“Encanto” Rocks One Little Girl’s World & Shows Why Representation Matters

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Can we give a collective high five to Disney for making representation real? No doubt they’d already come a long way from the days where little girls (and some boys) were twisting ankles in two-inch slippery plastic heels in an attempt to be Cinderella. But with Encanto, representation is about more than fashion and skin color.

2-year-old Manu Araújo Marques in Brazil looks a lot like young Mirabel. When she watched Encanto for the first time, Manu exclaimed “It’s me, Mommy!”. Manu recognized herself in not only Mirabel’s Latin American representation—her skin tone and texture of her hair—but also because Mirabel is Disney’s first leading character who wears glasses. 

Most importantly, Mirabel’s character is kind and inclusive. Even if our kids don’t look exactly like her—like Manu does—wouldn’t it be great if they recognized that part of themselves in Mirabel, too?

—Shelley Massey

Image courtesy Hannary Araújo

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