Everyone was looking forward to Disney’s first Latina princess, Sofia, who will make her TV debut Nov. 18. And now there’s criticism surrounding the accurate portrayal of her ethnicity?
This is rich.
All of us in the Latino community have been asking brands to STOP stereotyping us – we don’t all eat beans, we don’t all play the guitar, trust me we are not all good gardeners and our skin comes in all shades.
Would the reaction be different if Sofia were dark skin with brown eyes and also rolled her “Rs”?
That would have mobilized a protest of epic proportions!
With 5 generation of Mexicans behind me, I am 5’9” have light brown hair and green eyes, my father and both my grandmothers are pale and blue eyed. My mother, and in fact, most of my aunts and cousins looks just like Sofia.
Upon arriving in the U.S. in the late 80s– no one would automatically identify me as Mexican. And whenever I discussed my background people would always say: “Well but your parents must be European or American?”.
“No” – I would find myself saying how many millions of Latinos are not dark skinned.
Personally, I think Disney got it just right. I am excited to have little Latina girls identify themselves with Sofia and be enchanted by the magical beauty of the stories that we’ve all enjoyed for decades. I don’t know how her culture will come through in the story but I am excited to follow along and find out.
So lets remember that neither complexion nor physical attributes truly define us. Or anyone.
Instead, it is the richness of our culture, our love of family, the profound respect for our elders, the loud support for the dignity of our immigrant brothers and an unapologetic passion for life that defines us.
Monica Vila is “Chief Technology Mom,” born and raised in Mexico and co-founder of The Online Mom, the market leader in providing online and off-line tools to make parents of kids K-12 smarter and more comfortable with the technology that touches their family. The Online Mom is a website, an online newsletter, a forum for discussion, a network of certified experts and a social community devoted to promoting a healthy understanding and appreciation for the positive role technology can play in a family’s life.