As a young mother, what do you do if no popular fictional characters serve as decent role models for your children?
You create your own. Or at least that's what Swedish cartoonist Linnéa Johansson did in her latest coloring book "Super Strong Princesses."
As Johansson describes it, she took her favorite heroines from Princess movies and gave them a 90 degree personality makeover.
Johansson strongly believes that fairytale witches are doing a way better job at being role models, so her Super Strong Princesses are all a little bit witchy. "That’s a compliment in my book," she writes.
Johansson states on her website:
I think the Witch and the Princess should be the same person, but for some reason they have been divided into two characters; one 'good' and the other 'evil.' But looking closer at their aspects, the Witch is actually a much better role-model. She is defined by personality and not by shallow factors such as age, beauty or wealth. As opposed to the Princess who is defined by her beauty and youth.
The idea was born after showing a group of 5-year-olds an image of a superhero and princess switching outfits...
...and seeing how the kids disapproved of the role reversal.
"It broke my heart to hear that at a such young age, they think that a girl is defined by her beauty, a boy is defined by his strength, and that a boy wearing a dress is somehow humiliating," Johansson told The Huffington Post.
To break out of these oppressive norms, Johansson displays her characters in a variety of situations that liberate them from gender stereotypes, and highlight their good personality traits instead of good looks.
The book is free of charge and can be downloaded from Johansson's website. So go grab your pencils and create your own Super Strong Princess!
(H/T: Linnéa Johansson)
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