We’ve seen flaxen-haired Cinderella, Snow White’s jet-black bob and the golden tresses of Sleeping Beauty. Now, there’s Princess Tiana, Disney’s first African-American princess and star of “The Princess and the Frog,” scheduled for released in December. As an African-American girl, will Disney’s animators give this ebony princess an appropriately kinky crown? It seems the answer is yes, judging by the products she’s pushing.
Disney is an iconic brand that’s no stranger to criticisms of the culturally insensitive faux pas of their past and many an eyebrow has been raised over how they will handle their first female African-American lead. But it seems someone at Disney’s shop has taken a preemptive strike to address those concerns and strategically partnered with Carol’s Daughter to launch “A Magical Beauty Collection,” a line of beauty products made with African-American girls in mind.
Smart marketing? At first glance, it would seem so. Disney secures the buy-in of Carol’s Daughter’s large, loyal, mostly female and African-American fan base, in addition to their daughters. Carol’s Daughter gains the world’s largest media conglomerate as a client AND a business partner. But if the film isn’t as smart and culturally savvy in their depictions of African-Americans as their marketing strategy is, will Carol’s Daughter feel a backlash from fans? Is the win worth the risk?