Disney just got a healthy dose of some #BlackGirlMagic
And it’s about time! For young girls across the globe, the Disney Princesses are staples in their childhood experiences. Timeless characters like Cinderella, Snow White, and Belle become animated role models for grace, poise, and romance while characters like Mulan and Merida are hailed for their bravery and fearlessness. For black and brown girls in particular, the Disney Princesses are amazing in all the same ways except one: up until the creation of Tiana, the African-American princess in Disney’s The Princess and The Frog (2009), none of the Disney Princesses were black.
This lack of representation is what prompted digital artist and founder of Real Toons Davian Chester to give our beloved princesses a bit of a remix. I had a personal chat with Davian who expressed his ambitions to spread black beauty with his art. We’ve collected and shared some of Davian’s most viral images of the re-imagined Princesses starting with the one who started it all: Snow White.
Snow White (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves)
“I decided to draw Snow white as a black woman last year,” says Davian Chester. “And from the love she got, I decided to draw the rest of the Princesses. It took a while to have that same magic in each beauty as Snow. Having them shine in their own special way.” Though Davian has been drawing since the 5th grade, the series is relatively new and snowballed after the creation of the Snow White above.
Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)
“From this series I want people to have a lot more to look up to in media when it comes to black people. Black beauty in everyone is a wonderful thing.” – Davian Chester. Like countless girls of color who are ridiculed for these same features, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty is re-imagined with deep, bright, dark eyes, full lips, and curls for days. Her confident expression translates to pride in her appearance, not shame. With stunning renditions of characters like these, it’s impossible not to see the beauty Davian is trying to get across.
Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
Bookworm Belle gets a gorgeous melanin makeover. Did you notice the Maya Angelou book she’s reading? It’s the details like these that show how Davian’s creativity has no bounds.
In the above illustration, Cinderella keeps her classic blonde hair but is represented with a chic high puff afro. “Now our young black African American girls can have their own collection of princesses,” says Davian about his renditions.
Elsa and Ana (Frozen)
Next up are Ana and Elsa. The inspiring sisters of Disney’s hit movie Frozen (2013) also made the list and were re-imagined as young black women as well. Elsa looks like she means business and so does security guard Olaf.
Archer Princess Merida of Disney’s Brave (2012) s depicted as a stunning Black redhead with curls that can’t quit. For little girls learning to accept their large manes, Davian’s Merida is a small victory in the uphill battle for media representation.
Davian’s remixed Rapunzel from Disney’s Tangled (2010) is illustrated with strings of flora in her notoriously long tresses. We’re here for her and the hair length goals!
Ariel (The Little Mermaid)
In Ariel’s makeover, Davian strays from Ariel’s typical hairdo for a loc’d look we can’t get enough of. Her dark red bra strap length locs are beautifully accessorized with dread clips. We think the free-floating hair was also a nice touch in this mesmerizing illustration.
And of course, Tiana (The Princess and The Frog)
Though Davian Chester didn’t make any significant changes to Tiana, we’ve gotta say there might be more of a curl pattern in his depiction than Disney’s 2009 release of the movie. As a lifestyle brand focused on sharing positivity throughout the natural hair community, we at CoiledCrown have gotta say: well done, Davian.
You can follow Davian Chester’s art on Instagram here:
Which of the above Disney Princesses is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!
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