So the other day I was watching The Princess and the Frog and I decided that Charlotte La Bouff doesn’t get nearly enough love and there’s a lot of reasons why.
Yes, most people who do love Charlotte think she’s hilarious, mainly there for comic relief and to fall unwittingly into Dr. Facilier’s evil plan. But Charlotte is so much more than that. She is an A+++ friend to Tiana and the fact that she is a white, upper class debutante makes this even more fantastic.
The film takes place in the 1920’s in the South. Do you know what it was like in the south in the early 20th century? It wasn’t good. Reconstruction messed up the south BAD, you guys. You still see a lot of fall out from that time period in terms of racism and social divides. It’s amazing that Charlotte and Tiana are such good friends despite being from such different backgrounds, but neither of them treat the other one any differently because of this. And even though Charlotte first met Tiana through Tiana’s mother, who was clearly a nanny or seamstress or another form of “help” in the La Bouff household, she continued to remain friends with Tiana even after her mother leaves their employment.
When Charlotte hires Tiana to cater her party, it’s not because she feels pity for her or her working class lifestyle. It’s because she’s like “damn girl, your beignets are fantastic, you have to bring them to the party tonight!” When Tiana is clearly going through an emotional time (after finding out she lost her restaurant) Charlotte literally DITCHES HER PRINCE to go comfort Tiana and make her feel better.
Charlotte has had everything in her life, and her only wish is to marry a prince and become a princess. It’s a silly, girlish dream, but it’s all she’s had because she could have anything else. It’s the equivalent of Rapunzel’s dream to see the lights or Aurora’s dream to meet her true love. She has such a hopeful outlook on life and fate having things work out for her, and yet even when she makes a deal with Naveen and he agrees to marry her, she realizes that Tiana is the one who found true love. TIANA is living out her dream and rather than get bitter, Charlotte GLADLY hands over her dream to Tiana. She could have easily forced Naveen to marrying her by kissing him before the clock struck twelve and forgetting about her friend, taking her dream that she’s wanted her WHOLE LIFE for herself, but Charlotte doesn’t even hesitate. “I’ll kiss him, no marriage required!”
Charlotte is a fantastic friend, showing us that it doesn’t matter which background you’re from - friendship knows no color and no social class. THAT is why Charlotte is so freaking amazing.