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Real-life female role models as Disney princesses [11 pictures]

Nov 5, 2013 By Abraham

A series of drawings from earlier this year by illustrator and cartoonist David Trumble

Female Role Models as Disney Princesses - 11

Female Role Models as Disney Princesses - 01

Female Role Models as Disney Princesses - 02

Female Role Models as Disney Princesses - 03

Female Role Models as Disney Princesses - 04

Female Role Models as Disney Princesses - 05

Female Role Models as Disney Princesses - 06

Female Role Models as Disney Princesses - 07

Female Role Models as Disney Princesses - 08

Female Role Models as Disney Princesses - 09

Female Role Models as Disney Princesses - 10

(via Laughing Squid)


  1. Bee says:

    This whole thing makes me a little uncomfortable…maybe I’m reading into it too much, but reducing all these amazing women into simpering, big-boobed, doe eyed princesses? Seems in horribly bad taste.

    1. G says:

      I was kind of thinking the same thing, but at the same time, in most of them, with the exception of maaaybe Jane Goodall’s interpretation (a short dress?) they’re not necessarily overly sexualized.

      I think they’re a nice creative tribute.

        1. AZ says:

          Yeah but they could have given her pants since ya know she’s wearing pants in the picture, I mean they kept Clinton’s jacket and Steinem’s pants so why not Goodall’s pants?

          1. Tammy says:

            to be fair, they are shorts. safari shorts… I don’t think M. Curie would have been comfortable showing her neck, so it seems consistent, anyway.

    2. Tyler says:

      Classic Disney gender politics. To be perfectly honest, though, I found smiling, cartoony ‘Holocaust Princess’ to be a bit more disturbing.

    3. Walter says:

      All that, plus HOLOCAUST PRINCESS!!! It’s just wrong. And Marie Curie didn’t have a love-potion that emanated hearts. It was Radium! And it killed her!

    4. Kirsty says:

      I assumed that was the point – to emphasise that real women can be heroines without being simpering, big-boobed, doe eyed princesses – yet Disney always makes them that way. Or something.

  2. Carol says:

    I think Jane Goodall is wearing shorts. Like she does in real life. This is all simply an artist expressing himself, he probably had an idea, said, “sounds fun” and went with it. I figured there would be a bunch of people concerned with all the little girls its ruining…but consider this: who do our little girls have for role models today? Miley? A Kardashian for shits sake? If anything this is a way to relate the princesses that they are all familiar with to real life role models that they most likely never gave a second thought to. Also, most little girls arent even going to see these anyway, so lighten up.

    1. JK says:

      Yup. That was the point.

      I was a little thrown off by it until Gloria Steinem. Seriously, I’d love to see her reaction to being shown this princess caricature! Although, personally I think the Anne Franke one is in poor taste.

      Still, the overall effect is poignant, which is probably why you’re so upset…

  3. Jamie K says:

    I could do without the cleavage, but I like the idea of getting girls interested enough in these “characters” to want to learn more about their history.

  4. Carl says:

    Way to totally just NOT INCLUDE THE VERY IMPORTANT article text! Presented out of context, these completely undermine the point the artist was trying to make! Bad 22 Words! No cookie!

    Please everyone, go read the linked article.

  5. Mer says:

    The author said elsewhere that the project is meant to be satirical- The sexualization of the characters is totally intentional.
    “The cartoon is a satire that is not meant to glamorize the princess versions of the characters, but rather to make fun of the very limiting princess mould by showing how ridiculous it is to try to crowbar real-life heroes into the template.”

  6. Shannon says:

    I agree. This is disconcerting on many levels, but none-the-less…..Hillary Clinton? Seriously??? What exactly has she done to be in this line-up of truly deserving women? Answer: Nothing notable.

    1. Tammy says:

      you can’t be serious. Regardless of your politics, H. Clinton has done much for women’s rights around the globe. She also did a lot of the foundation building for universal healthcare. She was also one of the first women in a high cabinet position. Regardless of what you think about these things, she is a hero/heroine to many, especially outside of the US.

      1. Lauren says:

        This from the woman who threw a lamp at her husband’s head? And not everyone is ok with socialis- I mean universal healthcare. The woman who heartily supports abortion? Yeah, I’ll pass. And you can ixnay Glroia Steinem, too. Both are jerks.

  7. Tammy says:

    Pretty sure we are *supposed* to be repulsed by these pictures. Then, the other side of the brain kicks in and goes, well, why shouldn’t young kids be looking up to these instead of stupid fairy tale princesses. Then there is a battle in our brains, because the idea of Jane Goodall with a discernible waist is disturbing and degrading to her work and her gender. Isn’t this exactly what the artist wants?

    The only issue I have is with the Anne Frank one. This is inconsistent and offensive. ‘Abolition’ and ‘Suffrage’ were things these ‘princesses’ were fighting for. Anne was certainly not fighting for ‘Holocaust’. I don’t say this word often or lightly, but “Holocaust Princess” is offensive. Perhaps even worse, it is inconsistent writing.

  8. Nicole says:

    I literally cringed at the Anne Frank “princess”. Everyone else I understand and can get down with – maybe even a different title, like…”Survivor Princess” or something.

    On an unrelated note – while I understand the satirical nature of this piece, I do not understand why everyone is so up in arms about the idea of women being sexualized. It just seems like so much work to fight against it so desperately. I’m a young professional, certainly no pillar of beauty, but I still enjoy “having a discernible waist” as someone commented above. I am not saying that every woman should strive for any particular physical appearance (healthy, sure) but I also don’t understand why we go so far in the opposite direction and say that it is almost inappropriate for a woman to choose to sexualize herself. If I want to show some cleavage, it is in my power as a woman to bare my chest (until it becomes obscene, but that’s an entirely different conversation).

    Just saying.

  9. kia says:

    I like it! (apart from the holocaust princess) I think these princesses -despite the grey hair, shorter, the age,the originally working dresses, the real-life achievements they carry- are very pretty as the disney’s ones. I’m surprised in a good way because I didn’t think it could be possible to make princess-like appealing some female carachters so important and so real but who have the charms of the brain that is difficult to show in a picture. In my mind it was Always princesses vs Genius. and it is difficult to take part against princesses,expecially for kids and teens, because they might be missing of something but at least they are harted people, colorful, smiling, sparkling, wondering.
    I think this is a well done job because every carachter is still important as herself,but the look is totally appealing and is not deleting anything of the personality!!
    so…achievements princesses I welcome you, I would like a series of cartoons with this caracthers I’m sure they would be far from boring, and totally princessy

  10. Robert Hunter says:

    “Holocaust Princess”??? Really, then why not slavery princess? Or maybe child abuse princess? Maybe just a meth baby princess? Why not, each of these individuals would be a victim of a great social tragedy. But using these titles seems… so…. inappropriate. Which is exactly why your use of Anne Frank as a “princess” is also so terribly inappropriate. Anne Frank should be and is memorialized in 100s of different manners. But being portrayed as a Disney princess is just dead wrong. Any individual with common sense and decency will take her off this list.

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