Examples Of Stereotypes In The Princess And The Frog

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As one of the most influential entertainment producers, Disney dominates the global market for ages attracting the countless audience around the world. However, Disney’s most famous “‘princess’ fairy tale stories” (Barker, 2010, p. 492) are criticized for racism and sexism. In 2007, Disney confirmed production of the film, The Princess and the Frog, featuring the first African-American Disney princess, Tiana. For Disney this film was the response to the accusation of racism and sexism represented in its animation. Also, it was filled with African American parents’ anticipation and excitement who longed for a non-stereotypical black woman on the screen (Breaux, 2010, p. 399). The movie is about a waitress, Tiana who strives to open her own restaurant …show more content…

In the early announcement about the film in 2007, it evoked resistance from African Americans, since the initial name of the princess was “Maddy” — a word that has “homonymous connections” with “Mammy” (Lester 2010, p.299). “Mammy” is the historical stereotype of black women that was widely accepted in early decades of American animation. “Mammy” is often depicted as a fat woman who can only do domestic work for white people. Specifically, the most well-known image of “Mammy” is Mammy-Two-Shoes in MGM’s Tom and Jerry. She appeared as Tom’s owner who wore a white or blue apron, thick tights and house slippers (Parasecoli, 2010, p. 458). As a result, “Maddy” changed into Tiana under the pressure. As the first African American princess, Tiana is young, slim and physically attractive; different from the stereotypical image. Moreover, she is motivated to own a restaurant and achieve her dream. This is a representation for the new woman in 1920s who is independent and eager to manage her own business. However this historically applies to “white and middle-class” women or upper-class black women (Parasecoli, 2010, p. 458). It is rare for a working-class black woman to establish her own business, since the social situation is harsh at times. Tiana is the hybridization of different classes, since her ambition does not fit to her class. Also, the choice of occupation for Tiana is limited to cook, waitress, and domestics in the 1920s (Jacqueline, 1985). At the beginning of the movie, it clearly reveals Tiana’s occupation — a waitress who has two shifts a day with few tips in her apron. This scene reflects the historical circumstance of working-black women to a certain extent. Historically, most working-class black women could only do the low-paid jobs, since skilled industrial work is dominated by the white working-class (Jacqueline, 1985). They have to keep working to make

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