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Photo Series Reimagines Disney Princesses As 'Black Urban Royalty'

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Photo Series Reimagines Disney Princesses As 'Black Urban Royalty'
Courtesy of CreativeSoul Photography

This stunning photo series features young, Black girls dressed as popular princesses

One hairstylist was tired of the lack of Black representation in the media growing up so she decided to change that by creating a stunning princess series with the help of a local photography studio.

LaChanda Gatson, a self-described International Film and Editorial Hair and Makeup Artist, said she loved watching and reading fairytales and fantasy as a child, but would often reimagine the characters in ways more relatable to her and her culture. With that, the Black Princess Series was born.

CreativeSoul Photography

Gatson provided the creative direction as well as all the hairstyling for the shoot. She, along with Kahran Bethencourt, owner of CreativeSoul Photography, brought Disney princesses to life with young Black girls who represent all the fierceness and beauty they have to offer.

CreativeSoul Photography

“I love what and who I see in the mirror,” Gatson said on Instagram. “I created this African-American Princess Series to inspire girls around the world to dream big and know dreams really do come true.”

CreativeSoul Photography

These princesses were reimagined from a collection of fictional princesses and global fairytales — ones I grew to love throughout my years,” Gatson tells Scary Mommy. “I reimagined them as Black urban royalty. I chose a team of talented Black creatives and created the change I wanted to see.”

CreativeSoul Photography

The lack of representation is something that has impacted youth for generations. Only two out of every ten lead film actors (less than 20 percent) were people of color in 2017, the UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report found. But a 2017 study found evidence that diverse casting increases box office numbers. It’s time the film executives and producers listen.

CreativeSoul Photography

Though strides have been made in recent years, people of color have yet to reach equal representation within the film industry. According to a 2018 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the nation’s population is nearly 40 percent non-white.

CreativeSoul Photography

While Hollywood, the media, and American corporations in general have much progress left to make, a series like Gatson’s goes a long way to inspire future generations and show them how much they deserve to be seen.

CreativeSoul Photography

The series was inspired by many Disney Princess movies including Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Frozen, and others and she enlisted the help of costume designers from Los Angeles to Nigeria to help create the inspirational looks for the shoot.

“I hope this series is just the beginning of endless opportunities of inclusion and more black creativity in fantasy,” Gaston said of the representation of Black youth in the future. “Let’s continue to have a conversation and understand that our children matter too.”

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