By: Krystle Crossman
Race bending is something that not many people know of but is something that happens often in the virtual world. For example, the movie The Last Airbender. The characters were supposed to be black and Asian but instead M.Night Shyamalan cast all white actors instead and made all of the minorities the villains in the movie. A Brazilian “Frozen” fan created some racebending fan-art where he created pictures of Elsa and Anna as young black women. Some fans went wild for the new depictions while other avid Disney fans were not as thrilled and made sure that people knew it.
The popular site Buzzfeed showed off the artwork and called it stunning, which is absolutely is. The artist gave the African-American Elsa very ethnic features. Her hair was beautiful and curly. Her features were dark and exotic. One of the biggest problems that people seem to be having with this rendition of the Frozen princess is that the story is about Scandinavian roots and a Black Elsa does not fit with the story line. If it is an artist’s rendition should it matter?
The artist named Julia is not in any way stating that Disney needs to remake these movies with Black girls as the leads in all of them instead of white girls. She is simply interpreting the characters into something she would like to see and bringing a very under-represented race to light in the animated films. To date there has only been one Black Disney princess in the movie The Princess and the Frog. Even the movies Tarzan and The Lion King which were set in Africa did not have any black characters in them.
Disney is not the only movie company that is guilty of under-representing other races. Little girls grow up looking for actresses and successful people who look like them. This gives them a sense of representation and gives them hope for their own future. It is harder for people who are not a minority to understand because they are very represented in movies and on television. Their children grow up with a sense of place in the world without having to search too much for it.