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Why We Are Living For Halle Bailey As Ariel

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at San Francisco chapter.


Recently Halle Bailey posted a teaser on her Instagram page announcing to the world the live-action version of The Little Mermaid, in which she stars as Ariel. This teaser sent the internet into a frenzy by showcasing the mermaid’s signature purple top, green tail, and GORGEOUS red locs. Disney has only had one black princess in its entirety, Princess Tiana from Princess and the Frog, voiced by Anika Noni Rose. Halle Bailey is the first black woman to portray a Disney princess on the big screen in a live-action format.

With the release of this teaser, there’s been a massive discussion about the importance of representation specifically for black and brown youth. There are several videos on TikTok of children reacting to the teaser, many commenting on Bailey’s natural hair and how they finally get to see a Disney Princess that looks like them. 

These reactions show how valuable it is for everybody to see themselves represented in film and television. Seeing these influential characters played by actors of color reinstate the idea that nobody is limited to what they can do. Being a person of color does not inherently inhibit you from getting what you want and deserve from life. Being black or brown should be motivation to reach goals that haven’t been achieved before, to help and inspire those who come after us. 

The film is set to release on May 26, 2023. Halle Bailey will be co starring with Melissa Mcarthy, Daveed Diggs, Awkwafina, Simone Ashley, Jacob Tremblay, and Jonah Hauerking. The musical film was composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who has a vast background in writing outstanding musicals such as In The Heights, Hamilton, and Encanto. 

We still have a while until The Little Mermaid hits theaters, but we are certain it’ll be worth the wait. 

See you soon… Under the Sea (cue music)

Starr Washington is a member of the Her Campus National Writer Program, contributing to the lifestyle vertical. She also serves as the President of the Her Campus Chapter at her university. Currently a senior at San Francisco State University, Starr is pursuing a degree in Broadcast Electronic Communication Arts (BECA) with a minor in Africana Studies. Following her undergraduate studies, she plans to pursue an MFA in creative writing. Starr is dedicated to showcasing her blackness in her professional work and is always rooting for black creatives, particularly in film, literature, and travel. In addition to her writing, Starr works at her university’s multicultural center, where she organizes annual events for both the campus and the Bay Area community. She was a speaker at the San Francisco State University Black Studies Origins and Legacy Commemoration, where she had the honor of sitting alongside the founders of the country's first Black Student Union. Starr teaches a course she developed called “Intro to Black Love” within SFSU’s experimental college program. In her rare free time, Starr enjoys chipping away at her TBR list (she finishes one book, then adds three more to the list), writing poetry and fiction, and spending time with her music enthusiast partner and their three-year-old German Shepherd. She is a Scorpio from Michigan.