So…it’s that time of year again. The winter holidays have rolled around and for a lot of mothers with little ones, there’s an event that has kind of become synonymous with these holidays. The Disney on Ice show. Pictures and adverts of the show have been filling my feed and naturally my little one has been asking to attend. Unfortunately – this year it won’t be possible. We attended the show last year (2018) after about 7 years and really enjoyed it. The songs made me feel so nostalgic as I recalled all the lyrics from my childhood- but I have a little bit of a bone to pick with the creators of Disney on Ice, and this is no way taking a dig at them, this is just my space to express what I’ve been feeling. In fact I really hope this years show is better. But I have had this sitting on my chest for a year now I decided to rather just say it out loud: I expect more from Disney on Ice!
There I said it! Now let me explain.
After attending the show last year, my 3 year old became obsessed with long blonde hair. She had asked on various occasions when she could have hair like Elsa’s or Rapunzel’s and, I guess, it began to bother me. Why… at three years of age, was she unhappy with the colour of her hair…? Her beautiful black hair is complimented all the time- but something made her not want the hair colour she had naturally been blessed with. I am not blaming Disney on Ice for this… I am simply trying to relay and reflect on my feelings.
When I looked back on the show as an adult I noted a few things… so I ran a poll on my Instagram stories only to have my feelings echoed. It was 2018! And Disney on Ice needed, (still needs?) to have been more inclusive in their representation of princesses of colour, encouraging diversity!
We are not called the ‘Rainbow’ nation for nothing.
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not playing a ‘race’ card here, I am playing a ‘shouldn’t we be a more progressive and inclusive society’ card. During the show I felt there was not enough variety in the princesses presented to allow children of all skin/hair colours to be able to relate to…Jasmin didn’t really look like the brown skinned dark haired beauty created by Disney. Princess Tiana made a 30 second debut but was not afforded any more ‘show time’ than that. And I was disappointed. I understand that the show wants to include its most popular characters, but I feel they are doing a disservice to the multinational multicultural society that makes up its audience. I think about the variety of Disney princesses available that could have filled a spot or two.
How about Moana – with her fuller legs, wavy hair and brown skin, (the catchy songs from the movie would have worked well), teaching young girls about adventures outside of their comfort zone and to find their own path? Not needing any rescuing from a prince or male figure? Perhaps Mulan? A beautiful martial arts ass-kicking Disney princess with black hair and smaller eyes, as opposed to the standard wide-eyed beauty’s (pardon the pun). There’s Merida, with her fiery red hair and determined attitude that teaches girls they can be so much more than what society/history dictates …and Pocahontas? With her softer nose, full lips and courage in standing up for what she believed in?
I’m just saying… in the year 2019 – shouldn’t we have a Disney on Ice show that is more diverse in the selection of princesses, with princesses that children of all colours can relate to on a physical level, a show that celebrates strong, independent courageous princesses for our girls to look up to?
**Disclaimer – the opinions shared above are my own. **