For many people, when they were children, Disney princesses were role models of beauty and grace. They were gorgeous, brave, and always found their happily ever after. But as years went on, people began to point out flaws with these princesses, claiming that they weren’t diverse enough or that they always played the role of a damsel in distress and sent an unfortunate message to developing young girls.
The latest person to have an issue with the beloved princesses is fashion illustrator and artist Jonquel Norwood, who, after struggling with her weight her whole life, saw the “perfect” body types of these Disney princesses to be detrimental to others. So Norwood drew the Disney royals with fuller figures and posted the images to her Instagram account in hope of inspiring young women to feel better about their bodies. See some of her work, below:
“My inspiration for this project came from two things: A sheer love for Disney and a recent study that was released,” explains Norwood in an interview with Yahoo! Style. “The study stated that the ‘average’ American woman is a size 16-18 and another study showed that 67 percent of women are plus-sized, yet we have very little positive representation in the media.”
“I was body-shamed most of my life and like most, I believed I had to slim down in order to truly be a member of society,” Jonquel says in an interview with Bustle regarding the inspiration behind the sketches. However, that’s not the only thing to spark her work.
After seeing the results of the study, Norwood figured that the best way to change this would be to give a modern day, “average woman” makeover to some of our most iconic female characters: Disney princesses.
Norwood’s princesses take on a fuller figure and have a seriously glamorous, confident vibe. “My princesses are sassy and confident (very different from their normal sweet and sometimes passive selves),” she explains. “The reason for this is because if a plus size woman decides to have confidence and put her self out there in anyway, she better be bold. As many plus influences have said before, the media and the world is not always kind to those who don’t meet beauty standards.”
Unsurprisingly, Norwood’s Instagram followers — roughly 12,000 — were largely supportive of her drawings, writing things like, “Omg! Please tell me these prints will be available!!!” and “Rocking feed!” on her account.
Considering the positive response Jonquel has gotten since the release of her plus-size characters, we can’t help but believe that plenty of other women see a disparity in the size diversity of Disney princesses. Hopefully, Disney will take note and feature a plus-size princess in one of its upcoming films. Norwood put it best: “Just like beauty, magic has no size, race, or gender.”