Disney princesses, for a lot of us, were the touchstone of childhood — how we defined our early ideas of self and ambition. But as time passes, it is important to look more critically at how the princesses are collectively viewed by society, and what parts of them we still choose to emulate and aspire to become.
Matt Burt, a North Carolina-based graphic designer with Simple Thrifty Living, recently reimagined Disney princesses as modern career women, making them more relatable to the '90s kids who grew up with them than ever.
Each of Burt's illustrations depicts an adult version of the youthful royals. He reimagined princesses as successful in a career that complements her defining personality traits, the details of which he describes in accompanying captions. Some industries represented include higher education, clinical psychology, and government. He even modernized their Disney outfits, giving them a modern ~look~ to go with the field they'd chosen. You can also see subtle design variations (the Pixar princesses look slightly different that the original two-dimensional ones). The commitment to detail on this is seriously above and beyond, and makes it all the more satisfying.
We have compiled all the entries of Matt Burt's Girl Boss series for you to peruse below. Which is your favorite?
Goodness knows Snow White knows how to appeal to different personalities. "
Snow White has always been known for being caring, thoughtful, and someone willing to lend a hand to those in need," writes Burt. "Using these strengths paired with hard work, she earned her doctorate in psychology and is one of the leaders in the field of mental health. She presents her research at conferences throughout the year but always takes time to provide the best care to her clients ... whether they're feeling happy, bashful, grumpy, or anything else. It's her mission to not only help her clients but also support other mental health professionals so they can offer their clients top-notch care."
Always a dear friend of those most vulnerable, Cinderella became an activist. "
While she has her Fairy Godmother to thank, Cinderella would not be where she is without the help of her animal companions. She believes where there is kindness there is goodness, and it’s her heart’s wish to see animals treated with respect. She used her position of influence to found a non-profit organization committed to promoting animal rights," writes Burt. Probably safe to say she's vegan, too.
Sleeping Beauty fan can appreciate this full circle moment: " Aurora knows how hard it is to wake up," writes Burt. "After being awoken from her enchanted sleep, Aurora made it her career to help others stay awake - and what better way to do that than coffee?! Aurora is the founder and CEO of Spinning Wheel Coffee, one of the leading coffee chains in the nation."
Following her patrilineal legacy, Tiana found her passion in a kitchen. "
Growing up and being inspired by her father’s love of cooking, Tiana has always known what she has wanted to do," writes Burt. "She now stands at the top of the culinary world, winning the James Beard Award and owning one of the most popular restaurants in the country. Every day she digs a little deeper, trying out new dishes and experimenting with new recipes and flavors."
The princess who taught us to use out voices made it to the big time doing just that. "
Ariel has always excelled in music, having natural talent and a passion for singing. Considered the best of her talented sisters, Ariel took her skills and made it her career. She went multi-platinum with her single, 'Part of Your World,' and now both writes her own music and is a producer at her own label, Seven Seas Records," writes Burt.
A model to bookwormy children everywhere, Belle entered the field of higher education. "
There was always much more in store for Belle than a provincial life. Inspired by her love of books and knowledge, Belle went into academia. After receiving her doctorate in education, Belle has risen to the level of chancellor at a major university. She is committed to affordable and equal education for all."
Unsurprisingly, Jasmine used her strong leadership skills to go into politics. "
Jasmine has always fought for what’s right and for change where it is needed — she’s not a prize to be won," writes Burt. "A natural politician, she now advocates for her country of Agrabah at the United Nations. One of her primary initiatives is protecting women’s rights by ensuring that women are treated fairly across the globe."
She once told us we can own the earth and still, all you'll own is earth until you can paint with all the colors of the wind. Now telling us the 2018 way. "
Pocahontas knows that we’re all connected to each other and is committed to protecting nature and what is just around the riverbend," writes Burt. "She heads a non-profit organization committed to preserving and protecting the environment. Through a combination of activism, action, and promoting awareness, she fights for protection and sustainable use of our natural resources.
As an unwavering champion of women's rights, Mulan's vocational calling comes as little surprise. "
After experiencing discrimination both personally and in the military, Mulan turned her sights on a law degree, graduating with the highest honors. She now fights for equality on university campuses, ensuring that men and women are given the same treatment and opportunities. With all the strength of a raging fire, she advocates for those who have faced adversity due to their gender."
Tangled grew up to be a neurologist. " Since her birth, Rapunzel has always had the power to heal. After saving her future husband, Eugene Fitzherbert, and reuniting with her royal family, Rapunzel went to medical school and earned her doctorate. She specialized in neurology and has become a leading expert in the country. It’s now her dream to help as many patients as she can and provide exceptional medical care," writes Burt.
Brave went the athlete route in 2018. " Merida competed for her own hand in marriage, so why not for a gold medal in the Olympics? Skilled in both archery and horseback riding, Merida competes for her country in multiple events. She’s already won multiple golds, but aims to add a few more in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo."
Elsa and Anna continued to discover the power in sisterhood far beyond their teenage years. The two teamed up in their professional lives as well. "
Elsa, Anna, and the citizens of Arendelle know a few things about the effects of climate change. While their companion Olaf may love summer, the sun, and all things hot, Anna and Elsa recognize what a rising global temperature might mean. They have dedicated their careers to studying climate change and presenting accurate, well-sourced information.
Last but not least, Moana is a Navy Officer. "
The sea has always called to Moana. What it taught her is that she is a natural leader, guiding her people and returning them to their ancient voyaging traditions. Using these strengths, Moana has excelled in the Navy, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander. She has been awarded multiple honors during her service, such as two Navy Achievement medals and a National Defense Service Medal. With such a successful start, there’s no telling how far she’ll go in her career."