Princessless Pitch: The Intro

Tomorrow, 11/18, is National Princess Day, and so I’m embarking upon a Princessless Pitch.

No, it’s nothing to do with the comic book of the same name (haven’t read it, sorry). This is me trying to think up pitches for stories for Disney Princesses for demographics that have typically been left out of the usual Disney Princess game. Sure, with the Fox and Lucasfilm acquisitions, Disney Princesses now cover Alderanians and also Xenomorphs, but there are still a surprising amount of people left out. So first things first, I did some quick number crunching of people in the world without a princess, and what percent of global populations they made up. These numbers come from all over the damned place, and nothing about this process is likely to be all that scientific, anyway. I imagine next year I’ll put up a poll, asking people what they’d like to see, and if I missed anyone (which is the opposite of my intent).   

Islam 20.51%

Indian 17.5%

African 17.21%

Disabled 15%

Hindu 14.23%

Gay 10%

Latino 8.42%

Middle/South American Native 5.32%

Jewish 1.88%

Trans .355%

First things first, this isn’t purely about numbers; obviously the relative power/oppression factors into who gets priority- not to mention me needing to figure out a good idea to go along with it- which will likely include culture-specific research.

For reasons that frankly irk me, this holiday takes place smack dab in the middle of November, during NaNo and in the middle of my apparently annual Pitchgiving/Pitchmas cluster. Apparently this is just contentmageddon, and if you want to see a man do an entire year’s worth of writing over the course of a month or so, just waiting for the inevitable meltdown, well, I suppose you can do that. I’ll resume regular NaNo posting on Monday. 

As far as tomorrow, I’ll be posting the pitch itself… once I finish writing the blasted thing. But first I’ll do a quick run-down of the demographics the pitch is hopefully going to cover, here; and a note, that I’m only counting the demos of the princess herself, even if I hope the casts will be more representative overall. We’re not going to get this done in one movie- this is a project of years.

1. Trans

Like I said, this isn’t strictly a numbers thing. But what we have seen is a systemic, years-long crusade against trans rights, and even trans personhood, one that is steady in the US and seems to be accelerating in the UK. The most important idea behind this project is power to the powerless- at least in the area of demography. If I had more clout in other realms, I’d exercise it there, too- and I do think representation matters, both to the represented and to those who learn about the personhood of others through representation- which is why the forces of bigotry resist representation so strongly. Plus, it’s Transgender Awareness Week.

2. Jewish

The entire reason I’m breaking out these demographics is because of the asterisk involved with this one. The main character is Jewish. But, you might argue, with the addition of Princess Leia into the Disney family, isn’t she Jewish, too? Carrie Fischer definitely identified as Jewish later in life, so the actress certainly was. But we’re going by the stricter definition, here, that the character themselves needs to fill the demographic. This is the same reason that, while Princess Jasmine could be Muslim, she is never explicitly shown saying or doing anything that would make it clear this was the case, so she could also be from a pre-Islamic portion of the Ottoman Empire, or given the story’s traditions spanning from the Middle East to India, Hindu, some other faith, or even areligious. Note: I’m not telling Jewish girls they can’t consider Leia their princess, or anyone they can’t consider Jasmine to be theirs; what I am stating is that I don’t want a debate, I want everyone to have a princess of their own, one that no one can try to take away from them.

3. Queer/Gay

I would argue that the central romance is a queer one, and at least for portions, a gay one, as well. Given the ultimate outcome, it’s certainly possible to not see it as an authentically gay narrative, so I won’t, for my own tally, consider the box marked off, but it’s certainly in the mix, all the same.

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