What if Disney princesses didn’t live happily ever after?
That’s the work Dina Goldstein have been working on :
“Here, we have Ariel, who, because she’s so unique and beautiful, has been captured and put on display in an aquarium. We tend to capture beautiful things and use them for our pleasure, and that was really the idea for the shot—the human inclination toward using beautiful creatures for our own entertainment. This project was created with no budget, so I had to do what I had to do to make a picture come together. What I did is I shot the tank separately, photographed Ariel in studio with a green screen, and then we composited the two together.”
Witnessing her mom’s breast cancer and answering to her little girl needs of princesses stories, she started to wonder what kind of lives Disney princesses would have had if they had to deal with financial issues, medical treatments, fast food temptation, etc.. ? Actual real life troubles.
Well, this is the the inspiration behind each of her images in the Fallen Princesses series :
“Cinderella. We have this area in Vancouver called Hastings East, and demographically, it’s one of the most marginal three blocks in Canada. It’s a crazy, crazy area. In my story, Cinderella is having trouble conceiving, and she’s tried in-vitro treatments and everything, and now, she’s learned that she will probably never conceive. So she’s hitting the bottle.”
“I like to call this one Not So Little Red Riding Hood. Her whole life, Little Red Riding Hood took care of her mother and grandmother and never did anything for herself, or took the time to be good to herself; she’s always giving to others. And she gets to a point where she just doesn’t care anymore, and then when she goes over to her grandmother’s house, she takes over McDonald’s because it’s fast, and convenient. As a mother, I know what it’s like to not have the time to prepare a huge meal all the time and for people who don’t have the money, they have to go to places like McDonald’s because good food is so much more expensive.”
“Sleeping Beauty. She’s still sleeping and never woke up, and everyone around her ended up getting old and gray. And the prince kept waiting for her to wake up. My mother works at an old-age home near Vancouver, and a lot of these old people I’ve known forever because I’ve always gone in and visited her.”
“Snow White. They’ve lost their kingdom and they’ve been exiled to suburbia, so they end up in suburbia with no domestic help, and Snow White is again back to working as hard as she was in her childhood—and she hates it. The prince has to deal with the recession and losing his job, and not finding a new one, and that affects his ego, so he’s very depressed. So now, Snow White is trapped in domestic hell.”
The “Fallen Princesses” series is on display at Le Musée de la Femme in Québec.
Purchase Goldstein’s photo book, “Fallen Princesses,” here.