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The Mary Sue

Series of Real-World Heroines As Disney Princesses Is Snarktastically Wonderful

A Series of Fallopian Tubes


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If you’ll remember, Disney’s redesign of Brave’s Merida kicked up quite the controversy earlier this year, causing many to be upset by how Disney crushes their princesses’ individuality in favor of creating generic, glitter-tastic images for them to slap on products and sell. Among those less-than-impressed is artist David Trumble, who worked with educational psychologist Lori Day to parody Disney’s “princessification” by illustrating what it would be like if the same treatment were applied to real-life female role models.

In creating this series, says Trumble, he wanted:

“to analyze how unnecessary it is to collapse a heroine into one specific mold, to give them all the same sparkly fashion, the same tiny figures, and the same homogenized plastic smile.

My experience of female role models both in culture and in life has shown me that there is no mold for what makes someone a role model, and the whole point of Merida was that she was a step in the right direction, providing girls with an alternative kind of princess. Then they took two steps back, and painted her with the same glossy brush as the rest. So I decided to take 10 real-life female role models, from diverse experiences and backgrounds, and filter them through the Disney princess assembly line.”

Trumble points out that the reaction to the series has been mixed—some people, for one, don’t seem to get that it’s satire–but he’s glad of the discussion it’s stirred up:

“…it was a polarizing image, but I suppose that’s the point. The statement I wanted to make was that it makes no sense to put these real-life women into one limited template, so why then are we doing it to our fictitious heroines?

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.
But that’s just me.”

(via: Women You Should Know, thanks to tipsters Sarah, Adrian)

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