We’ve all stared up at the TV in wonder as our favorite princess twirled around the screen, sang to birds, got the prince, and saved the day from a buffet of different bitter villains. We’ve all wanted to be these glamorous women at some point – but we’re missing the ballgown and crown.
That’s not a problem for Detroit-based portrait photographer Jessica Kobeissi who took the princess fantasy and gave it a modern day twist. Kobeissi styled and photographed 10 women to look like modern day princesses. Check out Kobeissi’s and other artists’ magical takes on classic princesses.
Fa Mulan Has Major Warrior Energy
Our favorite strategist and Hun-fighting princess is the only Disney princess who doesn’t hold a crown to her name. Instead of royal blood, this lady has warrior blood that’s inspired by the story of Hua Mulan who reportedly lived between 420-589 CE.
In the original poem about Hua Mulan’s life, Hua takes the place of her aging father and young brother in the army. Disguised as a man, she fights for 12 years and is offered an official post but asks only for a camel to take her home. Real or fictional, both Mulans kick serious rear.
Modern Mulan Rules The Streets
Kobeissi definitely communicates the fierce woman vibe that Mulan puts out with her modern take on the Disney warrior princess. She’s traded her medal of honor for a chunky gold choker and her silk robes for an edgy pink silk bomber jacket.
Even Mu-Shu Mulan’s trusty dragon has a tribute in the dragon design of her dress. The sleeves of the jacket definitely echo the iconic first scene of the movie where Mulan hides her recitations under her long sleeves that eventually get smeared. Now, where’s the cricket for good luck?
This Illustrated Modern Mulan Saves China And Stops The Stigma Around Pitbulls
When she’s not saving China she’s taking on other worthy causes – and in this case, it means boosting public perception around our misunderstood four-legged friends. Mulan really never stops saving lives.
In Nata St. Art’s version, Mulan is out and about heading to the dog park with her bestie Pocahontas. These fierce women are ready to show the world how friendly their dog is while looking tough themselves. Just make sure you ask them before you go petting the dog.
This Illustrated Horror Mulan Is Ready To Defeat The Huns…And Everyone Else
In jeftoon01’s version of the rear-kicking Disney princess warrior she doesn’t survive the Hun attack, but makes it her personal business to come back undead and make sure the Huns don’t either. This Mulan literally believes in an eye for an eye, huh?
This Mulan definitely isn’t listening to her matchmaker’s advice about her hair and her makeup anymore. That makes sense. When you’re a zombie battling an entire army you’re definitely a woman-on-the-go and don’t have a whole lot of time for eyeliner application.
The Inspiration For Belle’s Character Comes From Ballerinas and Little Women
When creating the iconic and studious Belle, animators and designers looked to examples of women in art and literature. Inspiration for Belle’s intelligence and morality was drawn from the character of Jo March in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Her grace and style were inspired by the ballerinas of impressionist painter Degas.
Belle is a great example of a Disney princess who shakes up the Disney princess mold by portraying more than just beauty and an animal sidekick. In this case, her sidekick is a 300-pound hermit were-man. Go Belle.
This Modern Belle Is A Beauty
Kobeissi truly channeled the bibliophile vibes that the original Belle gives off with her fresh take on the Disney princess. This Belle opted for a white button-up for an easy day to night look and a cool denim tank top so she can fight off the Gaston’s of today. Aka, the bros lurking outside the bar near the bookstore where she works.
If Belle was alive today she’d definitely be top of her class with honors. This Belle with her level gaze and fashionable hoop earrings definitely has been keeping up with readings and doing extra credit. You rock girl.
Modern Day Illustrated Belle Would Rather Go To Paris Than A Run-Down Castle
Artist @darart.art on Instagram took a modern spin on the classic belle-of-the-ball, by putting her in Paris instead of a grungy old haunted castle. Belle definitely deserves a better time-share than the grungy old castle Beast was staying. It probably didn’t even have wifi.
Belle is out and about living her best life here away from the no-good beast. She’s wearing her nicest dress, she’s got her gold bangles on, and her heart belongs only to guys who don’t lock her up. This travel-bug says no to being imprisoned forever.
This Illustrated Undead Belle Doesn’t Want You To Be Her Guest
In Kasami-Sensei’s spooky take on the book-shy princess, they imagine her as an undead ghost who outlives her father, the Beast, and Gaston. All she’s got is an enchanted rose tied to her fate that she keeps with her at all times. Just don’t ask her to stop and smell the roses – she might bite you.
Mrs. Pots and the gang probably leave her well alone. She definitely doesn’t dine in the main hall anymore for tea. Something about those eye bags says she hasn’t slept and doesn’t feel like it any time soon.
Cinderella’s Story Comes From A Long Tradition Of Tales About Girls Whose Personalities Were Looked Over
Since 7BC there have been various versions of the Cinderella myth circulating, where a downtrodden girl has found her way out of poverty by marrying a prince. What’s interesting about these myths is that they focus on how Cinderella’s personality and morality make her undeserving of the hard life she’s living.
The meaning of ‘Cinderella’ is someone whose attributes go unrecognized – Disney definitely taps into this idea with their princess. When she transforms into her blue ballgown it’s as if her great insides are being shown on the outside. Bippity bobbity boop!
Modern Cinderella Doesn’t Want To Go Home At Midnight
Kobeissi’s version taps into the great personality Cinderella has by giving her a trendy style that’s unique to her. She’s done away with one character flaw though – instead of blister-inducing glass slippers, she’s given this Cinderella practical heeled combat boots. The midnight curfew thing was probably because her feet hurt anyways.
She’s probably looking over at her step-sisters as they borrow her clothes without asking and return them with makeup stains on. Or at the mountain of dishes her step-mother left her to do. Luckily, modern-day Cindy has a dishwasher.
This Drawing Of Present-Day Cinderella Shows She’s Done Her Chores And Is Ready To Chill
In @dariart.art’s take on the classic Disney princess, Cinderella is having a grand ol’ time hanging out down by the boardwalk. She must have finished her chores and put her phone on mute so her stepmother wouldn’t bug her. Actually, she definitely put it on airplane mode so she couldn’t track her Snapchat location either.
This Cinderella is cool and down to stay out past her curfew if it means she can get a few extra rounds of beach volleyball in with her friends. Ball, what ball? The only ball she cares about is the volleyball.
This Spooky Illustrated Cinderella Isn’t As Sweet As Pumpkin Pie Anymore
We all get that feeling that we would rather not go out to the ball and we’d rather take the night off and order some pizza instead. In jeftoon01’s twisted version of the glass-slipper-wearing princess, she’s traded her ticket to the ball for a pair of button eyes and a scarecrow skin.
This Cinderella says she either lost your invitation in the mail or burned it in a sacrificial ritual, she can’t remember. When she’s not scaring crows she’s scaring everyone else, so it’s probably best she can’t make it.
The Original Little Mermaid Is Much Darker Than The Disney Version
Ariel wasn’t always the joyful singing and dancing cultural anthropologist that she’s portrayed as in the Disney version. The original Hans Christian Andersen version is darker… and foamier?
In the fairytale the Prince falls in love and marries someone else, and as a result, Ariel is presented with a choice to either kill him or turn into seafoam. She chose the latter and Disney decided to take the story in a different creative direction. Good choice. Rumor has it Disney writers also take their Starbucks drinks without milk foam.
This Ariel Can Stand On Her Own Two Feet
Kobeissi’s take on the classic princess sees her trading the fins for some gems, as this Ariel’s sparkly green dress mirrors the green scales of her movie counterpart. What she doesn’t recreate is Ariel’s soft-spokeness. This Ariel looks loud and proud and ready to tell you exactly how she feels about your artisan kitchen spoon collection.
Kobeissi also photographs her model in front of a green door. Could this symbolize the barrier between the sea and the ocean? The green sea foam that consumes Ariel in the original myth? We got a modern mermaid mystery here folks.
This Illustrated Modern Ariel Would Let You Play NBA 2K18 But Your Vertical Is Weak
This present-day Ariel hopped out of the ocean and straight onto the court where she learned the game standing on her own two feet. Prince Eric? Who’s that? The only Eric this Ariel knows is the Houston Rockets’ Eric Gordon.
Nata St. Art’s Ariel would give you a turn on the console if your line choices weren’t so pathetic. She’s spent her days studying humanity’s way and knows you can’t put Byron Scott, Greg Anthony, James Posey, and Bonzi Wells together all at once. Come on.
This Twisted Illustrated Ariel Is Creepy In An Awesome Way
Here’s another take on the classic all-terrain princess – this time it’s horror though. Kasami-Sensei on Deviant Art made the princess we love look more like a deep-sea monster than the movie would ever dream to. She’s still way cool though.
That coral growing out of her and decaying on her face and ribs is just the right balance between intense and aesthetic that she definitely put it there on purpose. This Ariel really couldn’t care less if Eric falls in love with her – she seems like she’s only in it for a taste of human flesh.
Tinkerbell Used To Be Called A ‘Common Fairy’
Way back when Peter Pan was first created by J.M. Barrie, Tinkerbell was only a supporting character that her creator called a ‘common fairy.’ Really? Tinkerbell is anything but common since the original story thanks to Disney, who gave her a bright and boisterous personality.
Apparently, Tinkerbell was originally created to be a ‘tinker’ fairy – someone who mends pots and kettles. She didn’t fix any pots in the Disney version, but she did keep ol’ Peter in line. That’s probably a harder job than metalwork anyways.
This Tinkerbell Is Anything But Common
Kobeissi nailed the modern style and sass of Tinkerbell here. This Tink probably doesn’t hang around with Peter anymore. Good riddance girl, you were way too mature for that man-child.
Kobeissi’s captured Tinkerbell’s famous fairy dust with the sparkling sequins on this dress and her sassy energy with the punk boots she’s wearing. This outfit is perfect for the modern Tinkerbell who flies in planes and takes legal action against pirated music sellers who steal and deal her punk-synth tunes.
This Illustrated Modern Tinkerbell Is Thinking-Tink And Not About Peter
In @dariart.art’s take on this classic fairy, Tinkerbell has traded her wings for some comfortable shoes she can fly all over town in all night long. She’ll go to Never Land on her own and take an Uber XL there. Go Tink.
If you look closely, Peter Pan is her shadow. Hah, take that Peter. Finally, Tink has jumped out of his shadow. Hopefully, she doesn’t meet any nefarious pirates. Make sure you have your pirate repellant in your purse girl.
This Illustrated Twisted Tink Won’t Be Pushed Around By Pirates Anymore
In jeftoon01’s twisted version of Peter Pan’s loyal fairy, Tinkerbell is off making her own way and fighting the Never Land wars between pirates and fairies. Jeftoon01 imagines her as a gal ready to rumble and lead a charge – just make sure she stays away from glass jars.
This version of Tink took ‘tinker’ seriously. When she lost an arm and her wings she decided to fashion some new ones herself. Good on you battle ready Tinkerbell, give those YouTube DIY queens a run for their money.
Disney Made Jasmine A Kinder Character Than The Original Myth
Princess Jasmine first appears in the short story Aladdin in One Thousand And One Nights as the Princess Badroulbadour. Much of the Aladdin story is the same between the versions, except for Jasmine’s character.
Badroulbadour’s name means ‘full moon’ which is a metaphor for ‘female beauty.’ Disney made the character beautiful inside and out by adding her desire to marry someone she loved instead of someone for their money and power like her father wanted. Jasmine, you’re the cat’s meow. Or maybe tiger’s.
This Jasmine Doesn’t Need A Genie To Get Her Wish
Kobeissi’s Jasmine does away with the ‘lonely girl locked away in a castle by her father’ look and instead features a Jasmine confident and ready to go her own way. Accessorized to the max with cute bracelets and trendy earrings, this Jasmine prefers to take the Audi over the magic carpet to do her errands.
Modern Jasmine doesn’t need a genie to grant her wishes either – she goes out and makes it happen herself. This Jasmine also would never let Aladdin steal bread. She’d buy him a bakery croissant and send him on his merry way.
This Illustrated Modern Day Jasmine Is The Coolest Girl On Your Street
Nata St. Art’s take on modern-day Jasmine is just as impressive and cool as Kobeissi’s. Instead of the girl sneaking out and afraid of her father, this Jasmine heard what he said and said no to his face. You go girl.
She’s traded her illegal exotic pet for some bling that will last her way longer and is way more ethical. Here she’s taking her time getting ready while Aladdin is downstairs making awkward small talk with her dad. She’s not bothered. She’s a cool lady and whenever she shows up she’s on time.
This Illustrated Scary Jasmine Is Half Cat And All Fed Up With You
In jeftoon01’s version of the blue-clad princess, she’s out from under her father’s control and walking on her own two feet. Or in this case, two paws. This twisted Disney Jasmine looks like she’s been hanging out with her tiger so long she’s starting to look like one. That’s purr-owerful.
This Jasmine heard that a genie could give her anything she wanted so she decided to move out and go her own way. After looking at that huge angry tiger behind her, her father probably couldn’t work up the nerve to tell her who to marry.
The Real Pocahontas Story Is Sad But Her Compassion Is Real
We all know how badly colonialism impacted Indigenous people in North America and the real Pocahontas was no exception to that rule. Born ‘Matoaka,’ Pocahontas lived in the Tsenacommacah region (the Tidewater region of Virginia) married a tobacco plantation owner, and was brought to Europe and displayed as a ‘civilized savage’ before dying at the age of 20.
What Disney translated from her story to the big screen was her compassion for people. Matoaka reportedly saved colonist John Smith from certain death by placing her head over his when her father was about to execute him with his club.
Modern Pocahontas Is An Earthy Queen
Kobeissi twists Pocahontas’s cool and compassionate vibe by making this modern-day version a down to earth queen. This Pocahontas eats sustainably sourced food and only buys clothing from consignment shops. You can catch her at the local swap meet selling ‘Save The Raccoons’ badges. Nobody buys them but we respect her passion.
Another cool thing is that Kobeissi dressed her model in clear plastic footwear. This choice is definitely inspired by Pocahontas’ barefoot look. Modern-day Pocahontas knows it’s not practical to walk over the broken glass and nails on city streets with her bare feet.
Illustrated Modern Pocahontas Prefers Vegan Leather Now
In Nata St. Art’s version, gone are the days Pocahontas hunted and skinned wild animals for food, shelter, clothing, and tools. She’s keeping her traditions alive in her heart by wearing animal prints of the creatures she loves. That’s pretty fierce.
This Pocahontas is also enjoying her Starbucks and adorable macaroons while listening to her favorite powerful lady bands. She’s a hip girl after all and willing to try whatever the wind blows her way. In this case it’s a lavender macaroon. Are those even good?
Twisted Pocahontas Paints With All The Colors Of Mortal’s Blood
In Kasami-Sensei‘s version of the iconic Disney princess, they give Pocahontas a little more vengeance than her Disney creators did. Kasami-Sensei makes her a truly powerful force against the Jamestown colonizers with the spirits of the forest on her side. That noise in the woods was definitely her…
This Pocahontas is the stuff that scary campfire stories are made of. She’s got glowing eyes, an angry face, and an arrow loaded and ready to go. Make sure you don’t litter around her!
The Original Sleeping Beauty Had An Ogre For A Mother-In-Law
This fact is seriously weird — but aren’t all old fairy tales? This one seems to follow the trend that if there’s a popular monster in people’s cultural consciousness, then they’ll include it in the tale. So Sleeping Beauty gets a literal ogre for a mother-in-law who tries to eat her.
She doesn’t get eaten by an ogre… thankfully. But it’s a strange decision to include in the Prince’s lineage. It’s a miracle he didn’t inherit any of his mother’s traits and look and act like a man-eating ogre. The story would have gone very differently.
This Sleeping Beauty Is Tired Of Boring Clothing
Kobeissi’s take here sees a modern sleeping beauty getting some much-needed rest at the end of a hectic work week. This hip gal traded her spinning wheel for a sketchbook, and instead of pricking her finger she’s designing this season’s latest fashions.
The biggest enemy in her life is the boring strategy meeting every day in the office — they can really put her to sleep. She’s never heard of Maleficent but she’s heard of Marc Jacobs and that’s all that really matters right?
This Illustrated Modern Sleeping Beauty Loves Her Beauty Sleep
In @dariart.art’s take on the constantly drowsy princess, Aurora is spending the night doing face masks, self-care, and meditation. She’s all ready to go and get that good night’s sleep with no bad dreams. She definitely made the right choice in staying home tonight.
Aurora for sure made the right decision in not texting the Prince back. He was creepy and blowing up her phone anyways with weird niche plant memes. Dead weight Aurora, you don’t need him. Go and count those sheep or green-fire breathing dragons.
This Illustrated Horror Sleeping Beauty Is Not Happy You Woke Her Up
Let’s just say you should’ve waited until her alarm went off. In Kasami-Sensei‘s version, Aurora was rudely and magically awoken before going on a rampage through the thorny bushes. Monday mornings, right?
She definitely won the fight against Maleficent in this version, that dragon by her feet isn’t getting up even after the 5-count. Aurora also is definitely going to need some tweezers and polysporin to deal with all those thorn wounds. Next time bring long sleeves when you go marauding girl.
The Original Frog Prince Transforms Back After Being Hit In The Head
Disney left out a somewhat crucial plot-point present in the early versions of the fairy tale. In the early tales, the prince’s transformation happens not because he’s shown love and affection, but because he’s thrown head-first into a wall. K’Oed instead of kissed.
Understandably so, Disney left out this detail in their theatrical release to make the love story more appealing and make the movie safe for kids. Tiana and Naveen are one of the most lovable and hilarious duos in the Disney Princess franchise – a little blunt force trauma wouldn’t work with their story.
Modern Tiana Is Calm, Cool, And Collected
This princess isn’t kissing any frogs today. Instead, she’s browsing the shops and killing it at the Insta game with her neutral palette and cool looks. The only kissing she’s going to be doing is kissing the lid of her iced mocha latte from Starbucks.
Kobeissi really channels Tianna’s hardworking and grounded personality with her linens and belted skirt. This princess is glamorous but also ready to get down to business for whatever life throws her way. You go girl!
This Illustrated Modern Day Tianna Is Down To Watch The Sun Set Over The Pond
In dariart.art’s version of this princess, Tianna is ready to hangout by her favorite pond and just watch the wildlife for the evening. She appreciates all the greenery and definitely packs a litterless-dinner for the excursion. No frogs will be swallowing her plastic wrappers.
Here she’s decked out in a cute matching green sweat suit for the evening. She’s also keeping Prince Naveen’s little frog emblem close to her heart. Although she definitely prefers his less smelly and slimy human version better.
Illustrated Horror Tianna Is The New Voodoo Magician In Town
In this creepy version of the hard working frog-lover, Kasami-Sensei delivers a Tianna who has had enough of the swap and has decided to rule New Orleans with her voodoo powers. Do you think Mardi Gras will still happen this year?
Yeah, don’t mess with her. Her hair stands up and floats by itself, plus she’s got that creepy shadow figure that follows her around. Shadows are supposed to stay with you, but why did this one just try and trip you on the sidewalk? Best to stay away.
The Evil Queen Died By Iron Slippers In The Original Tale
We all know the original Disney hit Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. Thanks to that movie, we always take great care to cut off the bad bits of our apples before we eat them and we’re wary of people selling their wares in the woods.
What you may not have known about this classic is that it comes from a tale that’s a little… darker. In the movie, the evil queen dies by falling off a cliff, but in the tale, she dies because the prince orders her to wear red-hot iron slippers and dance. Both are strange ways to go.
Today’s Snow White Knows Only To Buy Produce From Trusted Sources
Kobeissi’s take on the classic movie character sees Snow White as less a damsel in distress and more as an empowered woman. This modern lady knows better than to buy her apples from sources that use pesticides and other poisons.
Kobeissi’s traded Snow White’s long flowing gown and slippers for a skirt and running shoes more comfortable for those long treks in the woods. This Snow White doesn’t wander around either stumbling upon strange men – she knows the trails like the back of her hand and all the great places to take selfies.
Modern Illustrated Snow White Knows Exactly Who The Fairest One Of Them All Is
After watching the movie, we’ve all wondered how Snow White can be the fairest in the kingdom but spend literally no time working on her appearance in the mirror. Seriously? Luckily Nata St. Art is answering these questions for us.
In Nata St. Art’s version, Snow White is done waiting around for the evil Queen to finish up in the bathroom mirror. This Snow White is taking her sweet time snapping mirror selfies because she knows exactly who the fairest one of them all is. She and her one million Instagram followers agree.
This Scary Illustrated Snow White Wants The Dwarves To Pay Rent To Her
In Kasami-Sensei‘s undead version of the meek and mild animal lover, the evil queen succeeded in taking Snow White’s heart and she’s back to get it…back. This is a good lesson for anyone interested in stealing hearts. Metaphorically it’s okay, but do it literally and you might have a vengeful zombie hunting you down.
This Snow White also decided against using her feet as her primary means of transportation and now rides around on a possessed elk. It might be safe to say she’s not interested in stopping to sing to the birds anymore.