August 6, 2013

Fallen fairy tales: Photo exhibit challenges happy endings

A Canadian photographer is turning Disney happy endings on their heads in a new, and somewhat shocking, photo series.

“Fallen Princesses,” a project by Vancouver -based photographer Dina Goldstein, shows Snow White, Jasmine, Pocahontas and other iconic characters meeting tragic circumstances in their lives, ranging from alcoholism to cancer to unhappy marriages and other familiar realities of the millennium.

“My ‘Fallen Princesses’ series was born out of deep personal pain, when I raged against the ‘happily ever after’ motif we are spoon fed since childhood,” said the Israel-born photographer

According to a report by, Goldstein was inspired to create the images when her daughter first became interested in princesses, and her mother was diagnosed with cancer

“The two events collided and made me wonder what a princess would look like if she had to battle a disease, struggle financially or deal with aging,” she said.

 Among the images are:   

  • A modern Rapunzel, who lost all her precious hair to chemo.
  • Snow White trapped in an unhappy marriage.
  • A morbidly obese Little Red Riding Hood.
  •  An agoraphobic Pocahontas,  and many more.

'The series. . . (forces) the viewer to contemplate real life,” the photographer said. “Failed dreams, pollution and ocean degradation, war, obesity, the extinction of indigenous cultures, cancer and the fallacy of chasing eternal youth.”

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