Her favorite Disney Princess is not Cinderella, Belle or Elsa (though she does love them, too).
Samarah has had the 5-Minute Princess Stories book for quite some time now. Not too long ago, we started reading it to her each night before bed. The first night we read the first story, and then we were going to go in order, reading story by story.
Until one night, she pointed to the upper left-hand corner and said, “I want that one.” Ryan read it to her, and then told me about it. We brushed it off. Samarah knows what she wants – always – so we figured she just wanted to choose the story of the night.
The next night she repeated the process, wanting that same story read. He asked her why, and she smiled saying, “I don’t know. I like that story.”
The next few times I read her the book, and each time we picked it up, she pointed to the same princess (for those who don’t know, it’s Princess Tiana).
And then one night about two weeks ago, I decided I was going to press her on it so I could understand why she loved Princess Tiana so much.
Her Favorite Disney Princess
“Samarah, what story would you like to read tonight,” I asked.
“That one, mama,” she replied as she pointed to Princess Tiana.
“But why, Samarah? There are so many Princesses in the book. Do you think we could read a different one tonight?” I asked.
“No, mama. I just love her.”
“What do you love about her, Samarah? Can you tell me?”
She got quiet. She pulled back some. Her shoulders shrugged upwards, and her entire demeanor got quiet, shy, and even a little giggly simultaneously.
So I asked, “Do you think she is pretty?”
“Yes, mama. I love her. And her skin is like mine, and her dress is green and that’s your favorite color.”
“Sam…..is that what it is? Do you love her because she also has beautiful skin like our Princess Samarah?”
“Yes, mama. Yes, I just love her. She is beautiful.”
We continued on, and I kept telling her that Princess Tiana is beautiful – that all the Princesses are beautiful – and that she never had to feel afraid for thinking her skin, like Princess Tiana’s skin, is beautiful.
She said that I looked like Belle and that we could both be Princesses. Oh my heart, my sweet Samarah.
I See Skin Color
Samarah and I had a Color Conversation back in August, and I feel like four is when children really start to see it.
In so many ways, I feel guilty for past ideas that “I don’t see their color, only that I love them.” My intentions were never rooted in anything but love (as I described in that post), but Samarah is helping me see that yes, yes, yes, yes I do see color. She sees color. We all see color and acknowledging it is so important.
I still believe (because it’s fact), and will always tell my children, that when we bleed it’s all red, but to tell them or act like I only see “one” color is to show them that that color is, almost certainly, White. If I looked at the cover of Samarah’s Princess book and said, “Nope. I don’t see color. They are all the same,” that would be like me telling her, “There are five beautiful Princesses. One is Black, but she just sort of meshes with the White ones and so all I see are five beautiful White Princesses.”
I never want my children to feel blush embarrassed (how Samarah first reacted) by their love for a Prince or Princess or whoever else because they can identify.
I do see the color of Samarah, Isaiah, and Amiya (and even their coloring is different from child-to-child), and I think they are the most beautiful babies I ever laid eyes on.
Her favorite Disney Princess (at least currently) is the one she most identifies with……the one with beautiful, dark skin like hers and a green dress (because green is mama’s favorite color).
p.s. This whole thing has me really thinking about the way we have been programmed (since birth) to think of beauty. I don’t believe classics like Annie should be replaced with a different colored Annie (just let the beautiful little redhead keep her spotlighted fame!). Instead, I wish that new movies for children would be as abundant with different colored children as they are with the White, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Princess. A different topic for a different day.
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