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What if? Cinderella the alcoholic and Snow White’s bad marriage

A Vancouver, B.C. photographer hopes to provoke discussions about what "happily ever after" means and the disservice we do to girls when we encourage Disney's version of reality.(Photo courtesy

See photos of the ‘Fallen Princesses’

Some day my prince will come. Some day we’ll meet again and away to his castle we’ll go to be happy forever I know.

The first storybook I read as a little girl was Cinderella. I believed I was Lindarella and someday a prince would find me working hard on the farm, take me away to a big city, and we’d live happily ever after.

Turns out, I’m not a princess.

Generations of little girls grow up believing in fairy tales.

A Vancouver, B.C. conceptual photographer envisions what happens to Disney princesses in reality for her fascinating photography series “Fallen Princesses.”

Snow White is dealing with an unhappy marriage. Cinderella is a lonely alcoholic. Rapunzel lost her golden hair during chemotherapy for cancer treatment.

Poor Pocahontas watches television alone surrounded only by dozens of cats while Belle is getting plastic surgery.

Jasmine is in the middle of a war zone, still looking fabulous in her purple camouflage clothing.

Little Red Riding Hood has become overweight as she walks through the woods sipping a large sugary drink and carrying a basket of fast food.

Photographer Dina Goldstein grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel and wasn’t exposed to Disney’s version of how life should be for young women. Instead, she read the original Grimm stories which have more dark and gruesome themes.

When she moved to Canada and had her own daughter she began to explore some of Disney’s twists on classic fairy tales.

They all seemed to have the same theme. A sweet, innocent girl with a pure heart finds herself trapped in a life with an overbearing female villain. Fortunately, a man rescues the young woman and she becomes a princess.

A few of the later princesses – Jasmine and Mulan – were tougher. But, generally the Disney way to happiness is with a handsome, though slightly inept at first, prince.

Goldstein wondered what those princesses would be like when confronted with real-world issues. They’d probably be, like the rest of us are.

Her collection has already been published in several books and opens in Vancouver’s Buschlen Mowatt Gallery in October.

She’s hoping the photos will provoke discussions about what “happily ever after” means and the disservice we do to girls when we encourage Disney’s version of reality.

“By placing iconic characters such as Little Red Riding Hood or Snow White in modern situations, the series became a commentary on such everyday scourges as poverty, obesity, cancer and pollution,” Goldstein says.


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See photos of the ‘Fallen Princesses

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