31 July, 2011

You're doing it wrong.

I don’t like to criticize much. I personally hate criticism, or at least can’t handle it. I really do care about what people feel about me, but I definitely care more about what they do than what they think. And criticism can harm my relationship with people who genuinely care about me, because I can’t take the heat. So as they say, if you can’t take it, don’t dish it out. 

But I’ve got a lot of things that I care passionately about, and there are a lot of things that I like, that I think “you” could do better. I totally am not saying *I* can do it better--in many cases you are already far better at something than I will ever be--because you love it, and you do it, while I just appreciate from afar. 

Maybe I’ve built up a thick enough skin at this point that I’m willing to risk some criticism, because I’m absolutely ready to dish it out. (Disney, can you hear me? you’re number one.) Hopefully my compassion and appreciation for the work that went into creating the efforts that aren’t your best will shine through. But I doubt it. Because you’re doing it wrong. (And because criticism is hard to take.)

Disney, I am calling you out here. I am not the perfect person to call you out on this. But it has been bugging me for a couple of months, and I just have to say, what were you thinking? You created a new Disney Princess--a black one. And yay! Way past due. But oh no! You tinkered with the fairytale. Part of the dream of a disney princess is whether or not she starts out as a princess, she gets her happily ever after, her tiara, and her fancy dress ball. But does the black disney princess get that? Nooooo. She gets to work hard for almost everything she ever gets. Maybe that is where you actually find happily ever after--I would not dispute that. But it is not the formula, and it is not romantic. It isn’t the dream. Happily ever after, as a dream, does not make you wonder if you’d like to work for your happily ever after.

Little girls aren’t particularly racist. They will love a “true” disney princess even if she is fat, and green (and released by another studio). Some parents are racist. Maybe if you had made a black disney princess as true to the dream of a fairy tale princess as most of the others, it would not sell as well as the white (and brown) disney princess movies did. But it would probably sell better than when you mixed your message in this last one. Just saying.

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