Anonymous asked: I don't give a shit what race Repunzel is. Is she doesn't have a long blonde wig, I'm going to be disappointed. Her "golden hair" is a huge part of her identity, so for them to take that away for her, it'd just be stupid. Like taking away Ariel's red hair. Or Hooks hook. Or the Queen's poison apples. But let me guess - you're still gonna claim racism for me on that?
If the anon wants I can point to probably at least half a dozen adaptations of The Little Mermaid in which the titular character is a blonde or a brunette.
I agree with the ANON. Rapunzel is described as having long golden hair. It is iconic and it doesn’t make someone a racist if they say that.
…here’s the thing about why it’s so important for Rapunzel’s hair to be natural black hair. as I’m sure you know, for a long time in the US black people were dehumanized on the basis of their race, and one of the ways that that happened was by making fun of their racial characteristics. Black hair, black faces, black skin. By making this depiction of Rapunzel’s hair golden, yes, it is whitewashing, and that’s racist. It’s saying that her original hair wasn’t good enough.
There’s no reason why Rapunzel’s hair can’t be black. All that’s required is that it’s magical, and strong enough for a grown person to climb. It being golden in the original fairytale was a signifier of that, nothing more.
There is every reason in the world for Alexandra Metz to keep her lovely hair. It says that she, too, can be a fairytale princess, just the way she is. It will distinguish her from the other fairytale characters, who are kinda blending together at this point. I had a friend watch an episode for the first time and she thought that Belle and Snow White were the same person. It’s no more or less of a change than Jack being Jacqueline is.
And if you can give me a single good reason for her hair to change against all this, I will eat my social justice hat.
Honestly? I don’t really care. I don’t really care that she’s black or has black hair or doesn’t have blonde. I really don’t care about the character of Rapunzel at all. OUAT might change my mind with this.
But the Anon is expressing that they would have wanted Rapunzel to have blonde hair because that is how she is depicted in the story. Wanting an actress to portray that is not fucking racist and I am fucking sick and tired of people saying it is.
I keep hearing about the Persian fairytale that is very similar to Rapunzel and she has black hair. Why didn’t they go with that fairytale? Why call her Rapunzel? Because Rapunzel is more well known?
Would people be cool with Jasmine being blonde? Or white? Or black? Would people be cool with Tiana not being black?
If the answer is no, then how is that any different?
You bet your ass I am.
Rapunzel’s LONG hair is the token of her character. It doesn’t fucking matter if it’s blonde or not, because any hair can achieve what her hair does in the story of Rapunzel as long as it’s long. Ariel’s hair, by the way, doesn’t fucking matter if it’s red either a.) because her hair was not red in the original story and that’s just something Disney made iconic, b.) it doesn’t contribute to her story in any way.
The other examples you cited are important because THEY FUNCTION FOR THE STORY. Hook’s missing hand is important to his characterization as well as the plot because the Crocodile wouldn’t make any fucking sense otherwise. The Evil Queen’s poison apples are important because that’s how she puts Snow White under a sleeping curse.
Rapunzel being BLONDE does not serve the story at all. I’m sorry that a black woman’s hair is so threatening to you that you feel the need to slap a wig over it in order to call her an acceptable princess, but maybe you should sit down and analyze why you think a girl’s appearance is so critical to her story when it DOES NOT strictly play into the plot events at all. Because the answer is likely a unique kind of anti-WOC sexism, and intersectional feminism is having none of that.
I will not be answering any other anon asks on this subject. Next person to put racist bullshit about Rapunzel in my askbox on anon gets blocked, because I don’t tolerate it.
Alexandra Metz to keep her lovely hair. It says that she, too, can be a fairytale princess, just the way she is.
Ginnnifer Goodwin doesn’t have her own hair in FTL flashbacks. Just sayin’.
I care, because they’ve made her black. If you’re gonna racebend, don’t half-ass it.
And I think…that there’s no reason why Rapunzel can’t do what she does with black hair just as well as she does with golden. And I understand being attached to a picture of a character, but I think that in this instance it’s very selfish! because there are more than enough blonde Disney princesses out there. hell, Emma gets paralleled with Rapunzel often enough to actually be Rapunzel.
The reason why they aren’t going with the older Persian story, by my guess, is because a) Rapunzel’s more popular and b) it is the Rapunzel story. Link 1. Link 2.
The difference between making Jasmine white and making Rapunzel black is like night and day. The point is, that there are more than enough white people in OUAT, and adding one more just…isn’t all that necessary. White people aren’t underrepresented on OUAT. Living black people are. I think that making this Rapunzel’s hair golden is just…trying to make her fit in. It’s unnecessary. In context, the statement of wanting Rapunzel’s hair to be golden isn’t racist, it’s a symptom of a culture in which it’s more important for Rapunzel to “look right” than to have an actress who can portray her personality. Where she can’t be pretty in the right way unless she’s pretty in the white way. Where having golden hair is more important than having hair that can support the weight of a full-grown man, or being the apple of a woman’s eye who locks her up in a tower for her own protection. And that’s racist.
And dude, if Ginny could grow her hair out that long and back in a night, do you really think she’d be sticking with the short hair on a regular basis? not to mention the other logistical concerns, such as maintenance and keeping track of time period. That’s such an off-topic point to bring up, I don’t think you really get the main problem that’s going on here.
which is that a) minorities are underrepresented as a whole, b) black women rarely get the chance to be princesses, and c) whitewashing is a reality (re: blonde hair being a symptom of that reality).
unless we can get those fundamentals across, I don’t think we’re really having a conversation here.
I think we’ll agree to disagree? Because I don’t think there’s a problem with someone who wants a character to look the way they are described in the story. Long golden hair. (Personally, I don’t care).
No, she doesn’t need to be blonde. But it isn’t racist of someone to say they’d want the actress to wear a blonde wig (no matter the color of their skin).
see, to me this isn’t an agree-to-disagree issue. You don’t care - I do.
I don’t care what Rapunzel looks like. But I do care when someone calls someone else a racist because they want a certain character to have a certain color hair.
why does it matter if someone gets called a racist? would you rather get called a racist, or be one?
… two cents on this:
a.) I think (on a surface level, at least) what people are referring to with the long hair is a quote that … I think is from the Brother’s Grimm version? It’s one of those things that has been floating in my head since childhood and Google has failed to provide me a source for it that seems any more reliable than my own memory. But I recall the witch’s greeting to Rapunzel being, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, that I may climb the golden stair.” It’s a silly little sing-song-y thing, but it stuck - so, for those people who are claiming that Rapunzel’s blonde hair is an integral part of the story as they recall it … yeah, I get that. That’s how I remember it too.
b.) I don’t remember the fairy tale where the ‘beast’ in beauty and the beast was Rumplestiltskin, who voluntarily taught his ex-lover to spin straw into gold, but she then dumped him and married the king and gave birth to a princess who then became the evil queen who cursed Snow White, and the one who owed him a baby was Cinderella. Also, he’s Peter Pan’s kid. So. Um. Yeah, Rapunzel having brown hair? Probably not the thing that should be annoying purists, here.
Basic point being: I understand why someone would see this as a deviation from the most-well-known retelling of this story, and feel sad that what will be on the screen will not match a mental image they’ve had in their head since childhood. However, I am giving the side-eye to the preponderance of such issues that tend to involve a.) womens’ appearance, and b.) race, specifically ‘why isn’t this character white?’ It’s not about whether there is a point to be argued - there is - it’s about which points get argued and with what degree of emotional investment.
And some of that degree of emotional investment is … definitely coming from a highly racist and misogynist place, but I think perhaps not with intent on the part of the people objecting to the idea of a black, brown-haired Rapunzel? Let me see if I can explain this. I was a little blonde girl with very long hair. I was a weird, socially awkward, athletically unfortunate little blonde girl - but I had awesome hair. There was general agreement on that point. I had pretty hair. When I got it cut to my shoulders - the result of an argument between my mother and myself, when I was 10 (she wanted it shorter so it’d be less fuss) - every single person, seriously, EVERY. SINGLE. CHILD. in my cass asked me why I’d done that. I made up some bullshit about wanting to, because “I was being punished for crying and snapping at my mom when she was brushing my hair and it pulled” was not going to be a socially advantageous answer. But point being, my hair was the business of the entire freakin’ third grade of Richboro Elementary.
Being the image of the pretty little blonde princess is an advantage and a privilege and I am not trying to claim otherwise - but it’s also a freakin’ job that the world expects you to take seriously. Pretty little blonde girls are not their own - but they *are* valued, for being little and pretty and blonde. That gets them attention and compliments and to a certain extent, presumptions about their behavior (that can be both good and bad - for everyone who assumes you’re sweet and innocent, there’s someone else who automatically assumes you’re faking it and are in fact a devious little brat. Your actual behavior has little to no bearing on this. Add on five to ten years and you have virgin / whore syndrome and a whole new kettle of fish.)
Little blonde girls, and those invested in the well-being of little blonde girls, can end up growing up defensive about the special snowflake-ness of little blonde girls because it has been drilled into their heads that this is what gives them worth. And screw everyone who says this is not a zero sum game - sell that one to someone who’s buying. That’s exactly WHY it’s important that there be iconic princesses and heroines of all different appearances and backgrounds - not because everybody deserves to be special, but because nobody does. It is no good to either be, or not be, a pretty little blonde girl. No one wins that one. It teaches a subset of little girls that they’re better than others because of something over which they had no control and for which they are expected to pay a tax of decorative submission (and woe betide them if they don’t - see above re: brats / whores), and it teaches all the rest that they are to be loved or admired in-spite-of - that they are inherently lesser.
So I think the folks who are up in arms about this, who want their iconic blonde princess, are wrong for a lot of reasons - but I know where they come from. Because it really, really sucked to go to school with chopped-off hair, feeling like some crucial aspect of my self had been erased and knowing I would be expected to explain myself - like my hair was something I owed the world. And I wasn’t wrong.