Disney’s New Photo Campaign Is Breaking All The Princess Culture Stereotypes

Princess Culture is a topic we need to address.

Most of it is stereotyped. Most feminists believe that this culture leads to little girls believing in gender roles at a very early age. They claim that it leads to girls thinking that acting feminine is the only option they have.

Even though that is true to a certain extent, erasing princess play is not the solution. Being feminine is not a problem, gender roles are. Girls don’t need to feel ashamed of being feminine, that is a choice. There is too much stereotyping around “feminine” behaviour.

So, Disney started a campaign to redeem the Princess Culture.

The #DreamBigPrincess is a photo campaign that highlights all the positivities of Princess Culture. Disney also claims that for every post that uses the hashtag #DreamBigPrincess, it will donate $1 to a women empowerment UN foundation called “Girl Up,” up to a maximum of $1 million. Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, told the media, “The idea that stories, whether real life or fictional like those of Belle or Rapunzel, can inspire kids to follow their dreams is at the heart of the #DreamBigPrincess campaign.” He continued, “We asked some of the most accomplished female photographers to help tell the stories of inspiring women and girls from around the world — and the results are incredible.” 

He said the campaign was a way to [encourage] kids everywhere to dream big by highlighting key story moments and the inspiring qualities that each Disney Princess showcases through her adventures, such as Merida’s bravery, Cinderella’s kindness, or Tiana’s perseverance,” according to a press release, “The idea is that each Princess has unique qualities, while having in common the fact that they’re enormously resilient and capable of “making their dreams come true.”

The campaign includes 19 photographers who capture pictures of fearless young girls and inspire others to follow their dreams.

Four of these amazing photographers were interviewed, and this is their story:


1. Kate Parker.

She captured pictures of her 9-year-old and her soccer team together. They wore princess’ costumes and were coated in mud.

Kate T. Parker

“I always welcome a chance to chip away at the images girls see every day where they’re smiling, they have perfect hair,” said Parker. “That’s not necessarily their true personality, it’s what people expect.”

She also photographed a brave runner named Grace, who lost her leg to cancer. But that didn’t stop her from following her dreams.

Kate Parker  


Kate Parker 


2. Theresa Balderas.

Balderas photographed an 8-year-old she met in an orphanage her father funds in Mexico. The little girl, named Paty, is now adopted and very happy. Here is what the photographer said about her:

“When Paty was only 6 years old and first arrived to the orphanage she has always showed her positive attitude and felt very hopeful about her future.”

“I have learned that you are never too young to start believing in yourself.” 

Theresa Balderas 

3. Annie Griffiths.

Famously known as the first ever female National Geographic photographer, she was very excited to find out about the Disney and Girl Up collaboration.

“When I heard they were working together and this campaign would not only allow girls to tell their own stories and dream big, but also give funding for Girl Up to help other girls in other parts of the world, what’s better than that?” she said.

She photographed a Girl Up teen adviser holding up a “Future CEO” sign.

Annie Griffiths 

And she also captured the moment a palaeontologist from the American Museum of Natural History taught 6-year-old Sophia Maley how to dig up buried treasures.

Annie Griffiths 

She photographed the teenager Sasha Ariel Alston, who wrote a coding book to encourage more girls to pursue STEM.

Annie Griffiths 


4. Paula Bronstein,

She photographed 23-year-old Zakia, Afghanistan’s first female bicycle rider.

 Paula Bronstein

“Zakia was inspired to teach other younger women in her village to ride when she saw them without access to public transportation, and riding bicycles served as a good solution to get to school. Biking is often frowned upon for women in their society, but Zakia is now dreaming big by hoping that some of the female riders she trains with will go on to be among the best in the world, representing their country in international competitions.”  

Paula Bronstein 

“Whether it’s characters like Princess Merida, who went against all the norms to venture out on her own, or real-life heroes like Zakia, who don’t let society define or limit them, there is something special about showcasing stories that prove that anything is possible,” she said. We need more strong females like Zakia.

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