Submission: I really like your blog and the idea behind it, and after reading about 4 pages, I came across one specific ask and I’d really appreciate if you could answer this for me. In Japan, for example, all stories and characters are japanese, and every country goes accordingly like that. I understand that there should be MORE variety since so many cultures have gathered here, but America is known to be mostly white, so what’s the problem if a lot of princesses are white? is there no other way to make a statement against racism without making white people feel ashamed for their skintone and make us feel as if all our roots go back to evil slave owners who looked down on anyone with skin darker than theirs? I am of russian origin, and I came to America when I was 10 years old and went to a school mostly populated by hispanics. Their biggest insult was saying “you look white”, the appropriate response was “eww”, and I got endless advice on how I’m too white and I should get a tan but I could not say anything back without being called a white racist bitch. How is this okay? Are we really reaching equality, or just reversing the roles?
FeministDisney: First of all, America might be known as mostly white because that’s the majority of media, but it’s not actually mostly white. It was pretty big news this (or last?) year when, for the first time, white babies did not make up the majority of babies being born (it fell to 49%). One reason we might sometimes interpet it as “quite white” is that de facto (not law, but a result of economic and social factors) segregation is still a very real thing. If you grew up like I did in a 80~% white suburb, that is not representative of America. That is representative of who is given the means to make it into the middle class.
Decent representation for all American children, and people, is so, so important especially as our country becomes more and more multicultural and multiracial than ever before. That is the problem with having a lot of white princesses, to begin with: we really aren’t all white. And what Japan does and how Japan deals with representation is Japan’s issue. Just because it happens and is the norm in many countries, does not necessarily mean people there do not criticize it. You’re just removed enough from that culture/country that you never hear that criticism.
Second of all, basically all the princesses that were POC were characters written from a white perspective (as were their stories: see reviews for more details). They were not given the accurate representation those groups deserved. In terms of this, PATF was least offensive but I have reblogged a lot of what people had to say in terms of representation criticism of that movie as well. POC asking for better representation is not equivalent to anyone trying to make you feel bad about slavery. To be honest I think white people tend to bring up slavery far more than any POC? But even if they did: it’s a legitimate issue when it helped set into motion centuries of oppression? Voting rights for black people happened within living memory.
Some of my ancestors were here when the declaration of independence was signed, and some came way later after the famine in Ireland, etc. It doesn’t matter where our ancestors come from or what they did- the point is that they and others set into motion a system that, before slavery and since slavery, has perpetuated the oppression of POC in the USA. This is not an oppression you feel, but one we benefit from overall. Getting made fun of sucks, but it is not necessarily racism. You are not statistically more likely to live in poverty, to be kept out of politics, to be denied a job, to be shot and/or arrested, because you are white. Racism relies on these factors to exist: the micro-aggressions perpetuate a larger problem. This is a reality of the lives of POC in America. Nothing is “being reversed” yet, or ever in all likelihood- white people still have the upper edge in the US by far… that is what white privilege is. It is ongoing. White privilege doesn’t mean that white people never suffer, or never get called pale, or whatever- it means that racial oppression of white people is not something built into the very structure of our society.
Consider that in the grand scheme of things, POC are the ones being made to feel ashamed of their skintone by the overwhelming influence of the media. POC celebrities are consistently white washed in magazines in order to appeal to white audiences to the point where it takes a double take to recognize them sometimes. During the Olympics we can see a lot of undercurrent racism in the way the higher achieving black athletes have gotten far less press coverage and positive reactions than less successful, white american athletes. Etc, etc.
At any rate I’ve already written and reblogged a ton of things along these lines and it’s getting super late, so… “has this been asked before” tab.
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