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Can Mermaids be any race?

Updated: Feb 7, 2020

I'm sure you've seen this news by now. Now the whole casting of Halle Bailey as the title role Ariel in Disney's Live-Action movie, Little Mermaid, there are #notmyariel going on. It makes me sad.

In 2017, Diana Huey, Japanese American Actress, was casted as Ariel in National Tour of musical Little Mermaid. She did receive tons of hate comment during that time. She stood for it. And now she’s standing for Halle Bailey as WOC, as an actress. {READ}

This is not traditional casting choice. And personally, I am all about it. Yay! This could be really the reaction to current political climate. Multiple people have commented that “The story of little mermaid was originally written by Hans Christian Andersen where he describes white skin as blue eyes. Ariel is from DENMARK ... Nordic.” Got it. But we gotta also think about this. She was a mystical creature. Mermaid. The moment Disney made that into an animated film, fish spoke, Bird spoke, crab spoke in Jamaican Accent, and Ursula was also a mystical creature. Can we have a little more open mind? If the whole story was created based on people’s imagination, can we expand our imagination a little bit more?

As I read the comments on these articles, videos… there are common thread. Gingers want to see themselves being represented, Asians, Blacks, Latinos, Mixed race... I don’t know about Flounders and Crabs… but they want themselves to be represented. We want to be seen, heard and understood. I want you to watch this video.

"Where do we draw the line? "That is true. If you are trying to make everyone happy that's not gonna happen. It's just how it is. People will have disagreement. We can be in alignment, but they may not agree. I also believe this woman’s comment about “May the best person get the position”. That is absolutely, right. However, my question to follow that is, are people given the same opportunity? If people are not getting the opportunity to even be on the same start line, that comment is irrelevant. And can I just point out that this person didn’t even mention a thing about Asian people. Yup, we exist too.

Actress Chloe Bennett changed her last name from Wang to Bennett, she says that it was due to Hollywood’s racism. And thing like this, changing the name, happens all the time everywhere. Workspace, interviews, male, female… all that . No matter how hard people try to change the policy, which is great, but if their fundamental mindset and cultures stay the same, things are not going to change. Because a lot of these happen on subconscious level and people don't realize.

And I wanna bring back the comment Diana said

"I never had one kid in 300-something shows over the course of a year say, ‘Oh, you don’t look like Ariel.’ - Diana Huey

These comments are made from the point of what has been done in the past. I’m not saying ignore what has happened in the past. Absolutely not. because without the past and rich cultural history, we won’t be here. BUT, can I just suggest that we open up just a tad more of a perspective here.

What about the next generations? What if for these children who would watch little mermaid for the first time? What if we can teach the next generations what could look like? Instead of what has been? This is an opportunity for us to teach the next generations that things doesn’t have to be the way we were taught. We know that it sucks not seeing who we are on TV. We struggle with self image because of that. Because media has taught us that being skinny is beautiful. Being light skin is beautiful. Being popular is important. And we suffered from that, haven’t we? We've already suffered enough. And luckily, we are in a time that we COULD use these media for good and we should. It doesn't have to be all toxic. To educate next generation. To share the vast vision and possibility. Change the whole dynamics of what things could look like. Can we literally take a moment and say there are bigger picture than that?

Love and light

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