Representation in the Media

The other day my sister sent me a screenshot of a blog that was titled “The First Live-Action Cinderella Trailer”. I was really taken back by it because I knew there was already a live action Cinderella movie. I know this because it was one of my favorite ever-princess movies.

The 1997 Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella is beautifully different then any other Disney film. Cinderella was played by a black singer/actress named Brandy Norwood and also starred Whitney Houston and Whoopi Goldberg.

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Cinderella had not only black representation, but also Asian. Yes, the prince was Asian with a black mother(Goldberg) and a white father. I thought that was weird as a child, but because they showed us this was acceptable then it became my all time favorite Cinderella movie. So, already upset, I went on Facebook and watched the new Cinderella trailer. Yeah I’m sure it will be good and it will make a lot of money, but I was disappointed in the lack of color in the movie.

Before the people say, well think of the time period its like the Victorian Era, my problem is the lack of color in Hollywood movies all together. People flip out when books get turned into movies and their once favorite character is casted with an actor or actress who is a minority. (Rue in The Hunger Games) The argument is about the thought of a person of color being a lead in a popular series or big budgeted movie (besides Denzel Washington) is unnecessary for the industry to make.

Some people might not see why having all different types of representation in movies and TV shows is important. I never really noticed the lack of diversity there was in Hollywood, until I finally was able to see a main character that looks like me. Usually, if there is a black person in a movie, they are most likely casted as a secondary character with no real plot to their character.

A little while ago, I saw this picture of a little boy looking so excited and hugging his Halloween costume in the middle of the store. The caption said that the boy was looking for a costume and immediately got so happy because it was a Falcon costume from Captain America. (If you don’t know, Falcon is one of the only black superheroes on a big budget Hollywood film) The little boy said, “Look mom I can be a superhero, he is black just like me.”

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This broke my heart to think any kid could believe they cannot be something because of their skin color. When there is no representation in the media of people like you, some minorities start to think their culture, skin color, religion, language or race is not valuable or important.

For me personally, I do not feel this way because I have had the pleasure of enjoying 90’s and early 2000’s television like: The Fresh Prince of Bell-Air, Sister Sister, Moesha, That’s So Raven and so many more. Having a glimpse of myself on TV really helped me appreciate my skin color and myself without feeling ashamed or less than anyone else. With representation, we can acknowledge everyone and show this new generation of kids they can be anything they set their minds to.

This is so important and I am so glad one of my favorite movies as a child “Annie” is getting remade and portrayed by a young black actress Quvenzhane Wallis. So make sure you support the movie and others like it that represent the minorities in this country and around the world.

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