What's so special about Disney's newest princess? Take a look and see for yourself.

On Jan. 29, 2015, Disney Junior announced it had a new princess.

We present to you: Princess Elena.


As you can tell from HelloGiggles' tweet, Elena is Latina.

This makes her the first Latina Disney princess.

Now hold on — before you say, "But why does that matter?" we wanted to throw a few facts and numbers at ya.

40% of American youth ages 19 and under are children of color.

But white prime-time characters in youth television make up a whopping 77%.

And about Latino characters...

"Latino characters were four times as likely to portray domestic workers than were other racial groups." — Children Now Prime Time Diversity Report, 2003-2004

There is nothing wrong with being a domestic worker. What is wrong is that shows continue to portray certain races and ethnicities in the same roles, and the lack of career diversity is what many young people of color are growing up seeing on television.

Still feeling skeptical? Time for a few anecdotes.

"I never truly noticed when I was younger, and it was only recently that I could put a name to it, but representation in media has been important to my mother and affected everything she tried to surround me with as a child—the Pocahontas comforter, the ... black fairy figurines she fought to find, my dozens of black Barbies, the black dolls, the black angels—she wanted to make sure that I knew black was beautiful in a world that often tells us that we're not." — Jocelyn, via Disney for Princesses' Tumblr

So back to the question: Why does having a Latina Princess Elena matter?

Because representation matters.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.15


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