The new Princess Sofia from "Sofia the First: Once Upon A Princess," which debuts Nov. 18 on the Disney Channel.
So what should a Latina Disney princess look like, anyway?
Controversy has been brewing over how Disney doesn't plan to make her ethnicity an overt part of her character, with viewers knowing only that Sofia's mother is from the fictional land of Galdiz, which a Disney spokesperson described as having "Latin influences." But most importantly, some people are upset over Sofia's appearance.
While her mother has a darker complexion, Sofia has fair skin, medium-brown hair and blue eyes, a look that isn't necessarily un-Latina, as anyone familiar with the many hues of Latinos can tell you, but that some say isn't representative of the Latin American majority.
Since yesterday, readers have been posting their thoughts. Here are a few of the highlights (with slight copyedits):
I am Mexican and Puerto Rican. My husband is El Salvadoran. Our daughter has light brown hair and blue eyes and our son has almost blondish colored hair and light bright blue eyes. They are both 100% Hispanic. Hispanics come in all types of colors! Dugh people! I'm happy there is a cartoon that my kids can relate to! Viva los hispanos!!!!!
Why does the color of her skin matter?? Yes your "typical" Latino is dark skin, but seriously this does NOT apply to all of us. I'm Latina, fair skin hazel eyes. My mother has blue eyes, also fair skinned. It's great to finally have a princess of our own.
Zumbi Azul Shadow wrote:
Latin people are all people whose language (is) with Latin origin, such as: Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, Romansch. Not to be confused with Hispanic: Spanish speakers.
Much less with Latin Americans! Because not all Latin Americans speak Spanish as a Brazilian (Portuguese), French Guiana and Canadian French (French).
Sofia seems Latina (including U.S. Latinos), however is not a Latin American representative with Native American ancestry, who are the majority of U.S. Hispanics.
Better make a Princess Maya, Aztec or Inca, so it meets the expectations of most U.S. Hispanics.
My husband and I are 100% Mexican, brown eyes, brown hair, olive skin and we recently had a daughter. Her name is Sofia and she has light brown hair, fair skin and the bluest eyes. She doesn't look Mexican but she is.
Maybe Princess Sofia the 1st will represent Latinos in a cultural way that will make everyone proud of her background. Stop complaining and be thankful that we finally have a Disney Latina Princess!!
There are many white-looking Latinos, Hispanics, Chicanos (whatever you want to label them) out there but that doesn't mean they cannot identify with their culture. People need to stop judging others when its about the colors we are made of and appreciate the fact that we all have a rainbow of cultures from our past within us. We must respect what makes us different and learn from one another but not take looks so seriously. Open your eyes and see with your heart. :)
Tana Eason wrote:
What's the problem with making her a little bit darker? It won't hurt anybody. Us Latinos have been waiting for this moment for a very long time and I understand that you want other girls to relate to Sofia as well, but there are about 7 Disney princesses who are all white.
Do you really need an eighth who you are just going to claim is Latina? There's no harm to acknowledging the fact that she is Latina. Sure, they live in Enhancia but will there accents be present to make it sound like a Spanish word? I'm even having a hard time trying to convince my little sisters and niece that this princess is Latina. They also have been waiting for this day for a very long time. Their friends can dress up as princesses who look just like them which makes them beautiful and, well, like a princess. I guess my sisters and niece will just have to wait a while. I love you Disney, but I don't have to like you right now.
And Erin McMichael wrote:
A fair-skinned, blue-eyed Latina? Certainly they exist, but it is not typical. If I didn't know that she was Latina, just by looking at her, she looks as Caucasian as Belle. Come on, Disney, you didn't even make Tiana dark enough.
More thoughts, anyone? Post them below.