When I was a little girl, I loved Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I remember attempting to play mermaid in the swimming pool and bathtub! It was fun to pretend to have fins and a mermaid tail! I also remember how special it was to get my Ariel doll! I had to put a rain check in for her at K-mart (two things younger people won’t understand lol), and I was super excited when I got to pick her up. She had a purple plastic seashell topic and satiny green mermaid tail that was removable! I played with her all the time. Ariel was special to me because we had two big things in common: loving the water and red hair. The later of which was VERY uncommon for the main character to have.
As an adult I still love Ariel, and I’ve realized that she was all about breaking boundaries from the get go. Back in 1989, the idea of a heroine with red hair was pretty much unheard of in movies. It seemed that red heads were either snobby (Daphne on Scooby Doo), nerdy (a lot of Molly Ringwald characters), or evil step sister clones. Ariel gave us red heads the chance to see that we too can be princesses! I love seeing that boundary broken!
I’m even more proud today to see Ariel breaking boundaries again in 2023 with the live action version of The Little Mermaid. This time she’s rocking the red hair, and she is a POC (person of color)! I love this because it means that Ariel is now breaking boundaries for even more people! For me this is a perfect way to continue to the legacy of Ariel as someone who opens the ability to dream to those without as much positive representation! To all of the haters posting things like #notmyariel, get over your keyboard cowboy self and re-think about why the character of Ariel is so important. Think about how she is now going to help so many more people by being more relatable! Side note, I bet these haters weren’t hating in the 90s when Brandy and Whitney (may she RIP) took on the roles of Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother! Of course they didn’t have their keyboards and social media to hide behind then either!
To all my readers, I hope that you agree that Ariel is amazing! If you’re not familiar with her awesomeness, then checkout the 1989 version of The Little Mermaid and the new one when it comes out. You’ll be glad you did!
The Great Kaysby