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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Redefining What Disney’s Black Princesses Should Really Look Like

Black Disney Princesses

Atlanta, GA — Stunning photos of young Black girls dressed as Disney princesses have gone viral after being shared on social media. CreativeSoul, a Black-owned Atlanta-based photography studio, has teamed up with hairstylist LaChanda Gatson (@LaChandaGArtistry) to make the project happen.

Kahran Bethencourt, who manages CreativeSoul with her husband Regis, said the project is “aimed at redefining and reimagining the traditional princess with their own dash of style, culture, and swag.”

“The goal is to inspire more girls around the world to start seeing themselves as regal princesses,” she told HuffPost via email.

As a child, Bethencourt loved watching and reading fairy tales and fantasy just like many other young Black girls. But most of the time, they couldn’t find any character who looks like them in the stories they read and watch.

That’s when Bethencourt thought of reimagining the characters to be “more relatable to me and my culture.” The project features princesses as “black urban royalty” and not as “damsels in distress.”

“These royals possess the healing powers of their ancestral lineage.”

The series of photos were posted on Facebook and it has since received several positive feedback mostly from parents of young Black girls.

“My 4-year old daughter loves all the Disney princesses. A couple of months ago she told me she wanted to be a white princess,” one user wrote. “I suggested Tiana but she said no. But she has looked at all the pictures in this post about 3 times all the way through. Ooing and aaahing the whole time.”

Gatson said she is glad the purpose of the project became very evident.

“It is always my mission to always empower, inspire, encourage, and uplift my community, my people, and most importantly my future,” she said. “Those Black girls are me.”