One Minnesota father has gone viral for using his graphic design skills to edit the “gender stereotypes” out of his daughter’s Disney princess books, recreating the storylines to teach his daughter not to “settle” for engendered standards placed on women by society– and not everyone is happy about it.
The father, known by his TikTok handle @dcaspers, has created several videos on the platform showing the design process — from scanning and photoshopping the illustrations on his computer, to printing the edited pages out and gluing them over the originals with the help of his young daughter.
The now-viral father describes this process as a “Dad hack” in his videos. His goal is to “remove gender stereotypes for [his] daughters” and “address gender inequalities.”
Instead of searching for and doting on their princes, the princesses in the edited stories follow dreams of going to Harvard and prefer to cook for themselves instead of sharing.
@dcaspersChanging tomorrow starts today. ##madatdisney ##girldad ##dadhacks♬ Mad at Disney – salem ilese
@dcaspersChanging tomorrow starts today (part 2) ##madatdisney ##girldad ##oatmealcremepies♬ Mad at Disney – salem ilese
@dcaspersChanging tomorrow starts today (part 3) ##madatdisney ##stereotypes ##girldad♬ Mad at Disney – salem ilese
@dcaspersChanging tomorrow starts today (part 4) ##madatdisney ##girldad ##dadhacks ##disney♬ Mad at Disney – salem ilese
His first video features the Disney classic, “The Princess and the Frog,” and shows Tianna with the text, “What does Tianna love more than baking? Sharing her treats with Prince Naveen!”
The father rejected what he perceived to be a gender stereotype, opting to instead have Tianna make a sheet pan full of nachos and refuse to share them with her prince.
He changed the text as well, “Excuse me, Prince Naveen. These nachos are just for me,” the edited version reads.
“Should I tell him about the studies that came out, showing girls into Disney princess stereotypes grew up stronger/more independent, or do you guys?” One woman wrote in the comments.
“I would change it this way: she cooked with the prince, that helped them bond. And that’s why she was happy to share food with him,” another added.
Others loved the changes, with one user writing, “People really be getting mad over some nachos and for what. I loved this sm keep it up.”
@dcaspersChanging tomorrow starts today. ##madatdisney ##girldad ##dadhacks ##disney♬ Mad at Disney – salem ilese
@dcaspersChanging tomorrow starts today (part 6). ##madatdisney ##girldad ##fortheboys ##dadhacks♬ Mad at Disney – salem ilese
@dcaspersChanging tomorrow starts today (part 7). Be your own hero. ##madatdisney ##girldad ##disney♬ Mad at Disney – salem ilese
@dcaspersReply to @getoffmypage.ca Adding diversity to Disney ##madatdisney ##girldad ##lgbtq♬ Mad at Disney – salem ilese
The second in his series of eight revised princess stories is captioned, “Changing tomorrow starts today” and features Princess Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” picking up cookies from the store for Beast when he is sad, instead of making them at home. After all, Belle is on a budget because she “worked all day and only made 78 cents to the dollar.”
Some quipped why the original book was like that in the first place, while others thought @dcaspers went too far, noting that cooking can be a way to express love for others.
“If my bae is sad, I’ll cooking something for him ’cause the food cheers him up. Even if I’m busy, I’ll find the time. It’s called caring for someone,” one user said.
The Minnesota father revised Rapunzel’s story as well, to have her dream a little bigger than Disney allowed in the initial text.
“Rapunzel starts to think about what she is going to do in the future,” the original story reads as the princess stares at a pie contest sign.
“Rapunzel’s pie is the best. She wins a blue ribbon!” The story continues.
This didn’t cut it for @dcapsers, so he changed the plotline to “Rapunzel dreams big” as she stares at a Harvard sign. In the end, “the prince bakes Rapunzel a pie because she’s top in her class.”
“Can you sell these stories? I have two daughters and I’m super interested!!! Great job!!!” One mother wrote.
“Rapunzel was held captive for her childhood and knows home economics and cooking. She literally had a frying pan. Let her bake the pie and win,” one woman argued.
“The baking is a metaphor here. She pursued a goal, and achieved it successfully, while being cheered on by a loved one..how can you see bad in this?” another user asked.
The series of eight continues and features stories Snow White, The Little Mermaid, Brave and others. While this Minnesota father certainly loves his daughters, the debate rages on about whether or not the Disney princesses are “woke” enough, and if that really matters.
In part eight of this father’s series, he took input from commenters. Instead of Cinderella going to the ball to find her prince, she goes to find a wife. He photoshopped Princess Belle dancing with Cinderella at the end of the story and wrote, “Cinderella goes to the ball and finds her true love.”
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