Disney has arguably never seen better days than these — their animated and live-action features are consistently hits, and they’ve got easy box office gold in Marvel and Star Wars movies. But, they’ve still got an image problem to overcome. For much of their history, Disney Princesses were in need of saving, and while more recent leading ladies have had more agency, the concept of a princess is still one associated with helplessness. A lot of times, this is presented as an either/or thing — either embrace being a princess, or ditch the dresses and start getting dirty. This month, Disney is finally asking the obvious question — why not both?
Last week, they kicked off the Dream Big Princess social media campaign, which is running on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Everyone is encouraged to tag pictures of awesome women and girls out in the world accomplishing amazing things — and if they happen to be doing those things in Disney princess dresses, so much the better (the picture of the campaign so far is a young girl in a Snow White dress, covered in mud, striking a pretty spot on Fearless Girl pose).
To set the tone for the campaign, Disney brought on 19 top-notch female photographers to give everyone some inspiration. They’ve got some amazing shots you need to check out — come for the awesome surfers, mathematicians, fencers, future engineers, and soccer players, stay for the incredible composition of these photographs!
As happens all too often, the Instagram hashtag has gotten a little off track — there’s a lot of cosplay, vacation pictures, people trying to sell stuff, and people just tagging random pictures to get the likes off the hashtag. Things are going a lot better on Twitter (I don’t get to say that often), where you’ll catch some great shots of grads, artists, and some totally rad youngsters. The gif of the kid doing a wheelie on a ride-on toy car is particularly inspiring.
— Kadee McDonald (@KadeeMcDonald) August 22, 2017
Disney’s doing this to help fix their image problem, but it’s not totally self-serving. They’ve committed donating $1 to the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign for every time the hashtag is used, with the fundraising goal set at $1 million.