There is just something about Disney princesses. For many kids, they represent all that is beautiful and magical. It was certainly true for this blogger. I played with Ariel paper dolls, dressed like Belle for Halloween, and knew every word and lyric from Pocahontas (let’s be honest, I probably still do). While I was well out of my princess phase by the time Mulan and Tiana came along, I can still see the pull they have on my friends’ children. It’s that magnetic pull that makes many of us question what message we’re sending our kids about beauty. Artist Alexsandro Palombo asked the same question — and we love the answer.
Do You Still Like Us? is a series of drawings of Disney princesses re-imagined as women living with disabilities. Cinderella uses a wheelchair and a prosthetic leg. Pocahontas uses crutches. Sleeping Beauty has had her right arm amputated. The artist, Alexsandro Palombo, had a rare form of cancer that left him with a disability. He told the Huffington Post he wanted to give visibility to people living with disabilities, and would love to see Disney expand their standards of beauty. Experts agree.
“One out of every five Americans has a disability of some kind,” Carol Glazer, president of the National Disabilities Organization, told the New York Daily News. “So when you portray popular iconic figures, like Disney princesses, without any of them having disabilities, you’re cutting out 20% of the population.”
While these images of beauty of still not totally realistic (after all, he did retain their Disney-esque figures), they are definitely a step in the right direction.
And to answer the artist’s question: yes, beautiful princesses, we still like you.
Here are a few of Palombo’s drawings:
We want to hear from you! What do you think of these images? Do you think Disney should create a princess who is living with a disability? Why or why not?