Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fallen Disney Princesses

Dina Goldstein is based in Vancouver, B.C. A renowned photographer, Goldstein is known for her ability to juggle unique portraits with editorial, commercial, and athletic photography that have earned her praise and awards from high-profile magazines and critical praise. However, in my opinion, Goldstein's most interesting and through-provoking work comes from her series "Fallen Princesses." In this series, Goldstein provides a real-world (and cynical) vision of what happens when real life cold cocks the traditional notion of the Disney 'happily ever after' and subsequently occurs thereafter.

In her own words, Goldstein states: "Fallen Princesses place Fairy Tale characters in modern day scenarios. In all of the images, the Princess is placed in an environment that articulates her conflict. The '...happily ever after' is replaced with a realistic outcome and addresses current issues." It is interesting to note that Goldstein never read or was read fairy tales as a child. Therefore, in her opinion, the traditional Disney story archetype does not make sense. Goldstein continues: "The Disney versions almost always have a sad beginning, with an overbearing female villian, and the end is a perfectly happy one. The Prince usually saves the day and makes the victimized young beauty into a Princess...I began to imagine Disney's perfect Princesses juxtaposed with real issues that were affecting women around me, such as illness, addiction and self-image issues."

Whatever your take is on the stories of our youth, it is impossible to argue with the powerful nature of Goldstein's images. Have a look.

I love what Goldstein has done with these photos. It's very strange seeing Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood (not so little anymore), Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine, The Princess and the Pea, Ariel, and Belle in more troubled times. Especially when we are predisposed to this image:

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