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Disney Princesses Get A Modern, Satirical Twist

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Unfortunately for those born out of fairy tales, “happily ever afters” don’t exist in the real world.

Wellington, New Zealand-based illustrator Alana Mays looked into the depth of Disney fairy tales to find gender stereotypes and negative messages—and decided to critique the stereotypes “the beautiful ideal”, “the domestic ideal”, and “the female object” through characters of Snow White, Jasmine, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.

In her ‘Modern Disney Heroines’ series, the classic Disney princesses have modern lives, and each story is given a contemporary and satirical twist aimed at females in their young 20s.

Check them out below:

Snow White

Beauty Rewards:

In the Disney Film ‘Snow White’, the Snow White that we all know of is stereotyped as beautiful. Disney gives the impression that it is important to be beautiful on the outside in order to be rescued. In this concept, I have created a twist by making Snow White not beautiful. Snow White has passed out from choking on an apple and she is in need of CPR to be saved. A man is about to give her CPR but because he does not find her desirable he looks repulsed. This idea shows that if you are not beautiful, then you will not be rewarded.


A prize to be won:


In the Disney film ‘Aladdin’, the heroine Jasmine has been stereotyped to be a prize. Men desired Jasmine for her title and beauty instead of her inner beauty. The concept shows Jasmine inside of a life-size game machine, surrounded by toy cars, to play on the idea that she is a prize or trophy to be won by a male. She is worried as she knows that eventually she will be won by a man, rather than be swept off her feet by a man of her choice. This idea implies that women are sometimes seen as an object rather than as an individual.


Compromise for love:

In the Disney film ‘The Little Mermaid’, the character Ariel is the stereotypical example of comprimizes made to meet the concept of ideal beauty. She transforms her tail for a pair of legs and sells her voice to win the man of her dreams. Disney is displaying ideals of beauty through portraying female characters as not good enough the way they are and that they should be willing to change their body for someone. This concept shows Ariel getting plastic surgery transformation, which shows that women today are focusing on their outer appearance and are going to the extremes of plastic surgery to meet societies expectations of beauty.


Gender In-equalities:

In the Disney film ‘Cinderella’, the heroine is stereotyped as a poor domestic slave. In this concept, Cinderella is in an office where she is working but is still wearing her dirty used kitchen gloves. This shows that even though women have the right to work these days, they still bear the title of being the domestic housewives when they go home.


An object of ridicule:

In the Disney film ‘Sleeping Beauty’, the main character Aurora, that we all know of is stereotyped as beautiful. In this concept, there is an unattractive version of Sleeping Beauty inside of a kissing booth at a carnival, asleep as she has been waiting for too long for someone to arrive. This idea shows that if females don’t meet the expectations of beauty then they will be an object of ridicule and will not be noticed by a male.

[via Alana Mays]
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