Artist Puts Disney Princess Filter On 10 Real Life Female Role Models

Check out this artist’s parody of real influential women as imagined by Disney.  From the artist, David Trumble:

“Fiction is the lens through which young children first perceive role models, so we have a responsibility to provide them with a diverse and eclectic selection of female archetypes. Now, I’m not even saying that girls shouldn’t have princesses in their lives, the archetype in and of itself is not innately wrong, but there should be more options to choose from. So that was my intent, to demonstrate how ridiculous it is to paint an entire gender of heroes with one superficial brush.

2 thoughts on “Artist Puts Disney Princess Filter On 10 Real Life Female Role Models

  1. I always find the debate regarding the Disney Princesses extremely interesting, especially because my exposure to them was different than many of my fellow peers growing up. I was not allowed to watch the Disney Princess movies. I could watch movies like the Lion King, Pinocchio, Robin Hood, Tarzan, or Alice in Wonderland, but if it centered around a princess it was off limits. I did not understand my mother’s reasoning when I was younger, and there are many people now that still do not understand. As I have grown older now, however, I now understand that she did not want my imaginary world completely revolved around being a princess and falling in love. She wanted me to be independent, to have ridiculous dreams, and most importantly, she wanted me to have variety.
    When I was a little older, probably around eight or nine, she started allowing me to pick out different princess movies. It was not that she was ‘against princesses’, it was just that she was for a well rounded view, which she thought I would obtain if I first exposed myself to different exciting adventures that featured different types of individuals. I remember when I saw Mulan for the first time, I told my mom she was one of my favorites, her response was “It’s because they have a more equal opportunity relationship.” Then I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about, and I find it kind of humorous now that she even attempted to say that to a nine year old. However, she was right. Because I was exposed to different fictional lenses I knew what I enjoyed, and therefore, knew what I wanted and who I was. I wanted something more than a pretty dress and a true loves kiss. I wanted to be me. I believe children must learn to identify with others, whether that is a princess or a Nobel Prize winner, before they learn to identify with themselves. I don’t know about you, but I hope I can raise a daughter that imagines being a future Nobel Prize winner, but if she wants to be a princess, well that’s fine too. Both are equally worthy to dream of being, but the key point is they are different, different women and different heroes, and therefore, they should not be portrayed as the same.

  2. I read this and thought it was fascinating. I recently wrote about Disney and how Disney princesses were huge part of my childhood. But I also questioned should Disney princesses be role models. Of course, when I was a child I had a Disney princess role model. My favorite was Belle, because I perceived her as smart (because she read a lot) and strong (because she stood up to Gaston and the Beast). I was not big into princesses, being the tomboy that I was, but if I had to be a princess, I had no problem being Belle. But I think Trumble is on to something. If fiction is one of the first ways we learn role models, than we should have a balance of fictional role models and real role models. As well as having Belle, I loved Mia Hamm, Harriet Tubman, and Jane Goodall. Two of which are featured in these cartoons. I loved these women because they were strong, powerful, and brave. They were also adventurers, going where no one had gone before. But most of all, I admired their spirit and heart.

    Now that I am 21 years old, I still love Disney movies and watch them periodically. Also after reading Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, & Culture I have started to notice things in Disney princesses that I didn’t as a child. How most of them start off being wild and wanting adventure, to falling for the first guy they meet, and then dropping all their goals and ambition. That’s sad. I would never think of being in a relationship like that, nor would I want my friends or future daughter too. I want my future daughter to take risks doing something she loves. Not to be cooped up waiting for Prince Charming. I want her to go and pursue her dreams, and Prince Charming will respect these dreams. Relationships are like a partnership and their needs to be the same amount of give as take. I would completely agree with the artist David Trumble and that “Fiction is the lens through which young children first perceive role models, so we have a responsibility to provide them with a diverse and eclectic selection of female archetypes.” Children need to have realistic role models as well as fictional, because they might be the next Olympian, the next president, or the first person to go to Mars. We can have all of them fighting to be Prince George’s (Prince William and Kate’s son) wife. We want our youth to have ambition and drive, but also to have imagination.

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