Some pictures from a series on Disney princess really bothered me, so I contacted the artist and expressed my concerns. She said that no problematic social implications were intended, that they weren’t “technically” supposed to be the characters, and that she thought fully coloring their skin would “detract” from the dresses, which were supposed to be the focuses of the pictures. When I argued that whitewashing the characters detracted from them and that fully coloring them would only compliment the dresses, she said we’d have to “agree to disagree”. I figured I’d take some color samples from official art and test the theory that darker skin would only “detract”:
I’m receiving a college art education and I cannot think of a single Goddamn reason how using the character’s actual skin colors detracts from their clothing. Those color schemes were designed to go with those characters specifically because of how they complimented each other. If you look at the official art, you can see that the green of Tiana’s dress is complimentary to the dark reddish-brown color of her skin, that the warmer browns of Pocahontas’ skin work well with the cooler, less-saturated color of her dress, and that the bold, warm color of Esmeralda’s skin is complimented by the bold, cool colors of her clothing. To me, the whitewashed skin tones actually make the clothing looker blander and more washed-out.