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Mothers Offended By Young White Child Comparing Herself to Mulan

child offends woman compares mulan
Images Credit: Disney/Canva

A mom recently shared her confusion when her colleague was offended that the OP’s eight-year-old daughter comparing herself to the Disney princess Mulan.

One of the most incredible things about Disney is how the stories are for anyone and everyone. While many have complained about the lack of diversity and representation of various cultures by Disney princesses over the years—an issue that the Mouse House has taken steps to correct—some qualities unite any Disney princess from any cultural background, race, and ethnicity.

However, recently, one mother was surprised when a colleague of hers was offended that the former’s daughter likened herself to Mulan. The reason? The mother and daughter are white, and Mulan is not.

disney princesses

Princess Tiana, Rapunzel, Princess Jasmine, Mulan, Moana, and Belle are some of the well-known Disney princesses / Credit: Disney

AITA For Not Correcting My Daughter When She Says She is Just Like Mulan Because She is White?

That was the Reddit user and mother u/Sensitive-Ant-5907’s question when sharing her story online. The OP explained that her eight-year-old daughter is autistic, and the daughter’s favorite Disney princess was Mulan.

“Ever since she was little she was completely obsessed with her and when ever we asked why she was her favorite (besides the obvious that Mulan is a bad-ass hero) she would always say how her and Mulan are just a like and she likes how Mulan ‘never knew what she was doing either,'” the mother explained.

However, the issues began when the mother took her daughter on a play date with one of her colleagues. The topic of Disney princesses came up, and, as one might imagine, the OP’s daughter took the opportunity to effusively share her love for Mulan.

Snow White, Belle Pocahontas, Tiana, Merida, Rapunzel, Mulan, and Cinderella at the Disney Parks

Snow White, Belle Pocahontas, Tiana, Merida, Rapunzel, Mulan, and Cinderella are all official Disney princesses / Credit: Disney

But, the co-worker gave the mother a funny look and, once the girls had left, asked the mother why she allowed her daughter to say things like that when it’s “obviously offensive.”

The mother tried to explain “how policing my young autistic daughter’s words and insinuating that she was somehow being bad by saying them could affect her. She already struggles to communicate her feelings to us so the fact she was even able to explain her feelings about her identity to us with words is a major accomplishment for her.”

However, it was implied that the colleague didn’t acquiesce, eventually leading the mother to take to this online forum. The OP also provided extra context that the co-worker was white, only to explain that she wasn’t trying to dismiss an Asian person’s feelings on the subject of race and ethnicity.

Mulan voice actress death

A still from Mulan / Credit: Disney

Fellow fans and folks in the comments were largely sympathetic to the mother, saying she and her daughter were not at fault.

One commented, “NTA. As a black woman, I know lots of “well intentioned” white folks like your coworker. She’s white-knighting to make herself feel better.”

The commenter continued, “Mulan resonates with lots of people (myself included) for exactly the reasons your daughter describes. It’s actually an amazing attribute that your daughter sees past race and culture to truly understand someone and emphasize with them. Your coworker is not as intelligent as your daughter.”

"Partners" statue, Cinderella Castle, Disney's Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort

“Partners” statue in front of Cinderella Castle, Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort / Credit: Disney

Related: The WORST Disney Villains Ever, Ranked…(And the Best)

Another shared their feelings about the co-worker’s judgment, ” I genuinely couldn’t figure out at first what the woman was complaining about and suggesting could be offensive. She sounds like she’s just trying to get her ally cookie more than actually perpetuate anti-racism.”

They added, “That or she’s one of those people that’s so over obsessed with the idea of non-BIPOC’s being the real oppressed ones and the true potential victims so she’s just aghast that another white mom also isn’t immediately shutting down her kid to protect them in a pc world.”

mushu-mulan-eddie murphy

Eddie Murphy voices Mushu in Disney’s Mulan/Credit: Disney

What Makes a Disney Princess?

Ultimately, a Disney princess can be from anywhere in the world, but she espouses the qualities of bravery, honesty, integrity, and curiosity, and most importantly, she works hard to do right by the people around her.

It’s certainly ludicrous to say that a child cannot be inspired by a Disney princess of a race different to her own, or have her favorite princess be from an ethnicity different to her own, especially considering, as one commenter pointed out, the child wasn’t doing anything offensive to begin with.

More on Disney’s Mulan

Released in 1998 as an animated film and then in 2020 as an infamous live-action remake, Disney’s Mulan is an animated musical action-adventure film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation for Walt Disney Pictures that is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan.

Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, Miguel Ferrer, and BD Wong star in the English version as Mulan, Mushu, Shan Yu, and Captain Li Shang, respectively, and Jackie Chan, provided the voice of Li Shang for the Chinese dub of the film.

The animated sequel, Mulan II, was released direct-to-video in 2004.

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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