Monday, May 26, 2014

The "Generic White Route"

A while ago I was googling "hidden things in Disney's Frozen" hoping to find out all the cool, secret things in the movie (like Rapunzel and Eugene showing up!). Of course most of what I found were posts on hidden racism in Disney movies.
I found a very interesting blog in which the writer expresses her angst against the use of light and dark.

"multiracial Asian Robert Lopez penned the song, it was voiced-over by Ashkenazi Jew Idina Menzel and rendered (for the credits) by Mexican-American pop star Demi Levato, but in the actual film? The tune is sung by the character “Elsa” who is drawn incredibly white. Not only that, but in the movie as the sequence progresses from her being depressed and constrained to enlightened and empowered, she magically morphs from wearing dark clothing (in the dark) to, as she becomes more “free,” wearing a bright-white-sky-blue snow royalty dress (at gleaming sunrise)"

Elsa is Norwegian. If you do a google image search of "Norwegian women" you'll find--oh, hey, look, white people! Firstly, let's give the Norwegians their due respects, shouldn't a Norwegian kingdom look like it has Norwegian people in it? I understand that there are more than white people in Norway, but why you gotta hate on Elsa? She can't help that she was born in Norway and has white (or pale) skin.
That would almost be like making Pocahontas white or black. Why would you do that? Native Americans are a pleasant brownish red. Norwegians, for the most part, are white, sometimes tan.
Just look at the list of monarchs from Norway. All of them are white (seriously, scroll down, there are paintings and pictures). So WHY would they say, "hey, we're doing a movie that takes place in a land based off of Norway. Let's make the Queen ethnically diverse to please the crowds even though Norwegian monarchs have been white throughout the ages."? How is that fair to Norway?
Then again, I guess Norway can speak for itself.

Then there's the lady's complaint abut the dark clothes and then the light clothes. Elsa is being set free. Usually when you're carrying around a secret or guilt you feel shadowed, dark, afraid. In the Christian realm sin is referred to as darkness. It has nothing to do with the color of your skin! When you're set free you feel light, happy, peaceful. Her clothing, the dark dress and such, reminds me of earth, flowers, the land she leaves behind. Then she changes into a whitish blue dress, snow, air, sky, the land she's in now. I don't know why this lady needs to make this a racial problem when it's really not.

Lastly, I just want to point out, her whole bag is about an Asian, a Jew and a Mexican making this music and then a "white" person presenting it.
Pocahontas' song "Just Around the Riverbend" is written by Alan Menken who is white. With lyrics by Stephen Schwartz also white. The song "Colors of the Wind" written and composed by the same, sung by Vanessa Williams who identifies herself as black.
The song Tiana sings, also written by a white guy. So why aren't these white guys being represented? They're writing the songs, shouldn't the songs be sung by white people?
No, they wrote songs for a Native American and an African American. And that's fine. Let it go was written for a Norwegian, white woman. And that's fine.

I do not support racism, I hate it. But the fact of the matter is, sometimes you can be so anti-racist that you are racist.
For instance, my title is taken from another article. I'm sorry if I'm being sensitive, but being called generic is kind of low. I'm not horribly offended but, seriously, think about what you're saying. I'm a human. Am I generic? What if other races were called generic? Wouldn't that be considered racist? Isn't "generic white route" in and of itself racist?
It's great because the comment on the top makes a very lovely point, "I don't know why people are complaining, Rapunzel was the first white princess since Belle in 1991 (23 years). Since her, we had: Pocahontas, Mulan, and Tiana. Before Belle, we had Jasmine and after Anna and Elsa, we have Moana."

I don't like the fact that if I imagine up a fictional family in my head I might be called racist because they're all white. But the fact of the matter is; I AM white! I grew up around my white family, around white people, I'm white and that's what's in my mind, that's what pops in my head because that's what I've been around, that's what I see in the mirror every day. I had one African American friend growing up and that was about all the "exposure" I had. So having people who are also white make films about white people, you have to understand that's where it comes from. Look at Tyler Perry, most of his films have loads of African Americans, no one freaks out about that. It's just what's in his head, what comes to mind. It's what he sees in the mirror. There's nothing wrong with that. Just as French people make French movies and Asian films have a lot of Asians in them. 
Yes, I am aware that racism still exists, but please stop making it exist where it doesn't. And, honestly, I don't think it exists in the movie Frozen.