One thing about the Disney princesses is that the franchise is so successful there is no shortage of copycats, wannabes and satirical takes.
I can only guess Disney has come to expect this sort of thing.
So I doubt there's been much sleep lost in the castle over the latest artistic interpretation of the princesses by Vancouver-based photographer Dina Goldstein.
She's snuffing out the pixie dust and the happily-ever-after motif with her photographs that show Snow White barefoot, a child on each hip and another at her feet while her prince lounges in front of the tube with a can of beer and a bag of potato chips. According to Goldstein, even a princess can become trapped in an unhappy marriage.
She also shows Cinderella, in full ball gown, slumped over a table in a bar as an alcoholic. Pocahontas ends up as a lonely cat lady. Rapunzel, golden lush locks gone, is battling cancer. You can see the images here.
Can you say dark? And disturbing.
I don't care for the image of Jasmine at all. Why does the Middle Eastern princess have to be portrayed in a war zone? In a Daily Mail story Goldstein defended that decision.
I get what Goldstein is trying to do. Punch holes in our desire to tell our little girls that life is like a fairy tale.
I took exception not too long ago to Disney's own re-making of the princesses -- "updates" that made Belle, Cinderella and the rest look older with far more cartoon eye-liner, angular faces and pouty lips. Brave's Merida appeared to undergo some serious surgical procedures in her "update."
But there's a big difference between my gripe and Goldstein's. I didn't like that Disney seems to want to push our girl's to buy into an ultra-glam culture where beauty is defined by a certain formula. I like the princesses better in their low-def, younger-looking, more wholesome versions.
Goldstein seems to take exception to the princess culture in its entirety, feeling it necessary to portray the princesses as hiding flawed characters, illness and even bad luck under their ball gowns.
As a mom, I don't have a problem with happily-ever-after for my young daughter. For now. I don't feel any need to disrupt her dreams or her innocence.
As she grows older, I'll teach her that life isn't a fairy tale. That we all struggle. That even princesses deal with problems. And that what's important is not our problems, but how good of problem-solvers we become.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun