Photographer’s Magical Disney Photos Prove ‘Boys Can Be Princesses, Too’

Boys Can Be Princesses, Too project
Boys Can Be Princesses, Too

As a preschool teacher and children’s princess party performer, Kitty Wolf is often surrounded by lots of little ones embracing their love of pretend play. But when she recently overheard one of her male students being told that he "couldn't play princesses, because princesses were for girls," she couldn't get it out of her head. "I thought, 'No, princesses are for everyone!'” she tells CafeMom -- which is exactly what sparked a recent photo project she did that's now going viral. 

  • It turns out, Wolf is also a photographer based in Chicago, and that moment in the classroom lit the flame for a new photo series.

    After all, "Why can't little boys pretend to be princesses?" thought Wolf, who owns Kitty Wolf Photography. Pretend play is exactly that -- PRETEND! And we think the joy that kids get from it shouldn't be limited or restricted by their gender.

    "I realized there was no representation for these boys out there," Wolf says. "Princesses are marketed toward girls. There’s not much imagery that depicts boys liking princesses, and yet, I’d met boys like that! So I decided I’d be the one to put that imagery out there."

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  • While working an event with her princess party company, Wolf met two boys, Michael and James, who were dressed as Ariel from 'The Little Mermaid.'

    Thinking they might be the perfect models for her upcoming shoot, Wolf says she approached their moms, who were "all for it." In fact, she tells CafeMom, "they were really the ones that got the ball rolling because before that, it was just an idea."

    Before long, another boy named Liam joined the project too.

    "Liam is actually a friend of a friend, and I connected with his family on Facebook," Wolf explains. "He volunteered for the project because he wanted to be an ally and help spread the message. He’s such a standup kid. It’s an honor to know him!"

    To round out the group, Wolf put out a call for more models, and happily watched as the applications began rolling in.

  • Seemingly overnight, the photo series -- aptly named "Boys Can Be Princesses, Too" -- took shape. And the results were heartwarming.

    Joining Liam, Michael, and James were six more boys: Elias, Teddy, Calvin, Tobias, Kai, and Everett. Together, they channeled Disney Princesses such as Belle, Tiana, Cinderella, and Mulan.

    But they didn't do it alone -- Wolf recruited help from some of her friends in the princess party business, who loved the idea behind the project and volunteered their time.

    "They believed in the message and wanted to do their part help spread it," Wolf says.

    So, they donned their very best Disney princess costumes and sat for portrait sessions with their pint-sized counterparts -- and everyone had a blast.

    "They stayed in character the whole time too, so the boys really believed they met their favorite princess!" Wolf shared. "Could not have done the shoot without their passion and professionalism!"

  • As for the boys? Wolf says they were "over the moon" during the photo shoot, and couldn't have been happier.

    "I set it up as if they were meeting the real princess, so they were just so stoked to get to hang out with their hero for a bit," she explains. "I had a speaker, and we played music and danced."

    For each different princess shoot, Wolf brought along something special -- like cupcakes for Tiana and Tobias, and a bubble machine for Ariel and Teddy. 

    "We also had story time with some of the shyer boys, which helped them warm up to the princess," she recalls. "Each boy also got a certificate and tiara from the princess, which we made a big deal of."

    In the end, Wolf says she tried to make the whole thing more of a "magical experience" rather than a photo shoot -- so there was zero pressure to perform, and all the focus was on having fun.

  • It clearly worked. Not only did the boys love being princesses for a day, but on Facebook, the photos have been shared thousands of times.

    Wolf first shared the images on her Facebook page, Boys Can Be Princesses Too, on December 2, where they've since collected over 11K shares and thousands of comments from parents who can't applaud the project enough.

    "Thank you! From one princess-loving boy mom!" wrote one user.

    "My son loves his dresses and princesses," another shared. "He was playing Elsa tonight and made his brother be Anna."

    "My boy rocks his princess and fireman stuff PROUD!" someone else chimed in.

    Others noted that the project's message of shattering gender stereotypes goes both ways.

    "If boys can be princesses, princesses can be princes," one mom noted, before adding a photo of her daughter in a prince costume.

    "As a woman who liked to dress up as male Disney heroes like Peter Pan and Robin Hood as a kid, I really respect and appreciate this," another user added.

  • The boys' parents couldn't be more supportive of the project.

    “It’s important to us to support who they are and who they want to be in the future, especially through play,” James’ mom shared on the Boys Can Be Princesses, Too website.

    “I think people are often scared bout what other people will think. But when you get right down to it, you’d rather your kids be happy than random strangers be happy,” added Everett’s mom.
    Wolf tells CafeMom she hopes the message others take away from her project is that people "shouldn’t stifle a child’s imagination or creativity simply because of their gender and our society’s perceived gender roles."
    In fact, the project's slogan pretty much says it all: "No child should be ashamed of the things that bring them joy.” 

    Truth be told, it's a lesson many of us could stand to carry with us into adulthood too.