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.

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One night in 2018, Sheila and Steve Albers took their two youngest sons out to dinner. Their 17-year-old son, John, was in a crabby mood—not an uncommon occurrence for the teen who struggled with mental health issues—so he stayed home.

A half hour later, Sheila's started getting text messages that John wasn't safe. He had posted messages with suicidal ideations on social media and his friends had called the police to check on him. The Albers immediately raced home.

When they got there, they were met with a surreal scene. Their minivan was in the neighbor's yard across the street. John had been shot in the driver's seat six times by a police officer who had arrived to check on him. The officer had fired two shots as the teen slowly backed the van out of the garage, then 11 more after the van spun around backward. But all the officers told the Albers was that John had "passed" and had been shot. They wouldn't find out until the next day who had shot and killed him.

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$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

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via msleja / TikTok

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This has been painfully clear in how we report on and talk about the protests themselves. Are they organized by Antifa and angry mobs of BLM renegades hell bent on the destruction of everything wholesome about America? Or, are they entirely peaceful demonstrations in which only the law enforcement officers are the bad actors? The uncomfortable truth is that both extreme narratives ignore key facts. The overwhelming majority of protests have been peaceful.protests have been peaceful. The facts there are clear. And the police have also provoked acts of aggression against peaceful demonstrators, leading to injuries and unnecessary arrests. Yet, there have been glaring exceptions of vandalism, intimidation and violence in cities like Portland, Seattle, and most recently, Louisville. And while some go so far as to quite literally defend looting, that's a view far outside the mainstream of nearly all Americans across various age, racial and cultural demographics.

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