Italian artist Alexsandro Palombo is speaking out about the lack of amputees and disabled characters in pop culture with his latest series, portraying Disney princesses in wheelchairs or with missing limbs. Advocates say the message is much-needed.
The Outspoken artist and fashion critic Alexsandro Palombo’s latest piece portrays the cartoon beauties as disabled women, a stark contrast from the Disney classics: ‘I wanted to give visibility to a problem that affects a great amount of people in the world.’ The artist previously survived a from a rare form of cancer and had become paralyzed on his upper limb and lower limb on the left side of his body.
He posed the question: “Do you still like us?” next to his series of reimagined princesses, some being carted in their wheelchairs by Prince Charmings, others posing alone as double amputees. “Have you ever seen a disabled protagonist in a Disney movie? You sure don’t because disability doesn’t match Disney standards!” Carol Glazer, president of the National Disabilities Organization says, this campaign is much-needed, “One out of every five Americans has a disability of some kind.
So when you portray popular iconic figures, like Disney princesses, without any of them having disabilities, you’re cutting out 20% of the population. People who call that insensitive are not really seeing the whole picture of disability. All you’re saying is that there’s a broad range of people in this world. And that’s an important message.”
Susan Stout, interim president and CEO of the Amputee Coalition, said she would love to see one of Palombo’s princesses on the big screen, “We want everyone to know it is possible to live well with limb loss. A Disney Princess would help raise awareness and, in turn, acceptance of limb loss.”