Disney has confirmed that Princess Sofia, star of an upcoming TV movie with an entire TV series to follow, is officially their first Latina princess. Finally! All the little Latina girls in America will have a princess who is just like them! Well ... maybe.
Disney says they're not going to bash us over the head with the fact that Sofia is Hispanic. Actually the exact word they used was "overt." Sofia will not be "overtly Latina." So what does that mean for our little girls (and princess loving boys)?
Honestly, it will probably just mean that they have another princess to become obsessed with and ask us to buy in stuffed form (and in book form and on the side of plastic cups, and, and, and, and you're getting the sense that I have a princess fan in my house, aren't you?). Only this one will be on TV instead of in the movies.
I don't mean to ignore the fact that kids need to see a variety of races represented on TV and in movies. A Latina princess is a big deal ... for kids of all races. The more diversity there is in every corner of their worlds, the less diversity stands out to them, the more they see it as "just the way things are."
Come to think of it, the more diversity, the less these things need to be "overt."
Disney may just be on to something ...
Why Sofia's race is more of a "matter-of-fact situation" -- another description from Sofia executive producer Jamie Mitchell -- is a bit complicated. Princess Tiana gained Disney a lot of ground with the African-American community because she was clearly a princess of color, from a real place -- New Orleans. But Sofia is a rags-to-riches princess from an imaginary kingdom. She can't be called Hispanic or Latina because, well, there is no such thing in her world.
And I don't know about you, but I'd prefer a princess who is Latina in an overt manner to a show that feeds our little kids tired stereotypes just to prove, yes, she is Latina!
What do you think of the first Latina princess? Is this good news for kids?
Image via Disney Junior