6 Powerful Photos That Will Make You Totally Rethink the Princess Stereotype
Disney princesses rarely get as much credit as their superhero counterparts for representing strength, but they are so much more than just a group of pretty faces who can carry a tune. Iconic female characters like Belle and Ariel embody a spirit of adventure and fearlessness that has encouraged countless girls to live bolder lives and dream bigger dreams. If you ask me, that's exactly the kind of inner strength that every person — man, woman, kid, or adult — should admire.
To honor girls everywhere who exemplify these fierce, princess-like traits in their real lives, Disney launched a worldwide photography campaign in 2016 called "Dream Big, Princess" in partnership with United Nations Foundation's Girl Up program. Disney made a donation of one dollar to Girl Up for every social media post captioned with the hashtag #DreamBigPrincess, leading to a total donation of $1 million that will be used toward completing crucial gender equality projects all over the globe. Girl Up and Disney also tapped award-winning female photographers including Kate T. Parker and Ami Vitale to find and document girls who are fierce like Merida, who are brave like Mulan, or who walk to the beat of their own drum, just like Princess Tiana.
On Nov. 16, POPSUGAR got the chance to see the awe-inspiring photos from the "Dream Big, Princess" campaign in person at a gallery inside UN's New York City headquarters. While touring the exhibit, we caught up with longtime Girl Up advocate and High School Musical actress Monique Coleman to find out what she hopes people take away from the exhibition. Coleman said that she wants girls "to see a self that they didn't even know was possible" through these photographs and that she also hopes that the impact of this gallery reaches beyond just half the population. "For us to see ourselves differently is great, but the world has to see us differently so that we can get more opportunities for girls in every possible area."
Ahead, check out some of the most moving images of girls who are redefining what it means to dream big and live life like a princess. You can see the empowering gallery in person at the UN headquarters visitors lobby via prescheduled guided tours or a UN security pass.