Fans around the world have been advocating for more representation in Disney films, specifically when it comes to the Disney Princesses. We have seen fans ask Disney for a body-positive Princess, a Princess who wears glasses, and other Disney Princesses who are representative of the diverse world we live in. Now, one fan is urging Disney to create a Disney Princess who has a disability.
A Disney fan named Hannah, who has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and is an advocate for disabilities, took to Change.org to help make a difference. She created a petition in an effort to convince Disney to create a Disney Princess with a disability so that fans like her can relate to the person they see on screen.
With so many people around the world looking up to Disney Princesses, Hannah feels it is important for Disney to create a Disney Princess with a disability for those who have been diagnosed with a disability but have not seen themselves represented in a Disney film.
My name is Hannah Diviney and I’m a 21-year-old writer and disability advocate. I have Cerebral Palsy, a physical disability which affects my fine and gross motor skills. It means I use a wheelchair to navigate through the world.
I’m writing you this message as a young woman who has always loved Disney films but never seen herself in them.
Creating a disabled Princess (we know how influential those characters are) would give millions of children around the world the invaluable chance to see themselves having adventures, rich full lives and being the hero of their own stories. You’d be working to dispel the painful idea that many children subconsciously absorb life with a disability has to mean a life without joy, adventure, friendship or love.
Beyond that, you’d also be providing a powerful reference point for non-disabled children to understand us and our lives. You would actively be creating a culture of tolerance, acceptance, empathy and understanding to replace fear, confusion and the seeds of bigotry that are often unconsciously sowed when we are confronted with something different that is hard to understand
For decades now, you as a company have stood at the forefront of children’s lives by providing high quality emotionally intelligent entertainment full of valuable lessons and important tools to help all of us understand the world.
As the first company to hopefully take this bold step, Disney would be a visionary leader in what I hope will become a powerful trend of better representation across the board.
Walt Disney envisaged his empire as a place for children to dream and hope. These days, we know more than ever that hope is the most powerful thing we have. Children with disabilities don’t have that place of fantastical hopes and dreams. We’ve never seen the possibilities of our lives represented for us and the world.
You have the chance to give us that magic
The best part is that just a few weeks ago Hannah took to Change.org to share an amazing update regarding the petition — it has reached a Disney board member! Hannah writes:
Hi guys, thank you so much for all your support – I can’t believe we have over 11,500 signatures! And there is now also a German language version. We’re going global! Read on for an important update about getting in touch with the Disney board!
Because of all of you and your incredible work signing and sharing, the petition has found its way (through an incredible friend) to a member of Disney’s board. I just finished sending them an email. I explained the power of positive representation for the disabled community, particularly for young children and really encouraged them to hear us when we say we want and need this.
Please know that your support is actively making a difference. We are legitimately getting closer to this dream becoming a reality.
I am very hopeful that this person will reply and when they do, you guys will be the first to know. In the meantime, numbers don’t lie.
The more people we can get on board and the bigger the interest we can show through signatures, the more likely it is Disney will take us seriously and deliver the magical result we want.
So if there is ANYBODY and I mean anybody you haven’t shared this petition with yet, please do so. I want so many signatures on this thing, we could fill stadiums with our supporters. Are you with me???