David Trumble imagines how actual women might be portrayed in children’s animation.
Prompted by the public outcry over Disney‘s doll-like re-imagining of Brave princess Merida — giving the fiery-haired heroine a slimmer figure and glitzier outfit — illustrator David Trumble gave some real-life female role models a Disney makeover to see whether they’d actually be improved by “a few extra sparkles.” Trumble explained:
I wanted to analyze how unnecessary it is to collapse a heroine into one specific mold, to give them all the same sparkly fashion, the same tiny figures, and the same homogenized plastic smile.
When Brave debuted in 2012, the film was praised for the way its Princess Merida character was portrayed — where the rest of the royal Disney cast featured tall and un-proportionately curvy women, Merida’s tomboyish figure was paired with rounder and less exaggerated facial features.
Disney heroines are routinely criticized for their lack of diversity. Lined up all together, they seem almost like the same doll dressed in different costumes which, Trumble asserts, fails to give young children a fair picture of the “diverse and eclectic selection” of actual women who have made inspirational achievements in history.
It makes no sense to put these real-life women into one limited template, so why then are we doing it to our fictitious heroines?
Decide for yourself with a look at the before-and-afters below:
Images by David Trumble