Mira the Royal Detective

What Mira, Royal Detective Does For Brown Girls Everywhere

In 2020, it will be the first time Disney will air a series based on a character from India. And not just any character- a female, Mira, Royal Detective. She is smart and brave plus her whole family has names that are not “Americanized” or made to be easier to pronounce.
For example, she will even have an auntie named Pushpa. (here’s more on the series itself)
As a brown girl who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s in America, I loved Jem because I could sort of relate to the Asian American member Aja, black band member Shana and even Raya the Latina drummer. But as an Indian, I never had a cartoon character I could relate 100% to…I mean there was the embarrassing Apu from the Simpsons- who I definitely did not relate to.
There was no female that I could feel proud of. Feel connected to. Feel like other people would like. Heck even have a name like mine that people wouldn’t call weird because it wasn’t “Emily or Jennifer.”
Mira is a girl my own little girl can watch and admire and jive with. She’s not a made up brown princess like Jasmine or Esmeralda…she feels real being a courageous girl. 
The show will have historical references of Jaipur, India, which I love. and Mira apparently has a creative and genius way she saves her brother. Inadvertently, she also saves a generation of brown girls from feeling less than. From thinking Indians are not good enough to be in a popular cartoon, to soon to be on lunchboxes and water bottles and pajamas that kids all over the world get excited about…the way their other beloved characters have always been but never Indian like herself or her mommy or brother. 
Things are shifting for our kids and it’s a time when diversity is not something to search for in young children’s animated shows anymore. As South Asians we see the role models like the Indian female doctor on that Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood episode and even Doc McStuffins is a step towards that for our girls.
But Mira shines light on so much more. By bringing her into the spotlight, she brings forth a brown girls name, her clothing, her culture plus showcases that her independence and smartness can be awesome.
Joe D’Ambrosia, senior vice president of original programming at Disney Junior, said in a written statement:
“We are eager to introduce kids and their families to the rich, diverse cultures and customs of India through Mira, a young girl who looks at things with her own unique lens to gain different perspectives and help others in her community. We hope that she will encourage our audience to actively engage with the inspiring world around them and appreciate the little details that make life extraordinary.”
Way to go Disney!
Photo source and reference: USA Today
Words by: Puja

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