Products For Little Black Princesses

Disney Group-067

From the minute Disney announced the first African American princess movie, The Princess and the Frog, the buzz has been building. And so has the concern.

Disney’s history of racial sensitivity in their cartoons caused eyebrows to be raised early on, and understandably so — having waited this long to produce a film starring an African American princess, the pressure was on Disney to come correct. Every little detail of this particular princess will be analyzed, criticized, and committed to history. The film will open for an advance special engagement in New York and Los Angeles from November 25 to December 13 (click here for those special tickets), and will open nationwide December 11. I’m going to reserve judgment until I’ve seen the film itself. But in the meantime, allow me to unabashedly gush about what Disney’s already done right.

For super special The Princess and The Frog merchandise, Disney’s teamed with one of my favorite brands, Carol’s Daughter for a truly magical beauty collection.

Click here to sign up to be first to know about the Fall 2009 release of the Carol’s Daughter collection, starring Princess Tiana.

I was lucky enough to catch up with Carol’s Daughter creator Lisa Price, to get her feelings about this awesomeness. It was so inspiring to hear how this came about, and how this little company that could has managed to become part of Disney history. And to find out straight from Lisa herself, that her mother’s parents were from Trinidad? This Trini bella felt very proud all around.

How crazy has it been for Lisa? To go from making beauty products in her kitchen, to the shelves at Sephora, and now to doing official products for Disney’s first African American princess?

“Well, it was a big deal to hear that there was going to be an African American princess, period. And then to hear we were in the running to create products to go with the film, it’s like almost more than you want to think about. Like, seriously? Then there was so much work to do, you’re just focused on the work. Coming up with the fragrances and the design and making sure everything’s perfect…it wasn’t until I saw the labels on a board here at the office that it hit me – Disney and Carol’s Daughter. It would have brought tears to my eyes just to see an African American Disney princess, but then to be part of this, it’s been amazing.”

Lisa was particularly enthusastic about the opportunity, because Disney had been a part of her life as a child. She knew and understood the significance of Princess Tiana, to future generations of little black girls.

“Being someone who grew up with Disney movies, who loved Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, I loved the stories and the animation, but I didn’t know how to identify with them. I remember asking Santa to bring me long blonde hair like Cinderella’s. It wasn’t that I didn’t like myself, but I believed that that was what beauty was. That’s what a princess looked like. So its nice to know that little girls don’t have to feel that way if thy don’t look that way,” she said. And Lisa took the time to set me straight on an assumption I’d made from seeing the early sketches — “Tiana’s hair is actually textured – it s not straight. They have to be careful as well, with that particular depiction.”

Disney Hair Detangler-024

Appropriately, the Carol’s Daughter products for The Princess and The Frog are beauty staples Princess Tiana would most likely use. “The Beauty Within” shampoo includes aloe leaf juice, “Inner Shine” conditioner uses sunflower seed, olive, and sweet almond oils. The “Dream Big” hair detangler is my favorite in terms of ingredients — glycerine, aloe, and castor oil would give my hair supreme slickability, and the “sharing means caring” bubble bath promised a delicious water lily-scented afternoon of decadence. But I struggled. Do I use this stuff, or do I keep the bottles in tact? The packaging is so adorable!

“I have the first ones in my office, and I love them,” says Lisa. She went on to explain how this princess movie will be different in more ways than one. “Disney teaches such wonderful lessons to children, and the story of Tianna is actually an inspiration. It’s about working hard. We see her putting work behind her dreams and passions to bring them to life, not just waiting for fortune to come her way. She’s empowered & takes charge of her destiny. I am very very proud and honored to be a part of this film,” she added.

The Princess and the Frog caps off a historic year in many ways — 2009 has been a banner year for black hair in the media. Michelle Obama’s every change in style makes headlines. Then we’ve got Chris Rock’s Good Hair also about to hit theaters, and Tyra Banks hosting Real Hair Day (which is apparently becoming a feel-my-scalp tour experience, as seen on Larry King the other night). Lisa agrees with me, black hair is having a big moment and this could be attributed to the Obama factor. “I think it has a lot to do with Michelle Obama – the media is always obsessed with first ladies, and it raises interesting questions & issues we haven’t seen before in the mainstream. Have you seen Good Hair yet? It’s awesome,” she added.

I shared my struggle with Lisa — to open or not to open? She didn’t make my decision any easier. “Well, its a beautiful bottle you want to keep and save because it’s a collectors item…but then when you get past that it’s a product that performs. We tested them not just on kids, but on adults, and these are pediatrician tested products that don’t include harsh detergents. We used a water lily accord fragrance, not too overpowering. So if mom wants to feel like a princess along with her daughter, she’ll like these products as well.”

I agree. I broke down and tried the bubble bath and the hair detangler. Both are winners!

The Princess and The Frog products will be available online Oct 1 — click here to sign up for the first updates about the items available for sale — there are four individual products, and a three-item gift set costs $24. Already I hear 10,000 people have signed up for info!

But this weekend only, I’m SO psyched to be able to offer Afrobella readers a special special SPECIAL giveaway! Carol’s Daughter is kindly offering to send THREE Magical Collection Gift Sets to Afrobella readers — open only to people in the continental USA.

All you have to do is tell me — what are your hopes for The Princess and The Frog? Do you plan to see this movie, December 11?

Because I know this giveaway will be greeted eagerly, I’m closing comments on Monday, by noon.

Good luck, bellas! Have a fabulous weekend!

** edited Monday September 28 at 12:41 CST — 49 comments! Alrighty bellas, I’m closing these now and will choose winners during the week. Thanks for entering, and good luck to all of you!

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Comments

  1. I am thrilled that Disney has finally decided to have a black princess. I hope The Princess and The Frog lives up to its expectations. I probably won’t be seeing it on December 11, however, since my ten year old tomboy daughter has no interest in seeing it, and my 15 month old daughter is too small. smalltownbeatnik at gmail

  2. Im taking my boys( age5) to see it! Because I want to see! lol!! This is great move for Disney.

    ruralglamour at yahoo dot com

  3. When I grow up I wanna be just like Lisa Price!!

  4. hey it was great meeting you at the Lancome event last week. Hugs, De

  5. Well I love the fact that Disney is having their first African American Princess!! This will be their 2nd princess of color ( 1st jasmine). Im really excited that this is actually happening and that my daughter will be able to see this. She loves all the disney princesses even tho she is taller than me and only 10.. But seriously i am so so excited. I truly hope the movie has a great story line and I hope that it has a true lesson that children of all ages can grasp..not just children of color but all children.. And as a child who grew up on disney myself.. loved being all the princesses(I was mostly Belle!!!) I am finally glad to see someone who looks like me, my mom, and my daughter on the screen. Disney made the 1st step when they created Jasmine…Now I think disney has made another great step in the right direction in letting the world know that all little girls can be princesses regardless of what they look like. Cant wait for the movie…I will probably be the first one in line..yes I have all of my disney movies and its a shame but my daughter cant touch them..lol..i have to put the in the player and take them out…

  6. this is so exciting! i’ve always loved the princess stories and to have a character such as Princess Tiana is waaay overdue! congratulations to Carol’s Daughter for all of their success and being able to take part in such a huge event! ;)

  7. I am excited to see what will come of The Princess and the Frog. I have been complaining since I was a child that the closest Disney got to representing black people was The Lion King, so to see this coming to fruition is refreshing. The fact that it is set in New Orleans is interesting as well. I think amid the controversy and skepticism (which, I must admit, I contributed to), The Princess and the Frog will be yet another Disney classic!

  8. I am so excited about the upcoming The Princess and The Frog movie! I will be at the theater opening weekend to support Disney’s first black royalty with one of the teen girls that I mentor. My prayer is that it will inspire the princess within every little girl and every woman to be the best they can be!

  9. Shawna O'Reilly says:

    I am thrilled that this movie is coming out and can’t wait to take my daughter to see it. It’ll be her first movie in a theater. It’s exciting to me that she’ll have the chance to have an African American princess on the Disney “stuff”! We are planning to see the film with friends as soon as it opens!! If it’s good, we’ll probably go twice!

  10. I’m psyched about it! I don’t have a little girl and a doubt that my grandson could care less about princesses but I love fairy tales, fables, folklore, etc. So I will go see it. Not on openning day but I will see it in the theatre. I hope they provide a princess image worthy of our little girls.

  11. These products are sooo adorable!!! I’m a sucker for classic Disney animation, so I’m definitely going to see this one. My hope for the Princess and the Frog is that Disney will have made another truly classic movie, with memorable music, and a story that stays with audiences for years to come, and not just a one-off film to stave off accusations that they’re racially insensitive. I also hope that the film will inspire young girls everywhere to be adventurous, brave and confident, despite the obstacles ahead of them. Finally, I hope the film will encourage black women, young and old, to love themselves just as they are, and believe that they are beautiful, despite what anyone else says. It’s a lot to ask, but any one of those would be good :)

  12. I hope that the princess is as iconic as the other Disney princesses and that she serves as a wonderful role model for ALL little girls. I am planning on seeing the movie as soon as it comes out! :)

  13. P.S. Tiana’s green dress is absolutely GORGEOUS!!! If only I were five again – I could beg my mum to make me a Princess Tiana costume, and dance around all princessy :)

  14. I was not planning on going to see this movie, but was possibly going to watch it when it comes to dvd. I wonder how it is going to do at the box office.

  15. Wonderful! I am glad Disney is becoming more culturally sensitive and letting all little girls know that they too can be a princess! As a big kid myself, I look forward to seeing this movie. And the products are adorable! Are Carol’s daughter’s products natural?

  16. First of all, that article about Disney’s racist cartoons was a great read. I still love Disney, but geez guys, could it have been any worse?

    As for this movie, I’m super excited to see it. I hope it turns our great.

  17. i hope that disney has taken the time to create a thoughtful/uplifting story and heroine that will inspire and delight little african-american girls. there have been so many negative depictions of black people through animation. if the depiction is not negative, it is often completely absent.
    i also hope that princess tiana has as much merchandising – carol’s daughter is a great start – and presence in the disney brand as the other disney princesses. princess tiana deserves to be as ubiquitous as snow white. perhaps she’ll even dispel some stereotypes along the way.

  18. of course I will be there will my little princesses. my oldest is named Tiana and she is already saying that this movie is all about her!!!

  19. I am excited to see this movie! I only wish it was opening in October. I would love to see little Princess Tianas for halloween.

  20. Angelica Ibezim says:

    My hopes for The Princess and the Frog are that young Black people, both male or female, can begin to discuss and deconstruct some of the elements that contribute to poor self-image in our communities. I am the President of the Black Student Alliance at my university, and one of our programs will be a group trip to see the film and engage in organized discussion afterward. My hope is that, in a year of so many firsts, this movie helps us define amongst ourselves what it means to cross barriers and do it without compromising our integrity or our standards of beauty.

  21. My little black princess and I will def be seeing Disney’s new movie! We’ve seen every one since Ariel together and finally we get to see a brown girl.

    I remember my little girl asking me why all the girls on shirts and in the movies never looked like her. I told her that’s why we work hard and study so that one day we can be in the position to make those decisions.

    She’s 14 now and finally Disney bought a clue. It’s a start and I hope it’s just the first of many.

  22. I will be in the theater on opening weekend. My hope is that Princess Tiana will be a positive role model for all little girls and be as iconic and loved just like the other Disney Princesses. I am hoping that little girls stand in line to hug and take pictures with Princess Tiana at the Disney parks. I am a Disney fanatic, my first real job was with Disney. I’ve already purchased my Princess Tiana doll. I really hope this movie lives up to expectations.

  23. I am hoping that this movie will become just as much as a classic as the other disney princess movies. So that when little girls go through princess phase (as my nieces ages 4 and 2 are) it will give them someone to emulate that looks like them. I will be taking my nieces to see the movie when it opens, I can’t wait to see the look on their mini bella faces when they see Tiana!

  24. Well I own a spa specifically for little girls. The theme of the spa is flowers. I chose this theme because I want all girls to feel special when they come there. So when I heard that the new movie was coming out (which I’ve been tracking for over a year) I was very excited. So excited that I’m actually throwing a “Pampered Princess Premier Party” on Saturday, December 12th to celebrate the new movie. I’m renting out a movie theater and all the girls will get wands, tiaras, face painting, glitter tattoos and much more. I have no “hopes” for this movie because I KNOW that it will be a success and girls (and maybe even some boys) will love this movie. I do hope that what I am doing to support the movie will make it even more supportive! Can’t wait to see it!

  25. Carol’s Daughter did a fabulous job with the collection – the packaging is so cute and will definitely appeal to little girls of all shades.

  26. I am so excited about there being an African American Princess! My 5 yr old is very into Princesses right now and while I have tried to steer her towards the more “ethnic” ones (Jasmine and Pochantas) I really wanted one that she could see herself in. I can’t wait to take her to the theater to see the movie on December 11th

  27. Tippythtsme says:

    I definitely plan on going to see this movie. My grown friends and I have a date the day this movie comes out, SERIOUSLY (LOL). This movie reaches out to our little girls and to the little girls within us who yearned and hoped to see a princess like us but didn’t have the opportunity. Now we can share this with the generations to come.

  28. With “The Princess & the Frog” coming out, I hopes Disney realizes that it’s princes and princesses don’t have to have skin the color of porcelain for the flick to the successful.

    Also, the powerful imagery that little Brown girls everywhere will get from seeing a Disney Princess that looks like them will make the mirror just THAT much more welcoming in the morning.

    I do plan on going to see it.

  29. Im definitely taking my little brother to see The Princess and The Frog. He watches Disney channel all day- and everytime Raven comes on he calls me in the living room so we can have a-little-brother-big-sister half an hour, with just laughing and hanging out :-D. I would love for my little brother to see another black and beautiful disney ‘main’ character. Jasmine and Arial were the closest i got to identifying myself to a disney character; arial because i loved swimming, and jasmine because she was the darkest skinned princess they had thus far:-D. But regardless if the movie lives up to anybodies expectations… WE FINALLY HAVE A BLACK PRINCESS; can’t be mad at that. YAY DISNEY :-D

  30. I was skeptical at first, but I am excited that my 4 year old niece will have a Disney princess that looks like her. I was shopping for school products and lunch boxes for her and her twin brother. He was easy to shop for because there is Spiderman stuff everywhere. However, I always have difficulties shopping for her. I grew up in a house where black dolls were the norm and we rarely received white dolls, and that’s my norm and would like for it to be my nieces norm. I have already observed her long hair envy of other little girls and I want her to know and see examples of how chocolate girls are beautiful. (I already made her a Venus and Serena fan. I always stress how smart and athletic the sisters are in addition to the outer beauty)

    So I hope the movie gives little black girls the opportunity to see themselves on the big screen and relate Tiana’s features to their own and be proud.

    I also try to find hair products for her since she already hates getting her hair done. So I’m excited about this collection from Carol’s Daughter. And I’m even more excited that Tiana will be on the labels.

  31. I am really excited about this movie! My BFF and I plan on making a day of it with our little cousins and nieces. It’s like, “Finally!” I was born in ’85 so I grew up loving Belle, Arielle, and Pocahontas. But I was upset when I was old enough to notice that Disney had directly sidestepped African-Americans (Did anyone else think that the Lion King was supposed to be the “black” movie? So was “our” princess Nayla?) How could they have a Jasmine and a Mulan before someone like a Tiana? I am sort of holding my breath until I see the actual movie though…I’ve seen the picture of the “Voodoo” priestess and I hope they don’t “mammy-rize” her character. I am also a little apprehensive of them adding to the Hollywood stereotype of the Vodun religion. I am a Christian but I still have a distaste for the way the US and Hollywood have treated non-Western cultures and religions…I don’t want to have to spend hours after the movie correcting ignorant stereotypes to my little sweethearts and wondering about their perpetuation to other races via the movie!

  32. Forgot to say that I love that it’s set in culture rich NOLA! I attended an HBCU (Dillard University) there and it’s my true home! The racial history of New Orleans is a complicated one and I know that having Disney princess with a brown-complexion represented will help some hearts and minds as well as add to the sense of pride all New Orleanians (and transplants) have when the city is represented for all that it embodies…

  33. I am a grown woman and I don’t have a daughter, but yes I’ll be going to see the movie. Like Lisa, I was a huge fan of Cinderella growing up. I made my mom read it to me every night before bed. People thought I could read at age 3 because I had that story down PAT and even knew at what moment to turn the page. So Disney has a lot to live up to because bellas of my generation who remember the beloved characters of the past are expecting the same Disney magic. We all know that you vote with your wallet and if we all go to see the movie, Disney will make more movies & TV shows featuring little girls of color. I, for one, can’t wait!

  34. I’ve never been a fan of Disney and the reason became more clear to me when my daughter became old enough to recognize characters and succumb to marketing. I hated passing the Disney Store because she always wanted to go in. It broke my heart to have to return all the Little Mermaid and Cinderella gifts that she’d get for birthday gifts from friends. Eventually I started coloring in the faces and arms with brown markers, and hair with black, as a compromise so that they would look more like her. She’s 9 now and a little beyond princesses, but we are both excited to finally have an African-American princess. I hope that Princess Tiana can be proudly seen on the clothing, shoes, hair barrettes, folders, notebooks, and lunchboxes of all the little brown girls who finally has someone who looks like them to look up to.

  35. I am so excited about Princess Tiana. I have two beautiful Afrobella Jr’s who have had a hard time identifying with Disney Princesses. I have read them stories like Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughter’s, but there is something about the magic of Disney cartoons that makes them want to be Snow white or Cinderella and now Princess Tiana! I am so excited and can’t wait to see the film. I am one of the 10,000 that has signed up for the Carol’s Daughter Products. Can’t wait for the movie and the products!!!

  36. I am so happy that Disney is finally creating a black princess! When I first heard about Tiana, I almost didn’t believe it was true. I’ve been waiting on this for so long and there’s no way I’m missing this movie. But I hope Disney is racially sensitive and doesn’t ruin what could be a beautiful moment in pop culture history.

  37. I expect “The Princess and the Frog,” rounding out this year of notable African-American firsts, to leave me on an emotional high. In a world where some of us are too often ignored and unappreciated, I’m excited about the prospect of Princess Tiana helping us see what Maya Angelou had long ago shared. Our tiaras are already bought and paid for. We simply need to pick them up and wear them.

  38. I am so excited for this new princess movie! I’m glad that Disney decided to have a Black princess!

  39. I am sooo excited that there is now a black disney princess and so is my 4 year old daughter, Katy. We went to the movies yesterday and she was beside herself seeing the Princess and the Frog poster.
    My hope was always that there would be a black disney princess so now that there is I feel like Disney is truly for not only my daughter, but the childhood “me” that always wished for a princess that looked like me. I believe that the movie is going to be awesome (look at the people involved) and we will be first in line in birmingham to buy our tickets….and I have already pre-ordered the doll for her. And she is so stoked to be the Princess for Halloween and her 3-month old is going to be the frog! LOL!

  40. I am so excited for the Princess and the Frog, and as a huge Disney fan, I will be there to see it on opening day. My hope for this film is that reaches the hearts of all audiences. I hope that people give this story a chance, rather than start pulling it apart before it even hits the screens. Born in ’81, I grew up on Disney animation and I’ve always loved these stories. I have to admit, it never occurred to me to think ‘Hey, I don’t look like any of these cartoon characters.’ It simply wasn’t important to me. I’ve always strongly celebrated my Haitian culture and have always announced it proudly to people, but I didn’t give my skin color much thought–I was simply myself. Now as a black woman, and a married adult making my way in the world, I very much appreciate my mindset of back then—no one gave me crap about my color because I simply refused to let my color be an issue. I hope that The Princess and the Frog gets its dues as a wonderful story and film, rather than getting bogged down as a political statement. Tiana has the potential to be EVERY little girl’s new favorite princess– black girls, white girls, Hispanic and Asian girls. THAT’s my wish for her—that she’s not put in a separate category for the rest of her existence, but rather that she’s given the same dues and credits as every other princess because that’s she deserves. She doesn’t have to be just the “black” princess. She needs to be Tiana, the princess and all people need to see her as the royalty that she is!

  41. It’s nice that Disney is finally being more inclusive, but please don’t tell me that you don’t see the hypocrisy of calling a beauty product “The Beauty Within”?

    At least a black-owned company is benefiting.

  42. My hopes for The Princess and The Frog Movie is that it’ll inspire young African American girls to love themselves fully by accepting each and every one of our differences. I’d love for the girls to celebrate their natural beauty, strive and believe for the best and to cultivate self-pride. I do plan to take my daughter and her friends to see this movie, particularly for the fact that I’d like them to see an animated African American princess. I tell her all the time about original ancient African queens & princesses, but ancient to kids sometimes mean- could/could not be real.

  43. Both of my daughters are looking forward to this movie. I have resisted buying many of the Disney princesses products because their faces did not represent our heritage. I work very hard assuring that my daughters have a very positive and healthy self-esteem. I know they are confident that they are already princesses. It’s great to know that Disney now acknowledges that royalty comes in all colors.

  44. I pray that “The Princess and The Frog” will be a huge success! So far it looks amazing! <3 I plan on seeing the advance screening in November. I bought tickets for my lil sister and I, we are super excited! Also, we will be seeing it again when it opens in December! =D

  45. I cannot wait for this movie to come out! I have grown up with Disney and it feels so good to see a princess that looks like me. As a student in college studying film and wishing to work for Disney this is so encouraging. I cannot wait to make more films to make a positive impact. I am so excited to see this film.

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  47. My hopes for The Princess and The Frog are very simply, a well made story that kids and parents alike will enjoy and for Disney to really put an effort into the promotion of the movie. With that said yes i plan to see this movie. I loved watching Snow White, Bambi, Sleeping Beauty and so many other great Disney movies as a child and hope to see that same pure enjoy from my children that comes from a childs delightful imagination of themselves as the characters from the movie.

  48. I am excited about Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” because growing up the few cartoons that had characters that looked like me were not reflective of the beauty of African Americans. I hope that this will be a movie that ALL races flock to see, just as they do other movies. I WILL be at the movies on December 11 with my 14-year old mentee who is equally excited about seeing a Disney princess that looks just like her! I am very pleased that Carol’s Daughter and Disney have teamed up to offer such a beautifully packaged product, which I am sure will show to be a representative continuance of the great product line that Carol’s Daughter already has to offer.

  49. I’ve been excited about this one for a very long time and hopefully will be going to see it with my younger sister and cousin. I’m expecting and I’m pretty sure the DVD will be a staple with my little one.

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