Sleeping Beauty Gender Swap

So, a few months ago, I was bored and puttering around the internet (as I so often do), when I came across a few weird trends like faceswapping, when I stumbled upon some awesome gender-swapping in TV, movies, fandom, and cosplay.  I originally wanted to retell classic Disney movies, but entirely gender-swapped (including all characters, even sidekicks).  Logically, I wanted to start with a princess movie.  I wanted to make a point about how awesome a story about, say, Aurora going to save the man she loved would be, cutting through thorns and briars, fighting (and slaying) a dragon:

Aurora with a sword copy

This was an exceedingly fun idea to me as a writer, to take a familiar story and keep it pretty much the same.  But part of me was like “Yay, feminism! Boo misogyny!” and wanted to show just how ridiculous some of these princess stories are, and how bad they are for young girls especially.  [I do like that Disney et al have been making a point to make their female characters stronger.  Ex. Tiana in Princess in the Frog worked hard for her dreams, and the movie in general made the point that you can’t just wish upon a star (Thanks, Pinocchio) and wait for your prince to magically come to you.  Also, Frozen was more about sister power and the conflict was not because of revenge against a man, and Brave (yeah, yeah, Pixar, I know) had Merida defying the typical princess role with tomboy flair.]

Off topic.

So, anyway, when I first started gender swapping, I started with the iconic image of Aurora daydreaming about that beautiful prince she met “Once Upon a Dream.”  The result is below (Sorry for the low res.  This was just a test run for the concept.)

Phillip pining in the forest copy

I gave Phillip some pants rather than a dress, but I wanted to keep as much of the original picture as possible to emphasize which character it was intending to be (i.e. Phillip has Aurora’s blonde hair and her clothes, while Aurora above has Phillip’s sword, shield, and tunic….or whatever it’s called.  Tabard?)

But an interesting thing happened while I was photoshopping.  My laziness in trying to avoid doing any hand drawing as possible and using as much of the original as possible, I found out a few things.  I was woefully underestimating the severity of Disney’s portrayal of the characters, especially Aurora.  I mean, look at her waist.  It’s tiny.  And that’s not my poor photoshopping…it really is that tiny.  The outline for Aurora’s body for this pose was taken from the dancing scene in the woods, so that’s all Disney.  Take a look at the comparison between my ‘shop (left) and the original of Phillip (right):

Aurora with a sword - Side by side copy

I had to ‘shop a LOT of the background simply because so much of the body disappeared.  Same for the arms, which I had to slim down to fit her proportions.  (Can anyone say Barbie?)

Ugh.  Disney movies are one of my absolute favorite things to watch, but sometimes the little tiny proto-feminist that lives on my shoulder gets mad at me at times like this.  In any case, I hope to (if I ever find the time), do a gender swapped full-length Sleeping Beauty from high-res screen grabs.  I’ve got some hilarious ideas for the three fairies…

Bonus: Just for fun, here’s the side-by-side of Phillip’s pose:

Phillip pining in the forest - Side by side copy

FYI, I did not create that dopey grin of his.  That’s all Disney.


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