Real heroines reimagined as Disney Princesses
November 3, 2013 7:11 PM   Subscribe


 
I liked this but the Anne Frank one was kinda weird.
posted by sweetkid at 7:13 PM on November 3, 2013 [19 favorites]


I'm really unhappy with "Holocaust Princess." Righting sexism doesn't have to start with anti-semitism. (A lot of Jewish girls are slurred as "princesses", probably because Jewish-American culture started valuing girl children a bit before mainstream American culture.)
posted by miyabo at 7:15 PM on November 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, definitely weird, but I think the tone-deafness there is deliberate, per the artist's statement:

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?
posted by kagredon at 7:15 PM on November 3, 2013 [27 favorites]


yea I think that's fair.
posted by sweetkid at 7:18 PM on November 3, 2013


I really hated them and then discovered that I hated them for exactly the reasons the artist created them.
posted by rtha at 7:22 PM on November 3, 2013 [64 favorites]


The inappropriateness of there being a Holocaust Princess is the joke itself.

It would only be even remotely anti-Semitic if her depiction of princessdom had anything to do with JAP stereotypes, which it didn't.

That said, Pan's Labyrinth did sort of have a Fascist Martyr Princess. But, in an awesome way.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:27 PM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am horrible. I freaking loved seeing Ruth Bader Ginsburg in sparkly princess gear and Gloria Steinem in sparkly bell-bottoms and Hillary Clinton in sparkly business skirt.

That said, I think Anne Frank (a) would have been a bit more into princessdom than the rest, and thus (b) her outfit was a bit disappointing by comparison.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:28 PM on November 3, 2013 [12 favorites]


Ironic means never having to say you're sorry.
posted by IndigoJones at 7:30 PM on November 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


Hillary Clinton in sparkly business skirt.

Hillz is totally rocking the harem pantsuit, methinks.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:31 PM on November 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Princess Ginsburg is A-OK. She's the grown-up version of President Penelope von Schweetz.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:31 PM on November 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


My emotional experience with these was essentially this sequence:

1. Hey kinda cute!
2. Wait... why should these awesome ladies be denigrated as mere princesses. GRAR.
3. Read author's statement: ok... I accept this, but not for the same reasons that everyone on my facebook page is sharing it for.

I'm trying really hard to see anything anti-Semitic about Anne Frank's depiction.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:34 PM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can tell the artist did this as basically an act of contempt towads the "princess" stylization, but whatever, I've been a fan of 2-d animation for a long time. I recognized Jane Goodall, Malala Yousafzai, Anne Frank, Hillary, and Harriet Tubman right away, and got teary eyed at the idea of someone getting the people who came up with Belle and Nani Pelekai to do them and their lives tribute. Then I noticed the snarky, not super clever tags like "Supreme Princess", "Defiant Princess", and "Holocaust Princess" (fuck you). I was not surprised in the least to see that the illustrator, who seems to have no idea how important the Princess line is for a lot of girls, as some of the only media created for them (unlike Harry Potter which just assumes they'll come along for the ride) was a white dude wearing an idiosyncratic hat.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 7:35 PM on November 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


A derail, but in the comments on the page, in response to another comment, perhaps the best comment made on the internet ever:

Your comment is funny because you're telling someone who just expressed their opinion about someone else's opinion on another person's opinion that they don't have a right to an opinion in the form of an opinion.
posted by ShooBoo at 7:37 PM on November 3, 2013 [27 favorites]


Hmmm, I dunno, I thought it was a bit obvious, and artistically felt the images weren't exactly swollen with merit.

Artist statement and all, when you compare fantasy archetypes and storybook characters with actual people, of course the former will come up short. Characters and archetypes are simplistic by design, really. I mean, if that's the accusation, you could level it just as easily at "witches", or "Prince Charming" etc. This is not to elide problematic representations in Disney films, of which I am very cognisant. Addtionally - though this notion is a very popular one - I refute the idea that princesses and their stories are monopolised and mediated exclusively through, or even, perhaps, primarily through, Disney films. Princesses are so much bigger than that; these things occur in a matrix, and I find a lot of 'princess criticism' tries to analyse it at a remove.

tl;dr I think there are interesting things to say about princesses and the de/construction thereof - indeed, it was a big part of my honours thesis. But I thought this attempted it in a really one-dimensional and kinda sophomore way.
posted by smoke at 7:50 PM on November 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Too Meta. Should've been Filtered.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:03 PM on November 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


So let's see... Princesses are bad because while they are one of the few nonsexualized fictional role models for girls they just aren't real-world enough. So to illustrate this a guy drags real world female role models down to the level of princesses, which ends up more pissing people off because it cheapens the contribution to feminism made by these real people.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:10 PM on November 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Princesses are bad because while they are one of the few nonsexualized fictional role models for girls

Um. Maybe I'm missing the point of this project, but aren't princesses highly sexualized role models for girls? Because they promote irrational standards for beauty and appearance and fashion?
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:16 PM on November 3, 2013 [23 favorites]


I think this was a perfect exercise in Disney-fication. I especially liked how Marie Curie glowed in the dark...
posted by jim in austin at 8:28 PM on November 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


Honestly, I started to dislike the artist behind this even before I saw his picture wearing a derby (which is the next level up, or down if you will, from the proverbial fedora, in terms of affectation), or read this: why then are we doing it to our fictitious heroines? "We"? Most of us aren't Disney.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:42 PM on November 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am horrible. I freaking loved seeing Ruth Bader Ginsburg in sparkly princess gear...

This. I saw this on Facebook with the Ruth Bader Ginsburg one as the preview image, and since I consider her to be like the fairy godmother of jurisprudence, it didn't bother me in the least. Before I got to the "artists statement" I was thinking about how one could do Scalia as Maleficent. The ones that annoyed me were Anne Frank (for obvious reasons) and the ones where he felt the need to add extra sexuality to their outfits (most notably Marie Curie).

I can get why people were kind of annoyed at the re-sculpting of Meridia, but I think the problem with the Disney princesses is less about their over-sized heads, big eyes and sparkly outfits and more about their ultimate lack agency, mostly relying on cheerful birds, singing mice, fairy godmothers and the occasional handsome prince to get them through the day.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:46 PM on November 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Holocaust Princess" would seem to indicate this is an epic troll.

But even if this is not an attempt at trolling, there is no way you can "feminize" a Disney Princess.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:59 PM on November 3, 2013


It's a sympathetic magic thing, right? You consume the thing afflicting you, and it cures your.

But sympathetic magic is rarely effective, and irony is not a universal remedy.

/I did like Ginsburg, though.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:04 PM on November 3, 2013


But even if this is not an attempt at trolling, there is no way you can "feminize" a Disney Princess.

It's times like these that I wish I could draw worth a damn.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:16 PM on November 3, 2013


It's times like these that I wish I could draw worth a damn.

I read this as "It's times like these that I wish I could draw a worth a damn."

As in you wished you could take a pencil or pen and draw a picture representing, clearly and succinctly, the concept of 'worth a damn'. Because this is how broken a post and subsequent discussion and objections as meta-meta as this makes my brain.

Y'all have fun with this, it's all way above my head.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:22 PM on November 3, 2013


Let's open a dialog about having a conversation about how we should talk about how we think we ought to feel about how we ought to feel about you feeling that this post is over your head.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:32 PM on November 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Your comment is funny because you're telling someone who just expressed their opinion about someone else's opinion on another person's opinion that they don't have a right to an opinion in the form of an opinion.

ShooBoo, I got lost reading the comment section and found that nearly the better half of the link.

It's great to have color and sparkle and depict women as princesses.

What I get thoroughly sick of is waists as big around as my wrist, dresses cut so the boobage hangs out, simpering expressions and arms and legs twisted like a five year old trying not to pee their pants, and not one damn character line on women who are older than I am.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:49 PM on November 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


It's not just that he is mocking Disney, it is the equivalent of making fun of a song by imitating it really badly. So many stars.

Get's a aye for subject and a solid meh for execution.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 10:11 PM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyone else just hate the drawing quality?
posted by Teakettle at 10:29 PM on November 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


His heart's in the right place, but he still comes across as a dickhead.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:53 PM on November 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


This man is obviously in denial about his own secret, guilty dream of being a Disney princess.
posted by Segundus at 11:53 PM on November 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I know I should be horrified by these, and they should make me think about Disney and sexism and stuff, but I really liked these. Thought they were cute. Even the Anne Frank one.

Ask your girl Malala what she thinks of her representation.

I guess I don't have the same hatred of Disney Princesses. Every girl I know loves themselves a Disney Princess.
posted by zoo at 12:28 AM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder why Trumble didn't get het up about representations of women in popular culture when he was taking the Murdoch shilling at The Sun. Perhaps he failed to notice Page 3 in the rush to see his cringe-inducingly awful cartoons in print, illustrating the work of noted feminist thinker Trevor Kavanagh?
posted by jack_mo at 12:39 AM on November 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I guess I don't have the same hatred of Disney Princesses. Every girl I know loves themselves a Disney Princess.

Yes, there's a lot of internalised misogyny everywhere.
posted by crossoverman at 1:32 AM on November 4, 2013 [13 favorites]


If the artists' statement was going to accompany these drawing everywhere they went, I might be okay with them. Except to critique Disney Princesses by devaluing real life female role models seems like overkill.

But I know these images are going to be passed around without the artist's statement attached (probably as it should be, we don't look at most art with an explanation from the artist alongside) and then I'm kind of annoyed by what people will really think of them. Either they'll be thought of as cute caricatures or people will be outraged by them.

So, in the end, this dude is critiquing one thing by devaluing real life women and we're supposed to just shrug and go, "ironic, huh?"
posted by crossoverman at 1:39 AM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Except to critique Disney Princesses by devaluing real life female role models seems like overkill.

He isn't devaluing them. This is satire - he is mocking the idea that role models for girls have to be sparkly and idealized, and prettified so that little girls will want to buy all the things. He doesn't have the power to devalue them - if this were a real Disney marketing campaign, maybe. But it's not.

The satire is kind of ham-fisted (as does the drawing, ahem) but it seems like if it were any more subtle nobody would get it at all. Apparently everyone has lost the the ability to parse satire, or if they do get it they have to yell "I HATE IRONY! OH LOOK AT HOW IRONIC YOU ARE! I HATE IRONY AND I HATE YOUR STUPID HAT!" lest someone think they are a hipster.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:22 AM on November 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


I get it. Still not keen on using a 15 year old who died as a result of state-sanctioned violence and bigotry to make a rhetorical point about how bad Disney Princesses are.
posted by calico at 3:34 AM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


jack_mo: I agree that this fellow's drawing skill is not exactly great. But I liked this cartoon.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:30 AM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately the satire and artist statement doesn't seem to get carried along into tumblr/facebook/whatever where this is making the rounds as something quite, quite different.
posted by odinsdream at 5:19 AM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


> I freaking loved seeing Ruth Bader Ginsburg in sparkly princess gear and Gloria Steinem in sparkly bell-bottoms
> and Hillary Clinton in sparkly business skirt.

He didn't change Steinem any at all, other than opening a new shaker of sparkly. Artist with ballz would have done Andrea Dworkin. But sorry no, no phat chix among Disney's princesses, or these.
posted by jfuller at 5:47 AM on November 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Drawing offensive caricatures that will only be appreciated by people already offended by the original offensive caricatures is at best pointless and at worst starts to seem like a pretext for drawing offensive caricatures for the fun of it. And, sorry, "Holocaust Princess" was tasteless and offensive even as satire; if you have to take pains to explain why your satire is really not offensive because you're mocking something else, then it's likely a fail.
posted by aught at 6:20 AM on November 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


The thing that I liked about Holocaust Princess is that I saw that caricature and immediately could imagine, like, the original Disney movie and the couple of straight-to-DVD sequels that would revolve around that fictionalized version of Anne Frank. I could envision the horns-too-heavy sequences of faceless Nazis marching around a tiny German town, the only indication you'd ever get of bad things going on. I could picture the attic set, which is the size of two medium-sized houses simply so the animators have room to move their characters around in (and for the DANCE NUMBER! that would almost certainly ensue at some point). I could see Anne Frank's story reduced to a glitzy, unintentionally grossly offensive parody of itself, where all the agency belongs to every single man in the attic, all the women act as emotional foils to the men, and Anne's only job is seemingly to work out her feelings and maybe go on a "daring" mission that ends in her being captured by a Faceless Nazi and saved by the boy who she's been trying to, like, talk some heart! into. And there would either be talking rats or silent, adorable, anthropomorphic rats who bring her cheese, depending on just which era of Disney we're talking about.

The contrast of the dreck narratives Disney pushes out w/r/t princesses to the reality of the Frank story/the Holocaust in general made me go, oh, right! The problem with Disney isn't that they're telling ugly stories or doing a bad job of directing and animation and pacing, or basically anything that would ping my "this is poorly-made art" meter. The problem is that they present stories which are utterly deluded about how people function and how they look and what privileges they possess, and in the process give kids a bunch of fucked-up notions about how glittery and perfect the world is, and how much they/other people must suck if they don't end up adhering to this caricaturish perfection. There is a general problem with idealization of women and subjugation of their characters plotwise in the movies, and Disney not only indulges in that approach, they fine-tuned the formula and surrounding marketing machine that lets them sell billions of dollars of princess a year, and even has made the notion of being a "Disney princess" so pervasive that in America you basically have every young girl going through a Disney princess phase. Which sets up a whoooole bunch of problematic things for down the line.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:41 AM on November 4, 2013 [13 favorites]


Put another way: "Holocaust Princess" is just an artistic depiction of a historically famous person in a particular well-known style. I'm sure people draw Anne Frank all the time, often in caricaturized styles, and nobody blinks an eye.

At the end of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, one of my favorite recent TV shows, you get a sequence wherein Anne Frank is one of a number of girls who comes into contact with a character from the show, done up all anime-style, and rather than being offensive I found the sequence really touching. Because within the show there's a huge focus on the suffering of young girls, both physical and psychological and societal, and with that sequence there's a kind of broadening of perspective which suggests that the breadth of torment people suffer is, like, this huge and monumental thing that can't be easily comprehended, and that the attempt to comprehend it and try and make the world better is both painful for the attempter and an entirely noble thing to do. Maybe it's not the most sophisticated statement ever broadcast, but its heart is enough in the right place that it doesn't come across as exploitative or pandering.

The reason you see Holocaust Princess and get offended is that, welp, Disney princesses carry with them a heck of a lot of baggage. To the extent that when you see the style applied to anybody serious, I think it makes sense that the initial response to have is "WHOA. NOT COOL." Round these parts it's taken for granted that Disney is at least somewhat problematic and that wanting to aspire to princesshood is not the healthiest childhood that you could possibly have, but a) maybe this reaches a new audience and makes them think about that? b) maybe getting super complacent in general Disney snark and contempt makes it easier for Disney to ignore the snarkers and reach out to the usual vulnerable Disney audience, since there's been this cynicism about Disney for generations yet Disney is still a hugely profitable company because its audience is too impressionable and ignorant to easily resist being told "pretend like you are tall, skinny, and 'perfect'".
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:50 AM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ironic means never having to say you're sorry.
posted by cleroy at 7:24 AM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm tired of seeing these. The obvious point isn't served well by the poor execution.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:24 AM on November 4, 2013


Ironic means never having to say you're sorry.
Thank you for that!
posted by cleroy at 7:28 AM on November 4, 2013


Each time I see things like this, I always think to myself that I enjoy(ed) some of these Disney movies. Then I think, "self, are you sure you haven't internalized sexist, anti-feminist, shallow messages into your adulthood?" The internet keeps telling me that I must have.
posted by girlmightlive at 7:56 AM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


The reason you see Holocaust Princess and get offended is that, welp, Disney princesses carry with them a heck of a lot of baggage.

Yes, and a cartoonist risks association with the offensive baggage if he tries to use and exploit it for his own satirical entertainment purposes. You pay your money and take your chance, and sometimes the lulz snap back on you.
posted by aught at 8:01 AM on November 4, 2013


Well, the big break from Disney here, and the thing that really keeps these from looking like Disney princesses, is that the artist has had to struggle with applying the Disney style to women in their thirties, forties and up. It's a reminder that most women who accomplish really big things do so at an age when Disney culture has determined them to be not worth looking at anymore.
posted by ostro at 8:06 AM on November 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


Well, when you see how subtle and clever some of his previous cartoons are, these are like Duchamp in comparison. (From jack_mo's linked gallery)
posted by benito.strauss at 8:23 AM on November 4, 2013


...aren't princesses highly sexualized role models for girls? Because they promote irrational standards for beauty and appearance and fashion?

Do you live in a magical neighborhood where there are no bikini models on billboards shilling workboots, Spearmint Rhino local franchises, and weight loss programs? You're confusing "sexualized" with "feminine." The latter is a big feature of the Princess franchise and can be problematic in terms of gender-policing, as a lot of feminists point out wrt characters like Merida and Mulan, but there is a big difference between being femme and being inappropriately sexualized, and IMO the failure to make that distinction is a pretty big example of misogyny itself. As is the idea that "girly" things like sparkles and cuteness are innately misogynist and degrading, which seems to be the entire message of this piece. I think the implicit claim that sparkly femininity is degrading to women like Gloria Steinem, who is high femme IRL, or Rosa Parks, especially when it's being made by a man, is ridiculously sexist.

Odinsdream, exactly. If I hadn't looked closer to see the artist's statement I would honestly have thought the image had come from some (female) fanartist on tumblr like Isaia.


Yes, there's a lot of internalised misogyny everywhere.
What do you mean, internalized?
posted by moonlight on vermont at 8:53 AM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


*"feminine"= traditional femme. I also think it's fascinating that almost all of the mefites writing big essays about how offensive and sexist the Princess franchise is, and how women and girls who like them are suffering from the internalized misogyny and all the usual Theory of the Young-Girl horseshit, are men. Hmmm.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 9:02 AM on November 4, 2013


For an example of how your average social media place is presenting this (with no context), here's a tumblr I had just recently added to my RSS: zohbugg where it's being presented at face-value as a "rah cool awesome" thing.

Tons of "likes" with, again, zero context. Knowing this is how media is consumed now should matter to an artist who is walking such a fine line.
posted by odinsdream at 9:05 AM on November 4, 2013


Just look at the some of the source tags: amazing, awesome, political activism, girl power, inspiration, inspirational, feminism, women, girls, women's rights, real icons, rolemodels, role model
posted by odinsdream at 9:07 AM on November 4, 2013


He didn't change Steinem any at all, other than opening a new shaker of sparkly.

The Jane Goodall one is particularly WTF. It's not even princessy, and absent context and sparkles it'd just read as a horribly tone-deaf illustration of her before she was 30.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:12 AM on November 4, 2013


Odinsdream: exactly. Tumblr's demographic is almost entirely female, young, and very actively third-wave feminist (ie, LGBT positive, supportive of a wide range of gender expressions, including femme). Taken without the scumbag artist's statement, the images are indistinguishable from the art that regularly comes from that community, who are also often into cartoons, anime, etc. This entire thing makes me think of that Iggy Pop via Madonna quote: "You think..to look like a girl is degrading, because you think that being a girl is degrading."
posted by moonlight on vermont at 9:13 AM on November 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Do you live in a magical neighborhood where there are no bikini models on billboards shilling workboots, Spearmint Rhino local franchises, and weight loss programs? You're confusing "sexualized" with "feminine." The latter is a big feature of the Princess franchise and can be problematic in terms of gender-policing, as a lot of feminists point out wrt characters like Merida and Mulan, but there is a big difference between being femme and being inappropriately sexualized

I don't think the problem is the sparkles or the cuteness, it's the perfectly slim bodies and the lustrous hair and the complete lack of any wrinkle or fold that suggests a human body existing in any form other than the most symbolic and objectified manner.

THAT'S the sexualization, and yes, it is a part of what defines "feminine" within our culture because to be female is to be told perpetually that you are a body to be displayed and coveted. You are a fantasy that exists for somebody else, and unless you're not, you are scarcely worth paying attention to—unless you are deserving of bucket-tons of scorn instead.

If you don't think that the fetishization of the female form and fashion counts as sexualization, then we are simply using two different versions of what "sexualization" entails.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:24 AM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


And there is no dissonance between Tumblr users passing these pictures around as "so beautiful" and "such a role model" and young people internalizing the notion that to be a heroic fantasy character you need to be skinny and beautiful and perfectly resemble the Disney-ized feminine form. In fact, upon first pass I'd assume that the one causes the other.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:28 AM on November 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Kid Charlemagne: " I was thinking about how one could do Scalia as Maleficent."

You mean that wasn't the inspiration behind Ursula?
posted by IAmBroom at 9:33 AM on November 4, 2013


Rory, thank you so much for educating me on this subject. I would never, ever have given so much as a thought about the many complexities of gender display, policing, and commodification if a 23 year old man on the internet had not shown me the light as you have today on the blue. As a cis woman sex worker it would not have even occurred to me that "to be female is to be told perpetually that you are a body to be displayed and coveted" until you opened my mind with such a neat recap of 90's Naomi Wolf.

I think you may want to re-examine your motives when it comes to lecturing women that, "You are a fantasy that exists for somebody else." That line may be a bit more revealing than it was intended to be.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 9:38 AM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are you really not able to take my "within our culture you are told perpetually" clause and extent it to the next sentence as well? In your haste to be pissed off at me you're misreading (accidentally or deliberately) what's actually being said. Sheesh.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:43 AM on November 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


You are really, really mischaracterizing the motivation behind Rory's comments, as well as badly misinterpreting the actual content on them.
posted by elizardbits at 10:15 AM on November 4, 2013 [10 favorites]


Well, I'm a girl, and I hate Disney princesses! You're welcome.

I think the drawings are fine but the captions were kind of phoned in.
posted by stoneandstar at 10:24 AM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't think that Disney Princesses are the model of equality and feminism, but I think there's something about them that's slightly more progressive than the mainstream. Personal opinions and all that and I'm aware that my age and gender possibly preclude me having an opinion, but Mulan! Pocahontas! Tiana!

And fuck it. Sparkly is awesome. The more of that sparkly shit we can spread over everywhere - the better.

And I'm also aware that while we're deeply sensitive to representations of a 15 year old girl murdered nearly a century ago, we're not half as sensitive to representations of a 14 year old nearly murdered 2 years ago who will probably be murdered yet.
posted by zoo at 11:04 AM on November 4, 2013


I'm a lady and a feminist and I read this pretty much the opposite of all the foregoing. I like seeing my heroes dressed up and presented in the same aspirational way nitwits who just want to get married to a prince or whatever. There is nothing wrong with liking sparkles and princesses (it's like third wave feminism never happened). And I love the idea of harnessing the obsession with sparkles and sending it into Princess Parks who embodies courage and community organizing or Princess Steinem, displaying the fantastic ways to speak truth to power *and* be adorable while doing so. I know it doesn't speak that way to everyone, and that's cool, but as an eight-year-old who liked girlie things *and* the civil rights movement, this would have been so awesome in non-ironic fashion.
posted by dame at 11:06 AM on November 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


14 year old nearly murdered 2 years ago who will probably be murdered yet

I feel pretty sensitive to the fact that you seem to be presenting Malala Yousafzai not as an inspirational fighter for equality but someone we should mourn as "not murdered yet."
posted by sweetkid at 11:58 AM on November 4, 2013 [10 favorites]


I see a lot of modded Disney princesses on places like Deviantart. So I have to wonder what the reaction would be if this had been produced by a woman or group of women on Deviantart.
posted by happyroach at 1:01 PM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


So I have to wonder what the reaction would be if this had been produced by a woman or group of women on Deviantart.

A lot of the modded Disney princesses I've seen are a comment on the Disney princess phenomenon - what the princesses look like now, due to age, divorce, alcoholism, etc. - because Disney princesses are always impossibly young and beautiful.

This series is another comment on Disney princesses by using real life women to make a ham-fisted point. So until a woman starts doing that, I think the question is irrelevant. A man used the images of real-life female role models to make a heavy-handed point which is difficult to parse when his statement of purpose isn't attached.
posted by crossoverman at 1:53 PM on November 4, 2013


It's a reminder that most women who accomplish really big things do so at an age when Disney culture has determined them to be not worth looking at anymore.

I dunno, I think this is a bit silly. By all means, criticise Disney - but criticise it for what it is, not what it isn't. The audience for Disney movies is children - just like the original audience for fairy tales was children. Naturally they don't feature women in their 30s and 40s as protagonists, they feature children and adolescents because the themes of Disney films are generally about growing up, finding independence, discovering and asserting your identity etc etc.

Indeed, I feel this is one of the many weaknesses with the original piece as social criticism - using real life figures as Disney figures is pointless because Disney doesn't do real life. I mean, it's great that you can see a Disney Anne Frank movie, Rory. But they've never done that - or anything like it (maaaybe Pocahontas, but that already had a novel, maybe Frog Princess?) - so the trenchant social criticism seems to be mostly in your head.

I find it interesting, how fast we are to assert our ownership of text and textual interpretation, yet how speedily we deny the same to children and adolescents, I don't think the difference is as big as all that. Disney princesses have mixed, complicated messages, it's true. So do most of the stories those characters originally come from.
posted by smoke at 2:43 PM on November 4, 2013


Back in undergrad, I wrote a sociology thesis paper about how Disney's explicit avoidance of acknowledging sexuality leads to a lot of implicit problems. Like how one second Mulan is all, "ew, I never want to see a naked man again," and then the next second she's all, "Shang is totes hawt and I will marry him and asexually reproduce children with him like some kind of asexual yeast." Of course, this was before all the hubbub about alternate universe Mulan being gay or bi. But the confusion is kind of the point. Disney has impossible standards for its heroines and it inevitably leads to frustration and confusion and impossible to reconcile dreams for those who idolize them.

Honestly, I don't think it is a coincidence that so many wholesome Disney teen stars rebel and become outrageously sexualized pop stars in young adulthood. They may never reconcile the virgin-whore dichotomy because, unlike the rest of us who may watch and internalize some of the message, they come as close as possible to living it. You can put the lid on a pot but that won't keep it from boiling over.
posted by Skwirl at 3:23 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rory Marinich: "The reason you see Holocaust Princess and get offended is that, welp, Disney princesses carry with them a heck of a lot of baggage. "

It's not the princesses themselves that are the problem. It's what Disney would no doubt do with her story -- sugar coat it for the masses and then commercialize it incessantly.

Would Disney accurately show the brutality of Auschwitz? Of Bergen-Belsen? Would they show that because she'd turned 15 just three months earlier, she barely escaped being part of the group of 500 people on her train who were gassed to death? That she basically starved while working as a slave. Was infested with scabies thanks to disgusting conditions in the camps, and died of typhus as a result?

Of course not. And all of that is also part of her story. It deserves respectful treatment.
posted by zarq at 3:40 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anne Frank has been renamed 'Diary Princess' to put the focus on her writing.
posted by soelo at 4:17 PM on November 4, 2013


Anne Frank has been renamed 'Diary Princess' to put the focus on her writing.

Yeah, because THAT was the problem with Disney-fying Anne Frank.

God, I miss the days when we were arguing about whether Anne Frank was a Belieber.
posted by crossoverman at 4:23 PM on November 4, 2013


Ignoring the drawings, I have to say these look like tough cookies. Don't think I'd mess with Susan B Anthony.
posted by Segundus at 1:06 AM on November 5, 2013


"Also, due to overwhelming demand, each of David’s 10 satirical 'World of Women' Disney Princess drawings are now available for purchase here."

The satirist becomes the satire. The circle is complete.
posted by Skwirl at 2:21 PM on November 6, 2013


"Also, due to overwhelming demand, each of David’s 10 satirical 'World of Women' Disney Princess drawings are now available for purchase here."

Hypocrite or sellout -- you make the call!
posted by aught at 5:30 AM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


::dies::
posted by zarq at 11:17 AM on November 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Haaa Aladdin one is best
posted by sweetkid at 1:40 PM on November 7, 2013


that was about zarq's link
posted by sweetkid at 1:40 PM on November 7, 2013


They are all terrific, and possess so much more artistic merit than the OP. I am hard pressed to select a favourite. The Little GrumpyCat Mermaid is pretty awesome, I like the Lion King.
posted by smoke at 3:42 PM on November 7, 2013


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