In case you haven’t been paying attention lately, we live in a fairly misogynistic world. This extends from real life to the media we consume. And while women have long been allowed by society to emulate men, both in real life and in popular culture (see: Supergirl, Batgirl, Spider-Woman, etc.), how many male characters are allowed to emulate powerful women, and follow in their footsteps?
Sadly, the answer to that question is “almost none.” I’m still waiting for a teenage Wonder Boy sidekick to Wonder Woman. While we may be waiting awhile to see that happen in any official capacity, that hasn’t stopped many young male fans from looking up to powerful women in pop culture and coming up with their own versions.
Desde pequeño siempre me han gustado las Princesas de Disney más que cualquier otra cosa. En Carnaval nunca pude disfrazarme de una porque “son para niñas” y como buen millennial que soy no podría estar más en desacuerdo, así que he preparado esta serie de niños disfrazados de princesas de Disney 💕✨ ¿Cuál es tu favorito? ✨ #disneyart #disneyartwork #lasirenita #illustragram #girlsinanimation #sketchathon #characterdesigner #genderbend #memoaponte #drawinggrid #ohmydisneyla
Case in point: 23-year-old Venezuelan artist Frank Figueredo, who we learned about via BuzzFeed. Frank grew up loving the Disney Princesses like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Ariel from The Little Mermaid. But since our society tells young boys that women are only meant to be objectified, not emulated, he was mocked for his love of Disney’s famous leading ladies.
Figueredo told BuzzFeed, “People told me that I could not have those preferences because I was not a ‘normal child.’ But why? I just spent it drawing in my notebooks the princesses that I liked and why not? I could not understand why I should not admire them. They seemed so great to me. They were adventurous, fantastic, they fought for a goal and fulfilled their dreams. For me they were like warriors.”
So Figueredo took it upon himself to design a series of illustrations, imagining what boy versions of the famous Disney princesses would look like….and they’re adorable. These gender bent characters are inspired by the most famous ladies of the House of Mouse, and very much fit in with the design aesthetic of their biggest animated hits. As you can see from images from Figueredo’s Instagram page—both above and below—these Disney princes are way more fun and interesting looking than the generic prince charmings that we are usually stuck with.
And his warrior versions of Disney princesses are just as amazing. Said Figueredo, “My goal was clear, to tell everyone that princesses are not just girls’ things, we can all admire their inspiring stories and their beauty of soul.” Here’s hoping Figueredo’s art inspires even more like him to come out of the woodwork.
What do you think of this fan’s work? Be sure to let us know below in the comments.
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Images: Walt Disney Company