How Do You Make A Snow White Costume Feminist?

by Mary Grace Garis

It’s a modern problem: you consider yourself a strong, progressive woman, but you love the hell out of Disney Princesses. I feel that struggle. And, though last year we tackled ways to update a Disney Princess Halloween costumes, you’re really not sure if your Sleeping Beauty outfit sends a bold political message. Well, I’m your fairy godmother, and I’m to help you turn your potentially problematic princess costume into a feminist Disney princess Halloween costume to impress all your other socially conscious friends.

Why “potentially problematic?” Well, because historically Disney princess movies don’t send awesome life messages to young girls. Only recently could you consider something like, say, a Queen Elsa costume feminist in itself. So, I targeted some ladies that needed a bit of a makeover. Interestingly (maybe due to coincidence and many due to the passage of time), many princesses of color tend to do far better as strong female characters (your Jasmines, your Mulans, et al), so revamping them wasn't super necessary. I wouldn't recommend pulling a Pocahontas, though, as that was an actual person who endured a life free of Grandma Willow Trees — not to mention the potential cultural appropriation issues you could run into.

Most of all, take all these ideas with a grain of salt, a sense of humor, and a dollop of fun.

1. Princess Ariel Meets Riot Grrrrl

Shell T-Shirt, $25, Etsy; Shell Foam Pads, $13, Etsy; Mermaid Leggings, $40, Etsy; L'Oreal paris Red Lipstick, $6, Target

First, choose how much boob coverage you want. Feeling modest? Try this shell t-shirt on for size. Want to express your sexuality? How about hot glueing these shell foam pads to your bra? And although I do not endorse leggings as pants as a life choice, these mermaid leggings are perfect for maximum leg freedom while still getting that sea siren vibe. Of course, you need true red lipstick to express your fiery personality under the sea, but may I suggest you go full riot and use it to write something bold on your midriff (if you go the bra route)? Maybe "My fins, my choice" would do? Get creative!

2. Princess Aurora Meets Punk Rock

Aurora Approved Crown, $10, Etsy

Let's start with the most passive princess, Sleeping Beauty herself. First, you have to pick up a hot pink dress as a base and an Aurora-approved crown to let everyone know you're royalty. Then, go full punk and pick up a customizable denim vest to throw on top. From there, you just add a bunch of pins and a back patch if you're feeling really ambitious. Personally, I picked out buttons that highlighted the importance of consent, considering that the premise of Sleeping Beauty relies on a guy kissing a comatose chick.

3. Cinderella Meets Courtney Love

Fake Blood, $2, Party City; Clear Heels, $25, Spirit Halloween

Cinderella is decidedly not feminist, so this was a tough one at first, but, then, I thought of the album art for Hole's "Skinny Little B*tch" single. A duh doy: this is an opportunity to turn Cinderella into party girl who is out way past midnight and doesn't care what her fairy godmother thinks. So, after you get your proper blue dress, ditch the prim blonde bun and go for a frazzled blonde grunge cut. Then, pour some fake blood into the heels of your glass slippers to make a powerful statement about how women are pressured to sacrifice comfort for the sake of beauty. You are the most subversion Disney princess of your generation.

4. Belle Meets Women's Studies 101

White Button Up Shirt, $20, H&M; Roxanne Gay's Bad Femenist, $10, Barnes and Noble; Femininism is for Everybody, $17, Thift Books

OK, full disclosure, Belle didn't need much of a feminist makeover. Belle is practically perfect and basically my favorite of all time. Still, Beauty and the Beast could use a bit of tweaking with it's main love story, so, after you pick up a plain blue dress and white button-up, saddle up with a copy of Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist. And don't stop there! While you're at it, get bell hooks' Femininism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics. And, finally, pay homage to French badasses with Simone De Beauvoir's The Second Sex. If you don't want to shell out the money, you can get them at your local library.

5. Snow White Meets Rosie The Riveter

Yellow Skirt, $12, Forever 21; Denim Shirt, $14, H&M; Red Polkadot Bandana, $15, Ebay

Snow White is a hard pick, but, if the raven-haired princess is your favorite, so be it. We can work with this... by making her a working woman. So, basically, all you'll need is a yellow skirt and layer a denim shirt overtop, making sure to unbutton the bottom buttons and tie it at your waist. Now, get a red polkadot bandana and tie it on top your head Rosie the River style. WhaaaAAAAAt?! We just changed the game by turning Snow White from essentially a housewife to seven dwarves to a working woman who probably makes, like, fire bombs or something. I don't know. Girl power?

Hopefully this is enough inspiration to help you brainstorm something that’ll make you wish upon a star to smash the patriarchy.

Images: Disney (1); Giphy (1); SpiritHalloween (7); American Eagle (1); Barnes and Noble (3); Etsy (8); Target (1); Forever 21 (3)