Halle Bailey literally felt what it means for kids to see her as the title character in the "Little Mermaid."
The actor and singer posted a video to her Instagram story March 24 of herself at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida holding a young girl named Mila Rose, who saw her at the park.
As they embrace for a long hug, Mila does not say anything. She lays her head on the Grammy-nominated artist's shoulder and wraps her arms and legs around Bailey's body.
The "Grown-ish" actor rocks Mila in her arms, rubs her back and smiles the whole time.
"You're so pretty," she says. "You're so beautiful and sweet."
Someone in the background tells the "Little Mermaid" star that Ariel is "her favorite" character.
"She won't let go," the person says.
The 22-year-old then asks Mila if she wants to smile for a picture. Mila's head pops up, and she turns toward a nearby camera.
The Chloe x Halle member was at the resort for a special mentoring event that included 100 students and other celebrities, such as H.E.R. and Marsai Martin.
She has previously described the impact playing the underwater Disney princess has had on others — and also herself. When the new Ariel doll was revealed, Bailey said in a video shared on her Instagram: "I am going to cry."
“I am literally choking up because this means so much to me and to have one that looks like me, that is my favorite Disney character, is very surreal," she said.
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The ascension to the role has not been without some backlash. Following her casting announcement, #NotMyAriel trended on social media, and many posts used racially derogatory language to object to Bailey's casting as Ariel.
Bailey, one of Beyoncé's proteges, told "The Face" last month that she was unsurprised by the response.
"As a Black person, you just expect it and it’s not really a shock anymore," she said. "When (Chlöe and I) first signed to Parkwood, (Beyoncé) was always like: 'I never read my comments. Don’t ever read the comments.' Honestly, when the teaser came out, I was at the D23 Expo and I was so happy. I didn’t see any of the negativity."
In September of 2022, Bailey hosted a Q&A session on her YouTube account and explained why she accepted the role even though she expected the backlash that would follow.
"I know what it would have meant to me as a little girl to have been able to see a black Ariel when I was younger," she said. "If I would have seen that, it would have changed my whole outlook on life."