After reading post after post about the ethnicity of the next Disney princess, I was eager to watch Sofia the First with my own princess. My daughter watched it because it was a princess movie and could care less about the ethnicity of the princess. In the end, it was an ok movie, so it was a happy ending for both of us.
I know Sofia has been the discussion on a lot of blogs and in college classes. Is she Hispanic or is she just another “white” princess? Her family is from two make believe countries similar to Spain and Scandinavia. From my husband's experiences in Spain, many people had brown hair and fair skin. It was almost intimidating since there were so many beautiful people so that part of the movie ringed true. For the eye color, he remembers seeing green, brown, and even black eyes. Blue? Maybe, but not as prevalent as brown. I am all for diversity and think that it is important that children can see themselves in characters of the shows and books they enjoy. On the other hand, not every character has to be a lesson or an example. I don't think there would have been such an uproar over this movie if Jamie Mitchell, the show's executive producer, hadn't mentioned that Miranda, Sofia's mom, was Latina. Maybe his comment would have gone over better if Disney didn't backtrack and reclaim the Latina card. Having a Latina/Hispanic/Spanish princess is an awesome concept. Maybe Disney will take this debate and turn it into something positive for the company and then many Disney fans all over the world.
My own princess? She enjoyed the movie. She liked the fact the the sisters became friends and helped each other. The fact that Cinderella appeared and helped Sofia made it even better. Cinderella is her favorite princess so she was super excited to see that part. The movie is aimed at kids under ten years old, but my princess, who has hit the teen years, still enjoyed it.
When asked if she could relate to Sofia, my princess replied yes since Sofia has brown hair and blue eyes. Maybe Sofia is not for everyone and is not a strong contender for a positive Hispanic role model but some girls will still be drawn to the story and the morals of the main character. I am looking forward to a strong Hispanic princess in Disney's future. Princess Tiana is my favorite Disney princess since she worked so hard for what she received in the end. It was on her own doing and she was able to balance her dream along with the “prince.” What is your favorite princess? Does ethnicity influence your decision? No matter what princess come to mind, go ahead and watch Sofia the First with the princess in your life. Time with a princess is limited, so treasure it while you can.