The 'Little Mermaid' actor is being celebrated for giving young Black and brown girls the representation they deserve.
The new "Little Mermaid" trailer was released in September this year. The trailer triggered many emotional responses among young Black girls as for the first time ever, they got to see themselves represented as one of the all-time classic Disney princesses. The motion film features singer Halle Bailey portraying the role of Ariel and the impact she has already made through this movie is impeccable. People have been sending her heartwarming messages expressing gratitude and videos of young girls of color reacting to her playing the Little Mermaid.
These reactions clearly emphasize that representation matters as seeing someone who looks like you on TV can set up a foundation for lifelong confidence. Recently, she got another beautiful surprise while on a Delta flight, reports CBS News. The 22-year-old received a message from the pilot of the aircraft that completely warmed her heart. Bailey tweeted the photo of the letter which reads: "Miss Bailey, it is an honor to have you on board today. Thank you for being an inspiration to little brown girls all over the world, like we were a few years ago."
This beautiful message was signed, "Jess O, your young Latina female Delta pilot." Sharing the picture on the social media platform, Bailey wrote: "this amazing pilot on the plane gave me this beautiful note today." The airline replied to her post by writing: "You're giving so many little girls wings. Thank you for letting us be part of your world," referring to the song first performed by Jodi Benson as the original Ariel.
this amazing pilot on the plane gave me this beautiful note today 😢♥️ pic.twitter.com/uE1P3oynQP— Halle (@HalleBailey) November 7, 2022
As we reported earlier, as soon as the trailer of the movie was released, parents from across the world started sharing their children's reactions. The father of a little girl named Rylie Fleming told TODAY Parents, "My wife and I both had tears in our eyes. There's no question our kids were looking at the TV and thinking, 'She looks like me.' Seeing diversity in Disney movies is so important. Representation matters — just look at my daughters' faces."
Adelia Chaiyakul was another parent who rushed to social media to express how important this landmark in the battle for representation is to Black youth. She admitted to becoming choked up when witnessing her 9-year-old daughter, Ava, recognize Bailey as Ariel for the first time. She said, "I was looking through her eyes as a younger me. To see Ava seeing herself in Ariel, was emotional."
Halle Bailey is Ariel.— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) October 13, 2022
Disney’s The Little Mermaid, in theaters May 26, 2023 pic.twitter.com/4bkLQjItep
Dariyan Bell revealed that her 3-year-old daughter Zavae was captivated by Bailey's singing. She said, "We were playing and she just stopped what she was doing. That's when I grabbed my phone and started taping. I never imagined it would have that much impact on a 3-year-old—but it did." She further added, "Now, I love all the princesses, but in my head, Pocahontas was the one I could identify with. My daughter can truly see herself in Ariel."
The movie will be released on May 26, 2023, and will mark a new era of Disney princesses being more relatable and inclusive.