little Mermaid” and it made lots of noise online, especially when the main star was finally revealed.

YouTube - Walt Disney Studios
Source:
YouTube - Walt Disney Studios

Young black girls who have seen the trailer for the first time were delighted to find out that singer and actress Halle Bailey, a brown girl like them, will be playing the role of Ariel!

In the trailer, Halley as Ariel can be seen as she looked above from underwater and singing her heart out to the tune of “Part of Your World”, the movie’s iconic soundtrack.

YouTube - Walt Disney Studios
Source:
YouTube - Walt Disney Studios

Seeing Halle as Ariel made black girls feel like they were staring at their own selves.

Disney’s decision to cast a black girl as Ariel is a move that gave happy smiles to a lot of girls in the world. These black young women are glad to finally see a version of themselves being the lead star of an iconic film.

Because of this new trailer, parents have started filming their daughters’ blind reactions to the trailer and sharing their raw responses to the new sneak peek.

@candikane__ Sienna loves Ariel #thelittlemermaid #theelittlemermaid #hallebailey #ariel #blindreact #fyp #Sienna #blackgirljoy ♬ original sound – Candie

One of these girls is little Sienna.

The young girl was watching the trailer and waiting with bated breath as the camera pans closer to Ariel’s face. And when she saw Halle with her long hair and beautiful brown skin, he squealed in delight!

“That is Ariel? That is her? That’s the real her?” she asks, full of excitement.

Her face lit up and her eyes were full of wonder as she looked at Halle.

@preciousavery I love this for my 3 years old 🤎 #littlemermaid #toddlersoftiktok #hallebailey #girlpower ♬ original sound – Precious & Emery

Another video had a caption that said “When your favorite Disney Princess looks like you”

In the video, the 3-year-old was watching when she exclaimed happily after seeing Halle:

“Brown Ariel! Brown Ariel is cute,” she says.

@nickyknackpaddywack Mayas reaction to #thelittlemermaid trailer. #representationmatters #representationinthemediamatters #blackgirls ♬ original sound – Nicky

The girl under the spotlight, Halle Bailey, shared what this meant to her.

“The fact that now it’s getting to be played by me, a person who looks like me, woman of color, I’m just like, wow, I’m so grateful for what it will do for all the other little Black and brown boys and girls who will see themselves in me,” Halle told People. “Because I know if I had seen myself when I was younger, I think my whole perspective would’ve changed.”

YouTube - Walt Disney Studios
Source:
YouTube - Walt Disney Studios

See the girls’ heartwarming reactions in the 2 videos below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Caryl Jane Espiritu
hi@sbly.com
Caryl Jane Espiritu is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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