The Little Mermaid of Color is Awesome

Makayla McGuire
malmcguire@lc.edu

 

The world we live in today seems to grow more racist and sexist with every passing day. It is deeply disappointing when I believe that it’s going to be a great day, and then being proven wrong with yet another injustice in the world being presented and seeing the ugliness in the people who applaud the injustice.

People are just viewing things with narrow minds and not considering the fact that perhaps doing something in a way that one wouldn’t expect, would actually provide the best outcome. One thing, in particular, has gotten me upset enough to the point where I finally had to say something about it.

Everyone knows Ariel, the star of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Yes, the cute red-haired, blue-eyed mermaid with creamy skin that every little girl wanted to be growing up. However, that mental image could change soon, as it’s been rumored that former Disney Channel star Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman is going to play the leading role in the upcoming live-action adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

Anybody with eyes can see that Zendaya is not pale, blue-eyed, or has red hair. However, considering the fact Ariel is a fictional character, I personally find these details irrelevant. It is shocking to me how many people are outraged about a woman of color playing an originally white character. These people seem to forget the fact that these rumors also included that Zendaya will probably be dyeing her hair to look like the iconic fire engine red hair we all know or the fact that she’s worked with Disney for years and has a fantastic singing voice.

The truth is, nobody should care anyway because according to most mermaid mythology, mermaids aren’t even technically white, their skin is supposed to be grey. Mermaids are also usually believed by myth to be physically unattractive, instead of looking absolutely perfect in every way. That’s also not including the fact that Mermaids aren’t even real, so if I’m being really technical, they don’t have skin at all.

So why should it matter that Zendaya is playing Ariel? I’m not saying Zendaya is ugly, because she is certainly far from homely. Zendaya is one of the most beautiful actresses I’ve seen in recent years.

So for the many people who chose to sit in their chair, couch, bed, wherever they’re sitting, and get on the internet just to complain that Zendaya is not good enough to play this role just because she’s not white, is incredibly racist and disgusting. You should all be happy The Little Mermaid is being made into a live action movie at all! The bottom line is, as someone who has loved The Little Mermaid and mermaid mythology for all my life, Zendaya is going to do absolutely great as the new Ariel.

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