This Woman Reimagined Disney Princesses As Badass Feminists And It's Truly Inspiring
“I wanted these women to be recast as the heroines I need as an adult, just like I needed them as a kid,” Amanda Niday told BuzzFeed News.
This is 27-year-old Amanda Niday, a freelance artist from Portland, Oregon. She told BuzzFeed News: "My mom says I was drawing before I was talking. I've always had that artist thing of needing to get my thoughts out of my head and into a creation."
Niday has created a series of cartoons where she reimagined Disney's leading ladies as women's rights activists, using quotes from the actual films they appear in. The series, called Protest Princess, was inspired by the Women's March that was held earlier this year. "Women [were] coming together from all backgrounds to say 'we are HERE and we MATTER'," Niday said. "I wanted to hold on to that message when it's often easier to feel like you can't make a difference no matter what you do."
Niday continued: "These are uncertain times, to be sure. But the Women's March to me symbolized a refusal to go quietly, and a refusal to let OTHERS go quietly either, and that was very important to me. I needed to see it at the time, to remind me that I'm not the only one trying to understand what we can do next."
"I wanted these women to be recast as the heroines I need as an adult, just like I needed them as a kid. Seeing them fight for goodness and their own truth, just like they do in their own narratives. I wanted this series to show you can be strong in real life too, not just when crossing oceans and fighting bears. It's not a fantasy to be a brave, fierce, and beautiful princess in reality."
She added: "Disney movies are an early indicator of what being a woman will mean; what it will look like, what you can do, what you should do, what's considered praiseworthy and heroic. Sometimes this leaves the movies open to ridicule for the messages they send. And certainly the older movies have begun to show their age and the shifting of our social mores and expectations. However, I feel that Disney has been making a push lately to address some of those issues and to change the focus of these womens' stories."
"I wanted to highlight that these influential, feminine, and iconic princesses have a strength that is relevant and important to our modern issues. I believe that these princesses as young women in 2017 would have a lot to say."
The Protest Princess series has gone pretty viral online and shared widely on Instagram and Tumblr. Niday says it's an "overwhelming feeling" to have people respond to her work in this way. "I never could have predicted the amount positive responses to these images," she said. "I made them for myself, to help myself put my feelings out."
"I didn't expect them to be SO appreciated," she said. "I'm very honored to have struck a chord with so many people. That coming together is exactly what a series like this is meant to do: remind us that we're all much more alike then we are different."