“The Little Mermaid” trailer brings a wave of opinions

Atlas Clark, Opinions Editor

Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” is a classic film that is loved by many, so when the trailer for the live-action version gained over 100 million views, you’d think there would be a lot of positive buzz surrounding it. However, the most talked about feature of the trailer wasn’t the special effects, music, or costuming. It was, unfairly, the actress chosen to portray Ariel, Halle Bailey.

You’d think the choice of making Ariel a woman of color in the new live-action would bring a sea of positive feedback, as minority representation is normally seen as a good thing, but viewers felt mixed emotions regarding this casting direction. People were outraged that Ariel, a fictitious fish princess, wasn’t portrayed as white. This brought up a whole debate on why representation in modern media is so important, especially for young children. 

Some people, like senior Faith Upshur, are beyond excited about the new portrayal, “I love it because I rarely see anyone that looks like me, and now Ariel does,” said Upshur.

Not just this one movie, but all movies deserve to have minority representation, be it people of color, LGBTQ+ characters, disabled, plus size, you name it. Everybody deserves to see someone like them on the big screen. With most Disney princesses being thin, white, and rich, it makes it hard for young people to relate, to or see themselves in a character such as Cinderella.

Senior Eve Ysidron thinks it should be pushed even further. “I think we need even more representation. Ariel and any other character can be anything, not just white,” said Ysidron

Growing up and hardly ever seeing a character that you look like and relate to is extremely difficult. As a kid, I never saw plus-sized characters portrayed in a positive light, they were always the villains. It makes you feel left out, in a way, which can be extremely discouraging, especially for younger audiences.

Some never even had to face the problem of not seeing a character that looked like them in movies and television, but that doesn’t mean everyone that hasn’t dealt with this problem is against it. Senior Evan Arnold said, “Growing up white, I never even noticed, because all the princesses looked like me.”

Media representation is a huge deal, especially for those who don’t fit into the majority. It’s very important to normalize and diversify modern media. Representing minority groups has never harmed anybody. The most it can do is help younger audiences understand that everyone deserves to be represented on screen.