Halle Bailey revealed the important representation as she is set to star in Disney’s The Little Mermaid She recently spoke out about the authenticity of Ariel having locs.
“There was a time when we’d barely see locs—and now we have a Disney princess with them, which has never happened before,” she told Ebony. “It was super important for me to have my natural hair in this film. I was really grateful to [director] Rob Marshall, because he wanted to keep my locs. It’s always important to have somebody to cosign.”
Bailey added that it mirrored her own experience, “I’ve had my locs since I was 5, so they’re a huge part of who I am,” she said. “We need to be able to see ourselves, we need to be able to see our hair on big screens like this, so that we know that it’s beautiful and more than acceptable.”
She was asked by the publication if that if this type of representation she wished she saw as a child.
“But what I love about today [is that it’s normalized],” she said. “Somebody told me the other day, ‘[This generation of kids are] not even going to know the first version [of The Little Mermaid]. Their version of Ariel is you.’”
Bailey added that Brandy’s portrayal of Cinderella in 1997 helped with her role as Ariel.
“I remember [Brandy’s Cinderella] was one of the first [films] I saw with a Black princess,” she said. “It was so monumental. It changes your whole perspective as a young Black woman, how you feel about yourself, what you think you can do, and the possibilities the world has to offer. She’s the blueprint for all of the Black princesses to come.”
Take a look at the latest trailer below:
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