Many have grown up with Disney characters and movies, and there’s no doubt some of the more popular Disney characters are the princesses. Well, Filipina American photographer Kim Navoa and Donnie Chang have re-imagined some of those iconic princesses, including Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, in a way that would have made them way more relatable to us Asian Americans when we were growing up.
Navoa writes on her tumblr:
Despite how much we admired these princesses, it was difficult relating to them because they didn’t physically represent us. Take a look at any Disney princess product and you will see the preference towards the White princesses, white washing of princesses of color (skin color, facial features, etc.), and the shoving of these princesses to the side.
In the 76 years since Snow White was released, there have been 12 (soon to be 13) Disney princesses, only five of whom are women of color (Jasmine in 1992, Pocahontas in 1995, Mulan in 1998, Kida in 2001, and Tiana in 2009). It took 55 years to portray a woman of color as a princess, and these portrayals also came with problematic and inaccurate representations of their respective cultures & histories (not to mention Tiana was a frog more than half of the movie).
How are young APIA children supposed to believe in “happy endings” when we don’t see them happening to people who look like us?
Scroll down to see Navoa and Chang’s AA princesses.
For more, check out all fifteen photographs here.