Image Source: Instagram user @hallebailey
Ariel and Tiana had an instantly iconic meeting at Disney World. On March 23, Halle Bailey shared several videos and photos from her recent trip to the most magical place on Earth on her Instagram Stories. In one of them, “The Little Mermaid” star posed for a photo with the actor who plays Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog” in the park.
In the photo, both Tiana and Bailey are grinning as they stand side-by-side. The “grown-ish” actor captioned the pic, “I found Princess Tiana, y’all!” Bailey also shared a video of a young fan who gave her a big hug after she realized she was looking at Ariel, and a third video, featuring Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto waving as she road by.
Tiana and Bailey’s Ariel are Disney’s only Black princesses to date, which makes their meeting all the more special. In a 2022 interview with Variety, the 22-year-old shared that one of the main reasons why she took on the role of Ariel in the first place was so young girls could see themselves represented on the big screen.
“I want the little girl in me and the little girls just like me who are watching to know that they’re special, and that they should be a princess in every single way,” she explained. “There’s no reason that they shouldn’t be. That reassurance was something that I needed.”
In the same interview, Bailey reflected on how inspiring it would have been for her as a child to see an Ariel who looked like her. “What that would have done for me, how that would have changed my confidence, my belief in myself, everything,” Bailey mused. “Things that seem so small to everyone else, it’s so big to us.”
Now, the certified Disney princess is continuing the progress that Tiana started, and making sure the next generation of girls grows up with an Ariel all their own.
“The Little Mermaid” will premiere in theaters on May 26.
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