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The damsels in Modern Disney Heroines by New Zealand-based illustrator Alana May all have one thing in common: they are not conventional Disney princesses. With this subversive project, the young illustrator decided to turn traditional and sometimes sexist Disney stereotypes on their heads, giving these ladies ‘real-life problems’ by portraying them in a modern-day context.
Alana’s intriguing images break down notions that women have to be perceived as ‘beautiful’ to be rescued by a man, as is the case in the ‘Snow White’ story. Alana’s depiction instead features a modern-day Snow White as an unattractive character being rescued after choking on an apple by a man who looks ‘repulsed.’ Other more literal metaphors in Alana’s work feature the stories of Jasmine from ‘Aladdin’ in a vending machine ready to be won as a prize.
These subversive drawings make us think what life would be like for Disney princesses in the real world.