When the new The Little Mermaid movie was announced, there was a lot of discourse about Ariel being played by a black woman. Many redheads expressed that they felt they were loosing representation now that Ariel was black. While we love Ariel and proudly claim her as our redhead princess, we don’t agree with this notion, and we aren’t the only ones.
First and foremost, Halle Bailey does rock red hair in the movie. It may not be a natural shade like we’re use to, but the red is still there. Also, a user on Twitter who uses the handle @novatjerneld shared a graphic that shows 36 animated redhead characters. These characters range from Blossom of The Powerpuff Girls to Fiona from Shrek and of course, the original Ariel. The caption was very powerful and very true: “Ariel was the only representation for redhead girls before Merida.”
Meaning, we have a lot of representation — more than many of us realize.
"ariel was the only representation for redhead girls before merida" pic.twitter.com/1VwlVTfQ03
— ✨ nova ✨ (@novatjerneld) June 1, 2023
Ariel might have a new look in the new 2023 adaptation, but it doesn’t mean the old Ariel is going anywhere. All this means is even more redhead representation is out there in the world for everyone to enjoy. These 36 redhead characters are far more than the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community has had over the years, and we’re happy to share Ariel with the world.
Rock it like a Redhead!