Sunday, November 28, 2010

Seeing Color

Internet-captured photo

My blog entry of November 19, 2009, "Prince Naveen -- Too Lukewarm for Some," written a little over one year ago, continues to receive multiple page views and additional comments.

The gist of the blog was my concern about the opinions young minds (both male and female) would form as a result of Disney's first animated, African American princess sharing her crown with someone other than an African American or male of African descent.  The text of the original blog also includes an African American male's commentary on Prince Naveen's ethnicity and the roles portrayed by other characters in last year's Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog

Neither commentary (mine, a female's perspective, nor the male's perspective) was a statement against interracial relationships.  Mine, personally was more of a concern over Disney's prince selection, the film industry's perpetual vilification and exclusion of positive African American male characters, and the opinions children might form as a result of viewing this particular movie.

The blog was also written prior to my seeing the movie and now understanding why, for Disney, Prince Naveen had to be someone that would appeal to both Charlotte (Princess Tiana's white BFF) first and eventually to Princess Tiana.  Moviegoers' tempers may have been more than lukewarm if Charlotte wanted to marry an African prince (even if it was only for his money and the status she would gain).  As I initially suspected, Prince Naveen's lack of true ethnic background was also Disney's way of capitalizing on a wider audience of movie-goers and merchandise consumers, wherein the only color of interest is green. 

Did it have to be this way?  No, the plot could have been different.  Princess Tiana could have had a prince of African descent and a happily-ever-after status, too.  But when you see green and already possess enough to write your own stories, you pen them with expectations of "growing your green."  Wider appeal equals "bigger bank," more money, more money, more money. 

According to my blog's statistics, the above-mentioned blog entry ranks a constant #1 in popular posts read, with 484 page views this week; 6,820 page views since it was written; and 28 pro-to-con comments regarding Disney's characterization of Princess Tiana's prince.  Of all the blog entries I have written over the past year, I find these statistics quite interesting. 


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