Are our daughters too obsessed with Disney Princesses? Do these perfectly animated specimens create an unrealistic and unhealthy notion in the minds of young girls? This debate is ongoing, and many are challenging the one dimensional characters displayed in the popular movies. There are some better than others, teaching girls that being pretty isn’t the way to get through life (Mulan, Merida from Brave, Pocahontas etc).
But what about real life women who are heroic, who change the world, and encourage girls to be brave, intelligent, strong, kind, graceful etc? Why aren’t everyday women animated as Princesses for young minds to be captivated by? Don’t worry moms and dads, coz we found something that might help out a little!
Award-winning artist and illustrator David Trumble, also a blogger for the Huffington Post put his skills to good use and decided to challenge Disney’s array of princesses, sketching out a series of aspirational heroes instead.
He originally posted these on the Huffpost Parents section of the site in May 2013, but is getting more and more attention because of how awesome it is.
The 26 year old from Oxford, England was also inspired by the outcry against Disney’s sexy makeover of Brave’s Princess Merida and wanted to contribute something instead of just complaints. Why, you may be thinking? Because being indifferent about issues that matter is not a good trait according to Trumble. In fact, he even gave a TEDxYouth talk about this in May 2012.
“It got me thinking about role models for women are perceived these days, and how society still can’t seem to get its head around how to market them to the younger generation,” he says.
“Thing is, I have met more than my share of inspiring, incredible women over the last year, the majority of whom have been very young indeed, and they all seem to have a very definite idea of who their role models are. And when I listed a few of them in my head today, I found myself asking the question: How many of these women would be improved by a few extra sparkles”
“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.” he told Lori Day from Women You Should Know.
Some people loved it, others were frustrated by it.
“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?”
He goes on to say his intentions were to demonstrate how ridiculous it is to paint an entire gender of heroes with the same superficial brush.
“I’m not 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.”
Trumble did this out of a duty of care for the next generation of women, not just to stir up controversy. We need more men in the world like him who actually care to make a difference in the lives of young girls!
““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.”
Ok GTHQ readers, judge for yourselves, as we present you David Trumble’s “World of Women” collection. Our fave is Malala, the “Defiant Princess”.