Double Tap That – Astor Alexander
When we were young, the world of Disney was damsels in distress, waiting for the day the prince would come, harmonising woodland critters and those dreamy glass slippers. Fantasy and fairy-tale … where’s the harm, right? I mean, when you set aside the heavy notes of gender inequality and male-dependancy from a few of the classics, of course.
But over the last decade or so, as we watch our nieces and our daughters play-acting their favourite Disney characters, something has changed. Shifted. Have you noticed it, too?
There’s less poor-pretty-princess, more weapon-wielding-heroine.
Less waiting to be rescued, more fighting for themselves.
Fewer glass slippers … and fewer glass ceilings, too.
It’s subtle, but it’s there. And thank Christ. What we present to girls at that age – what’s woven through the narratives of their favourite female protagonists – is what they build their world view on.
That’s why we stumbled to a swiping-halt at the sight of these illustrations. Created by San Diago-based artist Astor Alexander, the oh-so familiar images of our favourite Disney characters have been re-cast through Alexander’s moody noir-esque artistic filter.
Instead of Walt’s PG-rated, doe-eyed damsels, they’re now fiery femme-fatales. Oozing wicked hot sexuality with a sharp edge of danger. Snow White becomes a mob boss, Mulan a trained warrior assassin. Cinderella is an MI6 agent and Jasmine a master-thief.
So, maybe not heroes.
It’s all at once refreshing and inspiring to see the poor-pretty-princesses of our childhood reimagined with the new gait of feminism. If Sleeping Beauty only knew that she could shake off that nap for herself. Through his art, their stories … aren’t exactly retold … but re-angled just a bit, with a new perspective. And what a perspective it is.