Little girls -- and their parents -- don't have it easy when it comes to trying to find popular cartoon characters or dolls that represent realistic images of beauty. But one Italian artist named AleXsandro Palombo is urging us to look at our beloved Disney Princesses in a new light: he has painted several portraits that show these iconic characters dealing with physical disabilities.
His series, which can be viewed in its entirety on his blog Humor Chic, features Snow White and Cinderella in wheelchairs, Pocahontas and Jasmine living their lives despite having lost limbs, and Tiana using a cane to get around. His artwork is powerful and interesting -- and a reminder that our children can only benefit from being exposed to characters who really represent the realities of life.
Palombo revealed to The Huffington Post that he suffered a rare form of cancer a few years ago that left him disabled. This experience taught him that discrimination against those with disabilities still exists and he believes kid-focused companies like Disney should consider incorporating disabled characters into their line-up. These images are jarring at first but then seem totally normal. Here's Cinderella in a wheelchair:
And here we have all of the Disney Princesses revamped:
Of course, these portraits don't really show us a new beauty ideal -- these princesses are still perfectly pretty and thin and wonderful. But this is a step in the right direction. I would be eternally grateful to Disney if writers and artists stepped up and began creating female characters who are blind, deaf, or living and thriving with disabilities that make their bodies look a little "different."
How do you feel about these images? Would you show them to your kids?