Mom Shows Black Girls the Fairy Tale Princesses They Deserve To See in Powerful Photos

Mom Shows Black Girls the Fairy Tale Princesses They Deserve To See in Powerful Photos
Image: CreativeSoul Photography

Black Princess Series
CreativeSoul Photography

There is so much our world still needs to do to ensure there's enough representation for everyone in the stories we share and tell our children. When it comes to the stories of princesses, there's a serious lack of diversity, and although there has been improvement, a lot more has to be done.

One hairstylist was tired of seeing a lack of representation for Black children in the media. Instead of remaining quiet, she turned her frustration into an incredibly beautiful photography series with the help of a local photography studio, and the results are powerful.

LaChanda Gatson developed the Black Princess series, providing the creative direction of the photoshoot as well as all the hairstyling, and the images are absolutely stunning. Instead of traditional Disney princess, she reimagined classic fairy tales to send an important message to little girls who look up to them.

  • Redefining the Traditional Princess

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    Black Princess Series
    CreativeSoul Photography

    LaChanda is an international film and editorial hair and makeup artist who created the Black Princess series along with child photographers CreativeSoul Photography. With this series, they "aimed at redefining and reimagining the traditional princess with their own dash of style."

  • Inspire Girls Around the World

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    Black Princess Series
    CreativeSoul Photography

    The goal of this project was to "inspire more girls around the world to start seeing themselves as regal princesses," a release from the photography studio noted, and that goal is the essence of their photography series. It's evident looking at the images that these two set out to foster that feeling.

  • An Idea From Childhood

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    Black Princess Series
    CreativeSoul Photography

    According to LaChandra, the idea of the Black Princess series was developed early in her life, stemming from the very real lack of representation. "The idea was developed early on in childhood from the consistent lack of representation of Black children in mostly all forms of media where children play a significant part," she tells CafeMom.

  • More Relatable To Me

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    Black Princess Series
    CreativeSoul Photography

    LaChandra says that "even though I loved watching and reading fairy tales and fantasy, I would often reimagine these characters more relatable to me and my culture." That's what makes these images stand out, and this beauty has been missing for far too long.

  • A Strong Influence

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    Black Princess Series
    CreativeSoul Photography

    Looking at the images created through this series, it's clear to see there was a strong influence from fictional stories of princesses from all over. "These princesses were reimagined from a collection of fictional princesses and global fairy tales," La Chandra explains to CafeMom.

  • The Change I Wanted to See

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    Black Princess Series
    CreativeSoul Photography

    The inspiration came from stories that LaChandra "grew to love throughout my years" she says. To help frame these reimagined princesses, LaChandra "chose a team of talented Black creatives and created the change I wanted to see."

  • Time for New Conversations

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    Black Princess Series
    CreativeSoul Photography

    According to LaChandra, she wants this photo series to be the start of new conversations and new opportunities for Black children and Black people.

    "I hope this series is just the beginning of endless opportunities of inclusion and more Black creativity in fantasy," she says. "Let's continue to have a conversation and understand that our children matter too."

  • This Is My Passion

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    Black Princess Series
    CreativeSoul Photography

    On Instagram, LaChandra wrote that this photo series means a lot to her. "This is my passion project that I am absolutely in love with. I hope to inspire girls around the world to dream big and know dreams really do come true."

  • The Problem With Media

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    Black Princess Series
    CreativeSoul Photography

    A Vice 2018 article pointed to a study conducted in 2011 that highlights the issue of lack of proper representation in the media. According to the study, "Black male characters are disproportionately shown as buffoons, or as menacing and unruly youths, and Black female characters are typically shown as exotic and sexually available."

  • Positive Roles Are Important

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    Black Princess Series
    CreativeSoul Photography

    Danai Gurira, the actress who played the role of General Okoye in Black Panther, told IndieWire that the media and specifically representation of positive Black female roles can have a large impact on society.

  • These Impact Little Girls

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    Black Princess Series
    CreativeSoul Photography

    "Even if it’s a mindset of hers being shifted or a realization of how to experience and express her own ferocity and femininity," Danai said. "Those sort of things, that sort of impact, if little girls have that and have images now to refer to that are cool and empowered and hip, that they can say, 'Listen, I don't have to fall into anyone else's ideology of what I can be,' that's everything. That's just everything."

  • The Heart of This Series

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    Black Princess Series
    CreativeSoul Photography

    That really is the heart of this Black Princess series -- to allow little girls to see themselves for what they truly are, regal and beautiful.

    The social media response to the series has been quite impactful. Not only because the images are striking, but the message is being heard too.

  • The Social Response

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    CreativeSoul Photography

    According to CreativeSoul Photography, there have been at least 82,000 shares of the photo series from its Facebook page, and it's been growing steadily ever since. Each of the images shared on Facebook received hundreds of comments.

  • Took My Breath Away

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    Black Princess Series
    CreativeSoul Photography

    "What an innocent face with much wisdom in those eyes. Beautiful outfit!" one of the comment read.

    "They’re all stunning but this one took my breath away," another person commented. "Tiana is my favorite princess of all time," referencing the reimagined Tiana from The Princess and the Frog.

  • To Learn More

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    To learn more about LaChandra Gatson or CreativeSoul Photography, check out their social media pages and find out about all the incredible projects they work on. CreativeSoul Photography can be found online and on Instagram. LaChandra's Instagram is full of incredible photos.

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