So I went to Target today to look for a space heater (too early in season, boo)
and decided to check out the Disney section because hey, it’s my blog, and I needed a few things for a future giveaway.
I guess it’s not shocking considering all the posts that I’ve reblogged about a lack of PoC representation in stores but the extent in this store (located in NY state) was astounding.
No PoC. Not even on packaging. There was one exception I noted there (the Tiana doll that’s part of a larger set), and another while looking in the photos (I didn’t really look through the mini stuff that’s out of the way on the racks but you can at least see Tiana on packaging of one item). That’s IT.
Out of four princesses of color, the ONLY one that appears on packaging or as actually merchandise is Tiana.
And don’t give me some BS about favorites because if Mulan and Sleeping Beauty had to face off for popularity/favoritism, Mulan would definitely win. Also note that the 2nd photo is mostly “classic” princesses, not the 2 newest movies that will naturally get more shelf space.
So, shocking? No. But really sad. There were two larger sets that featured multiple princesses and as you can see in the third photo, for one castle not a single princess of color is featured. Just white princesses, as if they’re more “real” and “princessy” than the PoC.
Sad also because this region is only about 50% white demographically yet all these kids only get to see/have the choice of white princesses. Also, idk if it’s obvious from the way I shot it, but this was an entire half side of an aisle.
Target, you could do better.
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Food for thought:
-this post is extensive and about the history of black dolls in America. Pretty interesting. They do reference the infamous racial doll experiment if you were reminded of that
-post about representation/dolls/Barbies on Jezebel
A few months back I was also at Target, in this very aisle trying to figure out what they did to Merida’s face on one particular packaging sample, when two Black women began pushing their cart down the aisle. After a moment’s pause, wherein they took in the merchandizing, one of them says, “This is the white girl aisle! Where are the dolls for Black girls?”
The two women laughed between each other, but the message was clear. Other than a measly single appearance of Tiana, the merchandizing featured only the white Disney princesses. Two women came ready to spend their money, and the store didn’t offer them anything because they were not white. While this sort of practice is hardly new information to me, it was painful to watch the effect of it in action; I can only imagine what it was like for them to experience it directly, and to have reached a point where all they could do was laugh about it in practice.