Artist gives Disney Princesses disabilities

An artist has challenged Disney's portrayal of the 'ideal' woman by re-imagining some classic princess characters as disabled.

In Alexsandro Palombo's Disabled Disney Princesses, Pocahontas walks with crutches, Snow White is wheelchair-bound and Cinderella is missing an arm, promoting the message that beauty comes in all forms.

The Italian artist told the Huffington Post he was inspired to create the series after a bout with cancer left parts of his body paralyzed. 'Every day I have to deal with all forms of discrimination,' he said.

'Through this series I wanted to give visibility to this problem of strong discrimination directed to the persons with disabilities who live in our society.'

While Mr Palombo's version of Sleeping Beauty is missing part of an arm, his Mulan is bound to a wheelchair with both arms and one foot missing. In one of his illustrations, all of the princesses are pictured together, and a banner at the top of the image, written in the signature Disney script, reads: 'Do you still like us?'

The images are intended to challenge conventional perception of beauty, as well as give young girls who may be disabled themselves real role models to look up to. He also said that creating a disabled Disney Princess would provide an opportunity for parents to talk to their children about disability.

In one image, Cinderella - who puts on a glass slipper in the original tale - is fitted with a prosthetic leg instead. In another, Prince Charming pushes Snow White in her wheelchair.

While many have praised Mr Palombo for breaking down stereotypes, others have questioned why he has depicted only specific types of disability, leaving out facial deformities and other cases that should be addressed.

Still, many agreed that his illustrations are a positive step towards challenging the conventional notion of beauty that Disney commonly adheres to. This is not the first time Disney has been criticized for a lack of character diversity.

Last year, the company was slammed for giving Brave's Merida - known for her wild hair and fuller figure - a makeover that saw her slimmed down and made more stereotypically pretty. And in June, a mother named Ashley Martin launched a petition asking Disney to create a disabled princess for her daughter to look up to. 'Every little girl dreams about being a princess. To a girl with a disability, the popular Disney princesses are another reminder of how society sees beauty,' she wrote on the website.

'Creating a disabled princess will help not only a disabled girls self esteem but will encourage society to look outside their "beauty" box.'

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