As much as audiences loved Halle Bailey performance, a lot was still left to be desired. The sight of a person of color depicted in a movie caused ripples at the internalized racism of many. Owing to this, it makes sense for Disney to cause tidal waves through announcing a live-action remake sequel featuring a plus sized protagonist.
The decision to make Disney’s first portly princess was inspired by the revelation that approximately 40% of African-Americans were clinically obese. Disney is determined to stay committed to uplifting marginalized communities.
One alleged Disney writer stated, “We want people to see themselves when they see these characters. When they hear Atlantis we want them to picture the warmth of Atlantic City. When little girls see Ariel, we want them to see their own stomachs protruding. Above all we want them to feel a sense of belonging… This is a sense of empathy only possible through the tender presence of a fat, independent, black woman.”
Speculation has run rampant over who may be cast. Some have debated whether we may see the rise of the career of a fat, crippled, transgender star. A new face may shatter the glass ceiling of Western hetero-normative notions of beauty and shatter our hearts unlike any other. Lizzo’s powerful presence may remain far more likely. Having served the role of the Duchess in a certain galaxy far far away; Lizzo might very well be a favoured choice for King Triton’s daughter Ariel. As a talented artist, Lizzo would unapologetically serve as the perfect body-positive vessel for a new story under the sea.
Regardless of the final decision, Black America will no doubt be left with a fuller cultural legacy thanks to this brave and progressive contribution to its rich tapestry of traditional tales. Little or not, the Disney is sure to fill the black void of our hearts longing for powerful, black characters. Audiences will look forward to the Big Mermaid.