“See Yourself As Any Princess” an Art Series by Precious Henshaw
Beautiful Art Work by Precious Henshaw
Recently, I stumbled upon a stunning art series by artist Precious Henshaw. Her drawings spoke to the little girl in me, and made me consider how important representation is for young girls, especially in the present moment where Eurocentric views of beauty and Eurocentric princesses have become the most common in mainstream society. Ms. Henshaw’s work made me think; While I do love Princess Tiana, she doesn’t have to be the one-size-fits-all mold. Perhaps we should encourage our girls to see themselves as any princess.
What it’s About: An artistic depiction of several popular, fictional princesses envisioned as Black girls
Why I did this: Sometime in my teen years, when I was tutoring elementary school children, I overheard two Black girls talking about wanting to be Cinderella for Halloween. Another girl interrupted them and said, “You can’t be Cinderella, because you’re Black!” It bothered me. When my little cousins came along and they began to take interest in princesses, I often wondered how they felt about not looking like some of the popular ones, such as Cinderella and Snow White. Would they play princess happily until someone came and told them that they could never be a certain princess, because they are Black? It’s no secret that when the majority of characters on TV are white, some young Black girls can have a hard time identifying with them without feeling as though they needed to change their appearance in order to look more like them.
This art series is not meant to merely change white characters into ones of color, but rather to encourage my younger girl cousins – and any other young Black girl I might inspire – to see themselves as any princess they want to be, without feeling the need to change their skin or their hair.
To view more of her work, visit her etsy shop.
Fashion and Beauty Associate