In a win for representation, Disney has decided to edit Princess Tiana and restore her to her former glory in an updated version of the Wreck-It Ralph trailer.
When we first saw the Wreck it Ralph trailer, we were all excited. Not only did the trailer promise a compelling storyline, but we also got to see all of our favourite Disney princesses together.
However, people were also quick to notice that one princess didn’t look like she was supposed to.
Princess Tiana, who made headlines when she became Disney’s first black princess, was recently, in a still image that was revealed exclusively on EW.com, shown with curly hair (big yay for natural hair), but with a skin tone that’s significantly much lighter (why?).
They also pointed out that her features looked very “Eurocentric.”
Needless to say social media had a field day with it and criticised the studio left right and centre.
But, in an unprecedented move and a show of commitment to accurately portray and represent diversity in a positive and more meaningful way, Teen Vogue reports that Disney has actually listened to the feedback they’ve received and decided to reanimate all of her scenes in the up and coming movie.
The move was met with approval, sighs of relief and the acknowledgement that there are companies out there willing to listen and correct their mistakes.
And it turns out that we all have Anika Noni Rose, the voice behind Princess Tiana, to thank for her intervention. For those who have been wondering why there’s been some silence on her part, EW reports that she revealed that it was important for her to first “do my due diligence before publicly addressing something as near and dear to my heart (and face) as Princess Tiana.”
She revealed that, along with fans of Princess Tiana, she immediately noticed the change in Tiana’s appearance. Together with a team, she reached out to the studio and met up with the original animators to discuss how the changes came about.
During the meeting she imparted just how important it was that young girls and older women alike feel represented.
In addition to this she added that it was important for her to have such an open dialogue with the animation team, and as a result, they revealed the steps that they would take to bring back the elements that made Princess Tiana who she is.
Thank you for preserving the legacy of Princess Tiana. You have made the little girl inside of this grown woman, very happy!— Jennifer L. Gaines (@audaciousgirl) September 25, 2018
There are so many young girls and women who rejoiced and celebrated when Disney gave us Tiana in her original form.
When Disney lightened her appearance, they inadvertently showed that they're still playing into the idea that there’s only one standard of beauty - a narrative that really needs to disappear.
Ideally, we wouldn’t have wanted this in the first place, and I do think that this could have actually been avoided if there was more diversity amongst the staff, but listen – we can acknowledge that they’re at least trying, right?
We've reached out to Disney for comment, but have yet to receive a reply.