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The Dark Side of ‘Happily Ever After’?

One Canadian photographer has set out to destroy every little girl's dream with a new art project.

by
Chris Queen

Bio

August 9, 2013 - 8:00 am

"Fallen Princesses"

I have three nieces – ages 8, 5, and 4 – and of course they’re into Disney. (Come on, they’re related to me, so would you expect any different?) The girls particularly love the Disney Princesses. They dress up like them, make believe different scenarios involving the characters, and wear Disney Princess T-shirts as often as they can. At the same time, I’m certain the girls know, even at their ages, that the life of a princess is an unrealistic goal. For them, the princess culture is fantasy and fun.

Princesses as mere fun and fantasy? Not if Canadian photographer Dina Goldstein has anything to do with it! Goldstein has released a new photo project entitled “Fallen Princesses,” and boy is it a downer!

Ms Goldstein told Cargoh.com that she was inspired to create the images when her daughter first became interested in princesses, and her mother was diagnosed with cancer shortly thereafter.

‘The two events collided and made me wonder what a princess would look like if she had to battle a disease, struggle financially or deal with aging,’ she said.

[...]

‘My Fallen Princesses series was born out of deep personal pain, when I raged against the “happily ever after” motif we are spoon fed since childhood,’ she explains.

In one photo, Rapunzel appears as a cancer patient, her long, blonde locks merely a wig. Cinderella leans over a shot glass in a bar, Belle undergoes gruesome plastic surgery, and Snow White looks to be trapped in an unhappy marriage in an outdated living room while Prince Charming watches television.

Other photos are even more outlandish. Ariel peers at a boy from inside an aquarium tank. Pocahontas has turned into a crazy cat lady, while Jasmine fights in a war-torn Middle East – according to The Daily Mail, “some accused the photographer of ‘placing the Middle Eastern Princess as a terrorist.’”

Even non-Disney princesses get in on the action: Little Red Riding Hood has become morbidly obese, while the leading lady of The Princess and the Pea inexplicably lives on a pile of mattresses in a landfill. By far, the most disturbing image has to be a princess lying asleep (or dead?) on a bed next to an old man in the common area of a retirement home.

Naturally, Goldstein tries to make a point with her photos, and – even more naturally – her point is chock full of Leftist tropes.

The photographer said she hopes her thought-provoking images will stir the emotions of viewers.

‘The series. . . [forces] the viewer to contemplate real life,’ she said.

‘Failed dreams, pollution and ocean degradation, war, obesity, the extinction of indigenous cultures, cancer and the fallacy of chasing eternal youth.’

Sorry, Dina, but your photos don’t inspire much thought beyond, “that’s disturbing.” Beyond the shock value lies some pretty lame and predictable statements – and no sense of irony or even mischievous humor. Seems like Dina Goldstein is more living proof that leftists don’t believe in “happily ever after,” and they’ll stop at nothing to make sure nobody experiences it.

All Chris Queen wanted to be growing up was a game show host, a weather man, or James Bond. But his writing talent won out. By day, Chris is a somewhat mild-mannered office manager for an IT managed services provider, but by night, he keeps his finger on the pulse of pop culture and writes about it. In addition to his Disney obsession (as evidenced by his posts on this website), Chris's interests include college sports -- especially his beloved Georgia Bulldogs -- and a wide variety of music. A native of Marietta, GA, Chris moved with his family as a child to nearby Covington, GA, where he still makes his home. He is an active charter member of Eastridge Community Church and enjoys spending time with family and friends. In addition to his work at PJ Media, Chris spent nearly a year as a contributor to NewsReal Blog. He has also written for Celebrations Magazine and two newspapers in Metro Atlanta. Check out his website, www.chrisqueen.net.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Huh? Has she watched the movies?

The princesses had harsh lives in the first place, before finding their prince. They were obviously going to have work in their lives afterwards, as well. The evil characters were the ones longing after a life of rentier ease.

Belle wouldn't have plastic surgery, anyway. She loved books. She wasn't focused on looks at all. She fell for a great walking bear rug.

Cinderella...the prince was pressured into marrying for the purpose of having children to carry on the royal line. If the place can be scoured so quickly for young maidens- it's a small kingdom. Would you want to live in a small kingdom right before the wars of the 19th and 20th century?

How was Ariel re-cursed with fins? A divorce? Was that possible? Have any of the northern kingdoms ever had a divorce?

Disney's Rapunzel's hair was supposed to carry healing powers. What's she doing in a cancer ward? Why isn't Mother Gothel getting plastic surgery? Or the evil queen from Sleeping Beauty?

For that matter, why is Red Riding Hood chubby? She could eat like a linebacker and still be slim. She's hiking through some dark Teutonic forests for hours on end.

A good parody shows sensitivity to the source material- Young Frankenstein- not an incoherent temper tantrum.

Disney Princess gear, or any princess gear, is to let a girl have a childhood where we tell her we love her. After that- she's a high- investment workhorse, one way or another. Career, marriage, family, kids, volunteer work, church, all of that.

I grew up in the seventies, with liberal parents. No princesses, no model of feminine engagement. The main thing about that is- it's less work. The house is messy, you don't have to remember make-up, or working out, nobody expects you to go to church, and you get to throw a tantrum when you're tired, even as a grownup. You aren't expected to have children, or even seek to find a good man to marry and have kids with. You can do the hook-up culture nihilism. It really is much, much easier and short-sighted than a Disney princess aspirational life.




36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Most thinking people (men and women) come to realize that happily ever after takes work and love, and those things take effort and maturity. This sounds like adolescent drivel, the whining of the disappointed but too lazy to change.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I think Goldstein is fuzzy about just what being a Princess WAS in the stories that Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm recorded. The term has been dulled into meaninglessness. An ordinary girl who found herself a Prince Charming, found a man who was set to inherit vast amounts of land, money, and taxable serfs. A girl who married into this situation, especially in Bavaria hundreds of years ago, could look forward to a life of, well, not ease necessarily, but at least being able to EAT every day. Of COURSE it's happily ever after -- the alternative was nasty, brutish, and short. Disney sugar-coated the stories, but it's not that hard for an adult to understand.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Those photographs are very much in the tired cliche territory. Similar ideas may have had some amusement factor back in the middle of last century or so, but now they show mostly the same perspective teenagers have towards sex - thinking they have just made this tremendous discovery and happily trying to shock the older generations with this new stuff, refusing to consider the fact that their parents and grandparents and all those other boring and stodgy old folks actually may know a bit about that stuff themselves, considering what it takes to produce babies... or the fact that those old folks might also perhaps truly know what might be the best way to deal with it, considering most of them have also made their share of mistakes.

Yes, we do know things can go sour sometimes. So what? First of all, that doesn't happen every time, not even close, and when it does, well, how about suggesting how to deal with it, instead of just wringing your hands and lamenting?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some of those lefty women are just so sour. I look at that picture and see three healthy kids and a pretty hot guy in tights watching TV. They have are a pretty nice house, there is the potential here for great happiness.

I don't remember any of the Disney princesses getting everything they wanted instantaneously. They hoped, wished, and sometimes something magical happened. They wanted to be special to someone, to be loved.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...have are a pretty nice house..."? Need more coffee. Sorry about that.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree. The furniture is nice. The flagstone fireplace is nice. The lines are along a late mid-century modern ranch. There's a nice spider plant in the corner, and a picture (or mirror--!) on the wall. It looks nice and cozy. I'd live there. And Snow's aged pretty well. ;)
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm with you, Chris. Without the dreams of happily ever after, who would reach for the magic of love? Leftists want to destroy hope and joy and happiness wherever they find it, and they want to kill it in our children in particular. I'm so glad I don't live in their dreary, sad little world.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think that "Mad" Magazine and the old "National Lampoon" explored this subject years ago without all the rancor expressed by Ms. Goldstein.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Huh? Has she watched the movies?

The princesses had harsh lives in the first place, before finding their prince. They were obviously going to have work in their lives afterwards, as well. The evil characters were the ones longing after a life of rentier ease.

Belle wouldn't have plastic surgery, anyway. She loved books. She wasn't focused on looks at all. She fell for a great walking bear rug.

Cinderella...the prince was pressured into marrying for the purpose of having children to carry on the royal line. If the place can be scoured so quickly for young maidens- it's a small kingdom. Would you want to live in a small kingdom right before the wars of the 19th and 20th century?

How was Ariel re-cursed with fins? A divorce? Was that possible? Have any of the northern kingdoms ever had a divorce?

Disney's Rapunzel's hair was supposed to carry healing powers. What's she doing in a cancer ward? Why isn't Mother Gothel getting plastic surgery? Or the evil queen from Sleeping Beauty?

For that matter, why is Red Riding Hood chubby? She could eat like a linebacker and still be slim. She's hiking through some dark Teutonic forests for hours on end.

A good parody shows sensitivity to the source material- Young Frankenstein- not an incoherent temper tantrum.

Disney Princess gear, or any princess gear, is to let a girl have a childhood where we tell her we love her. After that- she's a high- investment workhorse, one way or another. Career, marriage, family, kids, volunteer work, church, all of that.

I grew up in the seventies, with liberal parents. No princesses, no model of feminine engagement. The main thing about that is- it's less work. The house is messy, you don't have to remember make-up, or working out, nobody expects you to go to church, and you get to throw a tantrum when you're tired, even as a grownup. You aren't expected to have children, or even seek to find a good man to marry and have kids with. You can do the hook-up culture nihilism. It really is much, much easier and short-sighted than a Disney princess aspirational life.




36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Belle sat through one of Dr. Richard Palmer's or one of Matt Dolloff's classes and heard what they had to say all in the name of literature, I doubt she would even WANT to read any more books. I know their classes actually killed my interest in reading, possibly for good (I was actually recovering my desire to read, after having to write book reports in school killed that interest, but then they inserted left-wing stuff into their lectures, and in the case of Palmer, he managed to somehow tie in Chaucer's works with seventies-style free sex, second wave feminist slogans, Christianity during that time being misogynistic (and get this, he claimed Saint Augustine was the INVENTOR of misogyny) and all of that tripe). Honestly, I hated the character of Gaston, yet after being subject to that stuff, I'm actually beginning to see the sound logic in Gaston's statements about thinking being a terrible past time, and reading for that matter, that's how badly I've been subject to that sort of thing. It's hard to tell regarding Belle, but given my experiences with a (pardon me for using the word if you're Jewish, but its the only word I can really think of that would truly fit) Femnazi History up to the 1500s professor by the name of Heather Lucas, who frequently bashed males and Christianity (all while she was a Catholic) and even implied that women couldn't get an education until the 1960s and it was controlled by and solely granted access to Rich White Males during that time (I have tapes of her lectures, and am not afraid to use them if you don't believe me), I really don't have too much positive outlooks for Belle right now, seeing how Lucas and Belle seemed way too similar.

Oh, and the Snow White image is completely anachronistic: First off, the time period Snow White took place in (middle ages balvaria) would NOT have TVs, much less Prince Charming watching it while drunk as a skunk and completely plastered.

Geez, either way, this woman's extremely cynical, and I honestly can't fathom why she would in her right mind do something like that.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, guys, but there is no such thing as "happily ever after." Children should be allowed to be children, but for God's sake, don't let them go into young adulthood still believing this foolishness, or the ridiculous notion of "the one" who "completes me." I've taught my children that a person needs to be complete in and of themselves, not to expect another human being to complete them. I've also taught them that they need to be happy in and of themselves and not expect another human being to "make" them happy. That's unreasonable and not realistic. If you're not complete and happy with yourself as a human being first, you can't manufacture happiness with yourself and your life by latching onto another human. Every human being's happiness and sense of completeness is their own responsibility. Only then is a person fit to pair with another human. I don't want either my son or daughter going into marriage thinking that this other person's happiness is up to them. I want them to grow up, have a life of their own, find what they love to do and make a living with it, realize a few dreams. Only then should they even considering pairing up with another human to build a compatible life that may or may not involve creating other humans. Okay, have at, all you outraged readers. I've expressed blasphemy. And by the way, I've been in a reasonably successful marriage to the father of my children for several years, so don't give me any static about being bitter.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know, the Matrix Trilogy's main theme according to the Wachowski Brothers (as they were known at the time) was "know thyself," and they depicted humanity as basically wanting to breed like animals, wanting carnal pleasures. Correct me if I'm mistaken, but your description of these things sounds way too similar to the Matrix Trilogy (which had been stated in an article for the Free Republic to be promoting anarcho-nihilism and cultural Marxism), which isn't a good thing at all.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Most thinking people (men and women) come to realize that happily ever after takes work and love, and those things take effort and maturity. This sounds like adolescent drivel, the whining of the disappointed but too lazy to change.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
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