This Artist Has Gone Viral For Giving Disney Characters Gen Z Makeovers, And I'm Loving It

·3 min read

Lexis Vanhecke is a 23-year-old artist from Ohio who recently graduated with a BFA in drawing and painting. She's also gained over a million followers and millions of views on TikTok for her modern and edgy makeovers of Disney characters.

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Here's an edgy rendition of Wendy:

The classic wendy from peter pan side by side with Lexis' wendy, with tattoo, wearing a bean, tiny singlasses, and a spaghetti strap crop top
Disney/@alexiswithoutan_a / Via tiktok.com

And a tatted version of Tarzan that makes me 🤤:

The classic Tarzan side by side with Lexis' Tarzan, who has tattoos all over his body, a gold chain, and a man bun
Disney/@alexiswithoutan_a / Via tiktok.com

And a gothic, plus-sized Ariel:

The classic ariel side by side with Lexis' Ariel, who has tattoos, on her face, gothic clothing, and bangs and layers in her hair
Disney/@alexiswithoutan_a / Via tiktok.com

BuzzFeed spoke to Lexis, who said that while she's been passionate about art her entire life, making over Disney characters on TikTok was kind of a happy accident. "I downloaded TikTok in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many young people did to pass the time, and tried for a while to post my art without any success. These posts were of my 10-hour pencil portraits, or even more time-consuming oil paintings, but people didn’t seem to be interested."

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"One day, I was messing around on my mom’s iPad with a digital drawing app called Procreate, and thought it was so much fun. I remembered seeing a cute rendition of a [Disney] character on Instagram earlier that week. It was the only one I’d ever seen, but I liked the idea. I tried it with my own twist, Belle as an edgy girl, and posted it. I wasn’t expecting anything to come if it, but BOOM! Nine million views."

The classic Belle side by side with Lexis' Belle, who has long pointy fake nails, a choker, gothic makeup, and streaks in her hair
Disney/@alexiswithoutan_a / Via tiktok.com

Lexis also told BuzzFeed, "My edgier versions do tend to have 'Gen Z' vibes, but the funny thing about Gen Z is that there’s such a wide range of what's considered 'trendy.' Soft pastel dress with light makeup, or crazy winged eyeliner with tattoos and piercings? Both trendy!"

The classic Alice in wonderland side by side with Lexis' Alice, who's wearing mom jeans, a crop. top, and a choker
Disney/@alexiswithoutan_a / Via tiktok.com

Lexis draws inspiration for her designs from current fashion trends, Pinterest, and most importantly, her followers. "Usually, I take a commenter's suggestion, and then do my own interpretation of it. My page is becoming less 'all edgy' and more 'whatever the people want to see.' It allows me to be more creative and have more space to do different styles."

The classic Ariel side by side with Lexis' basic Ariel, who's wearing a sweatshirt and leggings, carrying a latte, and has her hair tied up with a scrunchie

Thanks to suggestions from her followers, Lexis recently started doing "basic but cute" makeovers on Disney characters. Which I, a basic millennial, very much appreciate (LOL).

Disney/@alexiswithoutan_a / Via tiktok.com

And, although she gets a ton of love for her amazing creations, Lexis told BuzzFeed she also gets her fair share of (unwarranted) negativity. "I think some people see Disney characters as sacred, like a representation of their own childhood, and get upset when it’s messed with. But I don’t see it that way. I love the original Disney movies just as much after seeing them look differently."

The classic Tiana side by side with Lexis' Tiana, who has modern makeup, braids, and is wearing a turtleneck
Disney/@alexiswithoutan_a / Via tiktok.com

"I just try to pay attention to the overwhelming amount of kind things people have to say, and my followers who look forward to my new videos!"

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To see more of Lexis's awesome creations, you can follow her on TikTok and Instagram.