disney princessified: artist gives real life inspirational women the disney treatment
Sometimes, for us to really comprehend the ridiculousness of something we’ve been spoon-fed our whole lives, it needs to be picked apart, repackaged and then handed back to us. That’s what artist and cartoonist David Trumble has done with his “Disney Princessified” representations of past and present inspirational women and girls. He’s taken great ladies, including Rosa Parks, Hillary Clinton, and Malala Yousafzai, and given them the Disney treatment. That is, tiny waists, sweet smiles, a bird and a rose, and super wide eyes.
Trumble’s thought provoking and satirical work was prompted by the glossy makeover that Disney gave Merida from Pixar’s Brave, and the anger it caused.
When speaking to the website Women You Should Know, Trumble said he wanted to ‘analyse how unnecessary it is to collapse a heroine into one specific mould, to give them all the same sparkly fashion, the same tiny figures, and the same homogenised plastic smile.’
By taking these real life heroines and running them through the Disney ringer, Trumble really opens our eyes to how wrong it is to even try to cut them from the same cloth.
And if it makes no sense to do it to these women, then why do it to fictional characters when there is plenty of license to get creative and celebrate difference? Now whenever someone decides to mess with a tried and true recipe in the great cookbook of life, there are always going to be those who love it and those who hate it. There will also be those who completely miss the finely nuanced point of the dish you’ve whipped up.
Of course, that was the case here.
Trucking with the worshipped Church of Disney for some was heresy; some disagreed with the message, while others loved it and even wanted to buy the images as dolls.
Whatever you think of it though, once you’ve seen Trumble’s art, you are challenged to rethink how you look at these types of images.
There’s been plenty of discussion surrounding Disney characters recently and different ways of representing them and some of us are a bit tired of it. THEY’RE JUST STORIES RIGHT? Well they are just stories. But stories with essentially the same message and character aren’t super inspirational.
There is nothing wrong with having stories that include princesses. That option should definitely be available to our girls. But more options need to be available. And this is essentially Trumble’s point.
Girls (and boys) need to become used to seeing a variety of characters that look different. Like, completely different. Not just brown hair and a yellow dress as opposed to blonde hair and a blue dress. And while we’re at it, let’s have a few more female characters that aren’t white. And when we have them in pictures next to the white characters, let’s not shove them at the back. Let’s open up the screens to a wider range of heroines. We have them in real life, so why not in fiction too?