Let me tell you a story. Once at a party, I had all the little girls sitting around me and I was asking them about their favorite parts of all the princess movies. The birthday girl was sitting next to me, and tells me, “Princess, your skin is the same color as mine.” I smile and agree, and try to move the game along, but she interrupts and says, “Your skin is brown and you’re a princess. It’s the same color as mine, but you’re a princess.”
“Well, if my skin is brown and your skin is brown, and I’m a princess, then you must be a princess too.” I tell her. And then I spent the next 10 minutes assuring all the black girls at the party that yes, they have lovely skin and yes, they can be princesses with me.
This happens at most of the parties I go to. I have had my arm stroked, my hair patted, my skin color commented on more times than I can remember. I am not simply hired out to entertain a bunch of cute little girls dressed in poofy skirts who want to play with a big girl in a poofier skirt. I am hired out because I am an affirmation. For these little black girls (and boys! I’ve dazzled a few of them too) Princess Tiana is proof that for once, they can be special BECAUSE of the color of their skin, not IN SPITE OF.
Adding some of her pictures for emphasis.
This made me cry. This is what we’ve done to these innocent little girls. This is what happens when we treat white beauty as default. These beautiful children should grow up KNOWING they are beautiful and can be princesses.
Might have something in my eye..
Princess Tiana is one of my favorite princesses, even at 18 she changed my idea of what a princess is, that hard work and determination and strength matter more than luck and happily ever afters.
And the importance of this for these beautiful little girls to know they are princesses too…this post is perfect.
DO NOT DISMISS A SOMETHING A CHILD IS PROUD OF. LOOK AT IT. POINT SOMETHING OUT AND TELL THEM YOU LOVE IT. IF A CHILD DRAWS YOU A RAINBOW, TELL THEM YOU LOVE HOW IT HAS RED. THEY WILL THINK “WOW. IT DOES HAVE RED. THEY LOVE HOW I PUT RED IN IT. I PUT RED IN IT. AND THEY NOTICED.” MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD KNOWS YOU ARE PROUD OF THEM.