When I die, should I be interred in the earth with any kind of marker above ground, I’d like passersby to see these words:
“Asten laughed. Conformity and meeting the expectations of others does not suit me.”
– Reawakened (Colleen Houck, 259)
We basically thought there wasn’t any iteration of Disney princesses an artist could think up that we didn’t want to see. But recently, Disney-loving artists are hyper-sexualizing princesses, opening a whole new world, yes we said it, of fairytale reimagining..We’re all for women expressing their sexuality but there’s something questionable about using Disney Princesses to project sexual fantasies..
Hyper-sexualizing them specifically from the Disney aesthetic and narratives as opposed to the Grimm/Perrault/Andersen origins can be problematic when it comes to audiences not old enough or even interested in seeing a mermaid do anything that smells like lust.
Ariel can have swagger, be too saccharine, throw a hissy fit, and even swear off romance forever, but the moment the image of her that child-friendly, pop-cultural norms construct and maintain is pushed over the edge into the hentai aesthetic, she’s come full circle as a visual media commodity.
I wonder, though, what cartoon character hasn’t been transmogrified into depictions of actions or glances that feed the world of Bakhtinian Carnivalesque of which Herschell Gordon-Lewis and the Marquis de Sade would approve? What would make the staff writers at hellogiggles gasp or cringe or just sigh audibly, “We’ve seen it all now” ? If Pocahontas and Beast got together and roasted Ariel over a fire and the rest of the gang feasted upon her body?
Originally posted in a varied form on my tumblr.