Sofia the First-Once Upon a Princess : Make Room for Princess Sofia #Disney

by Maria on October 22, 2012

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Poor Sofia, she yet to make her debut next month and already she’s getting backlash from the media and the Latina community. But why? What did this little Disney Princess do?

Being front and center as the 1st Latina Disney Princess is no easy feat. On one side, the Latina community is happy that their little princess can identify with another Latina in the “Princess Community”. Disney clearly has come a long way. By having Princess Sofia join the ranks of Disney Princess it illustrates that every child can be a princess no matter what you look like or where you come from.

But why the backlash? The question is: Is Sofia Latina Enough? Why is she so light-skinned and have light eyes? Can she speak Spanish? Will her Latina heritage come out in the made for television movie? Wait a second….can we give Princess Sofia some space?!!? She just made her debut to the Royal Ball and we’re already drilling the Wee Princess with so many questions.

I understand identity & representation is at stake. I want my daughter to have pride knowing that her culture was best represented by Disney but asking those same questions to an actual Latina IS insulting! Who are we to judge is Sofia is Latina enough? What is the right amount of color in a little girl of Latina heritage? Would you speak to our own children in that sense?

My own daughter may seem “more” Latina if she is standing next to me. But if she is on her own, some may not realize she is Hispanic. Since we are a multicultural family, her first & last name is NOT a typical Latina name. Her name is very Anglo and you know, that is okay! Being “Latina Enough” doesn’t define who my daughter is.

I showed her the YouTube video and she was super excited. In fact, we watched the “Sofia the First-Once Upon a Princess”YouTube preview together. We talked about culture and the perception of being Latina but more important, we spoke about identity and how my own daughter saw herself in the Latina community. She said “Mom, is doesn’t matter to me how people see me. I am what I am. I’m Latina, but I don’t have to hold a sign in front me pointing that out. I like Princess Sofia so far and I feel for her, since people don’t think she’s Latina enough!”

I’m proud that we have our first Latina Disney Princess. Princess Sofia, you are 100% Latina enough for me! Will you speak Spanish as you get older? Maybe or maybe not.

To see Princess Sofia watch the Disney Channel Sunday, November 18th at 6p.m central.

Embrace the differences and relish the advance we all make in this multicultural world.

New Update:
“Princess Sofia is a mixed-heritage princess in a fairy-tale world,” explained Gerber. “Her mother is originally from an enchanted kingdom inspired by Spain (Galdiz) and her birth father hailed from an enchanted kingdom inspired by Scandinavia. Sofia was born and raised in Enchancia, which is a make-believe ‘melting pot’ kingdom patterned on the British Isles. Sofia considers herself a normal Enchancian girl like any other. Her mixed heritage and blended family are a reflection of what many children today experience.”

Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/lifestyle/2012/10/22/disney-responds-to-latina-princess-sofia-outrage/#ixzz2A3WJCqEo

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Angel Beers October 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm

I wonder if my children are Japanese enough. Seriously though….why not just be happy that someone your daughter can identify with is being represented? I love that my daughters can identify with Mulan. They have the same eyes. Finally a princess that has almond shaped eyes like them.

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Tina @ My Highest Self October 22, 2012 at 7:03 pm

I love what you are teaching your daughter about identity! We have been excited about the debut of this show for a while (my daughter is 4). I didn’t realize there was any backlash and hope that all families will be as open minded as you about Sophia. From what I see, I think we will enjoy it here at our house!

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Shan @ Last Shreds Of Sanity October 22, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Many Latinas are light skinned. Latina does not just mean they came from Mexico. My husband is Hispanic, but of part European & Mexican descent. His dad’s family came from Spain and Portugal, his mother’s from Michoacan, Mexico. I am an Irish, white girl. Our daughter is very light skinned with brown eyes and freckles.

Many of my husband’s relatives (on his dad’s side) are light skinned, blond or light haired and have light eyes. My husband is also very light skinned. But does that make him or our daughter any less Hispanic? I don’t think so. My daughter is half Hispanic & half Irish. She’s gorgeous.

I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Spanish and Portuguese people are light skinned, many with blonde hair and light eyes. That’s NORMAL. Mexican and South/Central American people are generally darker skinned. As long as the newest princess doesn’t have that giant head and freaky haircut like Dora, I’m good with it.

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dailycurlz October 22, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I love Princess Sophia and me (specially ) as a Latina 100% in CA that does no look “Latina” enough I get What you are saying, A get the why do you speak spanish if you are so dark? question all the time, So believe me I do get your point….But If we finally gonna have a Latina Princess, Why not make her look more Latina at least with a name, why not Princess Sofia or princesa Sofia? or a big movie for he as the other princesses? My and my princesa will enjoy this movie no matter where Sophia’s heritage back ground, but she does not look or sound Latina to me

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Kelly Mullaney October 22, 2012 at 7:35 pm

It is great you are teaching your daughter about her identity and cultural roots. Brava!
I think the issue with princess Sofia is not how she looks, but that them saying she was Latina seemed more as an afterthought.
I really like the fact that they are using storylines closer to the real concept of multicultural families, but I think a first “official Latina princess” deserves to have her own story that reflects her Latino culture/background with the same promotion and full support of the Disney machine behind it that they have done with the other mainstream princesses.
And how can Sofia join the ranks of the other Disney princesses when her story will only be released directly for TV or DVD? She will never be seen in the same league. What about having a real film like the other princesses?
If Disney really want to cater the Hispanic market then have them make the same effort as with the others princesses.

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Cara October 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm

We are already in love with Sophia in our house. I think she will be a great addition to the Disney Jr. line up and I can’t wait until November 18.

I think she can join the ranks of all of the other princesses. Look at the popularity of the Fairies that never had a big screen movie. High School Musical is hugely popular and it was only a movie on the Disney Channel. Look at Disney Hollywood Studios and how they have a Disney Jr character meals, meet and greets and a stage show. Also other Disney TV characters throughout the land / world without a big movie. I don’t think just because Sophia doesn’t have a big movie, doesn’t mean she won’t become as popular as the other princesses. Disney knows how to market to make her hugely popular and it seems they are banking on her to be popular especially among the preschool crowd.

I think it’s great that they are showing a little girl that is multicultural and from a blended family.

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Emily Ploch October 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Funny how people get upset about stereotypes, but when someone isn’t portrayed as a “stereotypical” person of a certain race, they get all upset that they aren’t being represented.

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Sarah Muennix October 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I think my daughter will enjoy this show because it is a fun Disney cartoon!

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