As I’m sure you know by now, Halle Bailey is due to appear as the titular character in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid — which means that not only will her likeness be appearing in trailers and on billboards but on toy aisle shelves as well.
The singer choked up as she revealed the strikingly accurate Ariel doll in a video on her social media pages, gushing that “she even has my mole!” A voice can be heard from off-camera saying “I want one,” and fans are convinced that it’s none other than Halle’s mentor Beyoncé, as evidenced by a comment from her cousin Angie Beyince saying “I’m with [bee emoji] I want 1!”
omg the little girl in me is pinching herself right now ..i have my own Little Mermaid Ariel doll !!! I can’t believe how much she captures my version of this iconic character brb gonna go cry now … pic.twitter.com/NKn0H0mssT
— Halle (@HalleBailey) March 6, 2023
— (@jayzswife) March 6, 2023
Bailey’s casting, although progressive on its face, wasn’t without some controversy. Upon seeing the first teaser revealing Halle as the aquatic protagonist, some viewers took to social media to decry the casting decision. However, Halle took the criticism in stride, thanks to encouraging words from her grandparents and the realization that the casting was symbolic of progress for little Black girls who get to see themselves as princesses.
The same principle probably applies to the doll as well. While there’ve been plenty of Black dolls throughout the years, few have been officially licensed by Disney based on their most lucrative intellectual properties.