Halle Bailey‘s Ariel doesn’t have pale skin and bright red hair like many are used to seeing, hence #NotMyAriel going viral on Twitter after her role was announced. But speaking to British Vogue,she revealed she isn’t bothered by the criticism, knowing the obstacles her grandparents had to overcome.
“I grew up in Georgia. I’m from the Deep South. Being a Black woman, in general, you just know the way things are and how people sometimes are just blatantly racist,” says Halle.
“My nana is 85. My grandpa’s a little bit older,” she continues. “I’ve talked to them about their life experiences. My nana would see her family picking cotton and she experienced being restricted to only drinking from a certain water fountain, and the paper bag test … When I hear my grandparents’ stories, I feel like I’m the luckiest girl in the world,” Halle adds. “All of that hate I got is nothing compared to what my ancestors lived in their lifetime.”
Halle was introduced to the world as half of Chloe x Halle, featuring older sister Chlöe. When cast for the role of Ariel, she had to move to London and discover life on her terms.
“Chlöe is like my mom. Venturing out on my own was scary,” Halle says of her alone time.
She’s since formed a newfound independence, which is reflected in her solo album. Still, she consults Chlöe for her opinion, as she does with Beyoncé, a mentor she does “not take for granted.”
“I just played her a lot of my songs and she was really overjoyed for me. It’s really cool to have somebody as established and talented as she is give you confirmation that the art you’re creating matters,” Halle says.
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.