After the marketing geniuses at Disney had to close and re-think their childhood obesity exhibit at flagship park, Epcot Center, one would think that Disney’s corporate offices would keep a close eye to any similar marketing mishaps. Well they haven’t and Sociological Images obtained a picture of Disney’s princess-themed Valentine’s day candy that pairs Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora with vanilla flavored sugary dipping dust and Tiana from The Princess and the Frog with the watermelon flavor.
Considering Disney’s overtly racist characterization of blacks in their animated features, the racial implication of pairing their only black (and Southern) princess with a watermelon-flavored candy is only a distraction from the truly sinister plot thought up by the marketers hired by America’s “happiest” corporation.
This candy is an assault upon the spirits of all young girls, not just black girls, although they bare the brunt of the physic damage. It’s not a stretch to say this since black children find themselves in a battle with diabetes and other food-related dis-eases. Additionally, there’s little research done on the mental health of black children, who are bombarded daily with unhealthy ads on television and on billboards.
What is this candy selling? There is plenty of watermelon candy sold in America, but this packaging makes addiction glamourous, arguably linking the materially luxurious life of a princess with the consumption of sugary treats.
In a society where material wealth is synonymous with the good life, adding a slim black princess — an image that is rare in this society that shutdown airwaves to broadcast what a real-life princess looks like during the nuptials of Prince William and his “commoner” bride Kate Middleton — to a package not only works as a way to keep kids hooked to sugar but also hooked to the idea that they can very cheaply use this product as a way to escape their reality.
This egregious fusion of materialism and addiction illuminates the reasons why Disney could not put forth a exhibit that helps families heal the traumatic, physic pains that may lead many to an amusement park in the first place — which can be seen as another, more expensive, form of escapism.
Instead, they created a spectacle of stereotypical images that reinscribed the neurosis many overweight people suffer from in a culture that uses assault in lieu of compassion and acceptance.
I know I’m going there on small piece of candy in a market over-saturated with sugary treats, but this one struck a nerve considering Disney’s huge influence on children’s minds and their parent’s buying habits. If they really care about childhood obesity, drop the candy with images of princesses of any color, race, nationality, or ethnicity.