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Need This New Innovation? Disney Princess "Filter"

For many decades now Disney has been spoon-feeding us their iconic princess image until it has become a one-size-fits-all caricature image of royal femininity. Our daughters are immersed in this perception of what a woman should be and they play these roles in their games. Award-winning artist David Trumble has taken the image of 10 amazing, strong, and talented rea-life women and reimagined them with a sort of Disney "filter of perception."

Ten Strong Women Reimagined as Disney Princesses (Image by David Trumble (c)2013, used by permission)Ten Strong Women Reimagined as Disney Princesses (Image by David Trumble (c)2013, used by permission)

His portrayals of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Hillary Clinton, Susan B. Anthony, Anne Frank, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Jane Goodall, Marie Curie, Gloria Steinem, and Malala Yousafzai have struck a nerve in our culture. What is it that we are telling little girls and young women about what it takes to be successful and fulfilled? Is it large eyes, tiny waists, pretty smiles, and gorgeous flowing locks of hair? Shouldn't the accomplishments, personality, and spirit of a woman be far more important!

Princess Ruth Bader Ginsberg (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)Princess Ruth Bader Ginsberg (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)

Trumble, 27, was moved by the kerfuffle over the re-launch of the Disney character Merida from the 2012 animated film "Brave." The character had been lauded by many as a move toward more realistic and independent women being portrayed by the entertainment giant. 

Princess Hillary Clinton (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)Princess Hillary Clinton (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)

Then Disney created a new Merida look for the character in preparation for adding her to their pantheon of princesses. The character was made thinner, given a lower neckline, and sparkles were added to her dress.

Princess Rosa Parks (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)Princess Rosa Parks (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)

Some people got the point right away, while others didn't. Some cheered his efforts, while others were offended by the images. Some said he didn't take the satire far enough, and others said he went too far.

Princess Susan B. Anthony (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)Princess Susan B. Anthony (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)

This idea led him to think about how differently we would see real women through this Disney "princessication" of them.  He reimagined these women from widely divergent backgrounds and created their Disney portraits. The result was a homogenization of these women that seems to diminish the individualism and unique qualities of each of these women. 

Princess Anne Frank (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)Princess Anne Frank (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)

Trumble commented that, with the original character of Merida, Disney had taken a step in the right direction in the portrayal of women. When they redesigned her he felt that they had turned around and taken two steps back, dragging women everywhere with them.

Princess Harriet Tubman (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)Princess Harriet Tubman (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)

The point that he is making is how trying to mold these diverse women into "one limited template" of femininity and success diminishes them  If real women are not limited to one mold, why are we doing that to the fictional heroines we expose our children to?

Princess Jane Goodall (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)Princess Jane Goodall (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)

Trumble believes that fiction is the first lens of perception that our children view role models through. He feels that we owe it to them to offer them an eclectic array of female archetypes. This isn't saying that young girls shouldn't enjoy princesses in their lives, just that there should be a wider and more realistic selection to admire -- in other words, more like the women they are destined to be.

Princess Marie Curie (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)Princess Marie Curie (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)

Another controversy that Trumble inadvertently stumbled into happened when he tagged Anne Frank as a "Holocaust Princess" and the still-tender nerve that touched. This pulled such a negative reaction that he has since renamed her as "Diary Princess."

Princess Gloria Steinem (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)Princess Gloria Steinem (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)

As a critically acclaimed political cartoonist for the Sun Newspaper in the United Kingdom, Trumble doesn't exactly keep a low profile when it comes to controversial opinions. He won his first award for his art at the age of 16. His graphic novel, Climate, won the Dan Hemingway Prize for Creativity.

Princess Malala Yousefzai (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)Princess Malala Yousefzai (Image by David Trumble, (c)2013, used by permission)

His artistic talents have also graced book covers, web pages, and brand products. Check out the video below to see and hear Trumble when he spoke at a TED Conference in 2012.

Sources: Women You Should Know, Rebecca Harris, Trumble Art