I couldn't have been more ecstatic when rumors began circulating that Disney planned to debut a Latina princess this summer.
Finally, I would have a princess to call my own, even if she came 24 years too late. I didn't think she'd dethrone Cinderella as my favorite, but this Latina princess would still be mine. Plus, girls young enough to actually aspire to be Disney princesses, like my sister, would think, she's just like me. There would be lunchboxes, dresses, and even dolls.
Actress Gina Rodriguez even celebrated a recent promo poster for Princess Elena.
"Very excited for this project!" the "Jane the Virgin" star wrote on Instagram. "And feeling really blessed the Latino community has a princess for our little ladies all over the globe!"
Then I read the fine print.
Princess Elena of Avalor will make her debut on Disney's "Sofia the First," and then have her own show set to debut in 2016 — on Disney Junior. That's when my high over this new Latina princess came crashing down. I wasn't feeling #blessed. I felt robbed.
On the surface, this news is big. A Latina Disney princess is long overdue, and her importance should not be understated. Latinas everywhere will finally have a Disney character to identify with, one that may share the values and traditions they have in their own homes.
Rodriguez emphasized this in her Instagram post, adding that the character will be "a fierce, strong and intelligent princess."
She'll even thrust Latinx actors, like Aimee Carrero, in the limelight. It's a much-needed necessity in an industry where Hispanics make up less than 5% of roles in Hollywood's top films and a National Hispanic Media Coalition study found that TV shows and films contribute to negative connotations about Latinas.
However, I keep wondering why Elena didn't get her own movie — the only major Disney princess not to.
TV is great, but all of the major Disney princesses appeared on film, first. So, what does is say when there's no Latina princess with her own movie? It really seems like a shun when Disney is bringing Moana, the first Disney princess of Polynesian descent, to the big screen this year.
We could give Disney the benefit of the doubt since they may not be able to milk two new princesses at the same time, but that also means they decided Elena isn't worthy of the big screen treatment. Despite that fact that in 2015 alone, Disney released 12 feature films.
Disney could've added Elena to its slate. It's not too big of a burden for Disney to create a princess who represents 17% of the nation's population — which is why I refuse to accept that the Latina community's first Disney princess will not be in theaters.
And if you're thinking: Why can't you just be happy you have a princess? She has her own show! She's the star! You shouldn't be picking this fight! You're a part of the problem that keeps Latinx people from being represented in media.
As a Latina, I'm sick of being told to be grateful to have a princess when movie after movie features strong, usually white, heroines. And while I'm a light-toned Puerto Rican (that's a whole other can of worms), I believe my culture deserves to be viewed by a national audience, not just households with kids 5 and under.
Latinas haven't waited 79 years and fought for recognition to accept a supporting role.
And if Elena is as badass as I know she will be, she'd feel the same way.
Note: A previous version of this essay used the term Gypped. Gypped is a derogatory term used to negatively describe European travelers. The author was informed of this meaning and updated the piece.