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Does Disney’s Character Ariel Represent More than a Fish Tail?

Disney princesses are recognizable from anywhere, but does slightly changing their appearance make them less or more influential? With the release of Disney’s new live-action “Little Mermaid” movie, SAU students have been discussing this exact issue. Actress Halle Bailey, who is playing Ariel, has been under the microscope because she is black. Many people have a difference of opinion on whether or not her skin tone is an issue because it is not the same as the animated version of the movie.

SAU students have grown up with the movie and character, so how do they feel on this issue?

“I think it is great that Disney is adding more diverse characters into their movies,” says St. Ambrose student Heather Motley.

“If anything, it helps African American women and children feel represented more in the entertainment industry,” adds Hannah Drish.

Many students do not think it is a big deal that Ariel’s character is black in the new version of the movie.

St. Ambrose student Franki Mannuel says, “People probably have an issue because they do not like change and are so used to the original.”

Similarly, junior Erin Williams says, “ People need to realize that change is happening and remakes like this allow opportunities for inclusion.”

Some students had no idea there was a movie in the first place. “I didn’t even know there was a new “Little Mermaid” coming out!” exclaims sophomore Hayden Newton.

Most SAU students appear to have no issue with this new version of Ariel and some even say it’s a step in the right direction. Though some may see an issue with the skin tone of the character, most tend to view it as a great way to show inclusion and diversity in the Disney universe.

Bailey Tripilas is a staff writer for The Buzz.

(Picture Credit: Teen Vogue)