Can’t Be A Sleeping Beauty On Real Issues

Via Teacups & Couture I found the works of photographer Dina Goldstein which follows up with fairy tale princess and their “happily ever afters.”


Goldstein shares her exploration of Disney Princesses in Fallen Princesses at JPG Magazine:

These works 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.

The project was inspired by my observation of three-year-old girls, who were developing an interest in Disney’s Fairy tales. As a new mother I have been able to get a close up look at the phenomenon of young girls fascinated with Princesses and their desire to dress up like them. The Disney versions almost always have sad beginning, with an overbearing female villain, and the end is predictably a happy one. The Prince usually saves the day and makes the victimized young beauty into a Princess.

As a young girl, growing up abroad, I was not exposed to Fairy tales. These new discoveries lead to my fascination with the origins of Fairy tales. I explored the original brothers Grimm’s stories and found that they have very dark and sometimes gruesome aspects, many of which were changed by Disney. 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.

There are 2 more to be shot for this series which is going on exhibit on Oct. 15/09

The images are striking; the subject matter near to my heart.



I did some work in college on the messages in Disney images & stories. My project, Damaged By Disney, was similarly inspired by watching my then very young daughter digest Disney images — and now that I’ve had nearly two more decades of additional experiences I find I am only more interested.


I had to talk with Dina to see just what the two planned photographs would be about.


I was hoping she’d use one of the last two works to explore violence against women — it’s such a huge problem, one that’s not very well understood, in large part because few want to discuss it. Domestic violence and sexual assault of women are not covered as often as they should be; they are dismissed from discussion, deemed one part “taboo” and one part “drag.” But as both a survivor of domestic violence and a victim of date rape, I was hoping Goldstein would use her considerable talents to bring up the subjects.


When I asked Goldstein, she confessed that the two planned photos, featuring Ariel and The Princess & The Pea, would not address domestic violence or violence against women.


But I do think that I’ve planted a seed — Nay! I’ve placed the Domestic Violence & Violence Against Women peas beneath her mattress, and now I must just wait to see how many sleepless nights it takes to convince the photographer to lend her visual voice to the issues.


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