Halle Bailey receives an unexpected message from the pilot: “Thank you for being an inspiration”

The actor of “The Little Mermaid” is being lauded for providing young Black and brown girls with the representation they deserve.

In September of this year, the new “Little Mermaid” trailer debuted. The trailer elicited many emotional responses from young Black girls, as it was the first time they had ever seen themselves portrayed as a classic Disney princess. The singer Halle Bailey portrays Ariel in the motion picture, and the impact she has already made through this film is impeccable. People have sent her heartfelt messages of appreciation and videos of young girls of color reacting to her performance as Ariel.

These responses clearly demonstrate the importance of representation, as seeing someone who resembles you on television can foster lifelong confidence. CBS News reports that she recently received another beautiful surprise while on a Delta flight. The pilot of the aircraft sent the 22-year-old a message that completely warmed her heart. Bailey posted on Twitter a photograph of the letter that reads: “Miss Bailey, it is an honor to have you on board today. Thank you for being an inspiration to little brown girls all over the world, like we were a few years ago.”

This lovely note was signed by “Jess O, your young Latina female Delta pilot.” Sharing the picture on the social media platform, Bailey wrote: “this amazing pilot on the plane gave me this beautiful note today.” The airline replied to her post by writing: “You’re giving so many little girls wings. Thank you for letting us be part of your world,” referring to the song first performed by Jodi Benson as the original Ariel.

As previously reported, as soon as the movie’s trailer was released, parents around the world began sharing their children’s reactions. The father of a young girl named Rylie Fleming told TODAY Parents the following:”My wife and I both had tears in our eyes. There’s no question our kids were looking at the TV and thinking, ‘She looks like me.’ Seeing diversity in Disney movies is so important. Representation matters — just look at my daughters’ faces.”

Adelia Chaiyakul was another parent who rushed to social media to express the significance of this milestone in the fight for Black youth representation. Witnessing her 9-year-old daughter, Ava, recognize Bailey as Ariel for the first time caused her to become emotional. She said, “I was looking through her eyes as a younger me. To see Ava seeing herself in Ariel, was emotional.”

Dariyan Bell disclosed that her three-year-old daughter Zavae was mesmerized by Bailey’s singing. She stated: “We were playing and she just stopped what she was doing. That’s when I grabbed my phone and started taping. I never imagined it would have that much impact on a 3-year-old—but it did.” She further added, “Now, I love all the princesses, but in my head, Pocahontas was the one I could identify with. My daughter can truly see herself in Ariel.”

The film will be released on May 26, 2023, and will usher in a new era of more relatable and inclusive Disney princesses.