Among all the official Disney Princesses, only Tiana from 2009’s The Princess and the Frog is African American. But have you ever wondered what the other princesses would look like if they had the same ethnicity as the Princess of Maldonia? Well, wonder no more, as three recent cosplay series imagine what Disney Princesses would look like if they were portrayed by Black girls and Black women.
Created by photographer and photo editor Symone Seven, the first cosplay series transforms Seven herself into Disney Princesses in movie poster-like artworks. The second cosplay series, meanwhile, was led by creative director LaChanda Gatson and photographer duo Kahran and Regis Bethencourt of CreativeSoul Photography. It features Black girls wearing theatrical costumes inspired by the signature outfits of the Disney Princesses. Last but not least, is the cosplay series called AfricanPRINTcesses. Headed by longtime Disney fan Audrey Lee Young and photographer Madeline Barr, the AfricanPRINTcesses project showcases Black women dressed in modern-day Disney-themed attires made from traditional African prints and fabrics.
Click through the slideshow below to see the mesmerizing photos from all the cosplay series.
#1 Symone Seven as Cinderella
Inspired by the 1997 movie Cinderella, starring Brandy in the title role, this photo of Seven as the Disney Princess is the first entry in her cosplay series. In an interview with Insider, Seven said she transformed herself into the Disney royalty using pieces of clothing she had around her home. And with the use of her superb photography and editing skills, she managed to create an artwork that resembles the official poster for the 2015 Cinderella film with Cate Blanchett in the lead role.
#2 Symone Seven as Tiana
While she only used clothing she had around her home for her Cinderella transformation, Seven’s Tiana cosplay photo was outfitted by black women-owned brands, Tru Face By Grace and ElleNelle Bridal. Inspired by the Princess of Maldonia’s iconic lily pad outfit, Seven’s Tiana attire is comprised of a green sweetheart ball gown, gold multiband bracelet and necklace, and a rococo tiara.
#3 Symone Seven as Jasmine
This photo of Seven cosplaying as Jasmine is inspired by one of the official posters for the 2018 movie Aladdin. Wearing the same dress, accessories, and hairstyle as Naomi Scott from the original key art, Seven looks like she’s the real lead actress in the Guy Ritchie-directed film.
#4 Symone Seven as Rapunzel
Seven’s black long beautiful hair is in full display in this photo of her cosplaying as Rapunzel. Seven is also riding a huge white horse, which is supposed to be Maximus, a palace horse for the Royal Guard of Corona and the former arch-rival of Flynn Rider from the 2010 animated film Tangled. Though Seven’s black off-shoulder ruffled dress is far different from the Rapunzel’s signature purple and pink outfit from the movie, the contrast between the color of the model’s attire and the color of the horse’s hide makes a striking sight.
#5 Symone Seven as Ariel
Though rocking her red long dreadlocks and shiny turquoise mermaid tail, Seven is seemingly not in her best mood in this photo of her cosplaying as Ariel. While we can’t be sure why exactly the Princess of Atlantica looks like she’s about to lose her patience, it’s likely that Prince Eric has gone MIA on her for days.
#6 Symone Seven as Maleficent and Aurora
Featuring Seven in dual roles, this cosplay photo is arguably the best entry in Seven’s cosplay series. Based on the 2019 movie Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, the artwork depicts Seven as the title role as well as the Disney princess, Aurora. Though both roles are only depicted by one model, the two characters look very different from one another, thanks to Seven’s amazing skills as a model and photo editor.
#7 Emoni Kemp as Anna
Inspired by Anna’s winter wear from 2013’s Frozen, Emoni Kemp’s lustrous costume is decked out with ornate prints and designs reminiscent of African motifs. Though made from shiny silk-like fabric, Emoni’s cape still looks a lot like Anna’s cloak, as both pieces of outer garment have similar color and feature tassels on the edge.
#8 Rihley Simms as Ariel
Though rocking a bright red hair color like Ariel, Rihley Simms’ playful hairstyle is more similar to Red Queen’s hairdo from 2010’s Alice in Wonderland. But in a nod to the underwater Kingdom of Atlantica where Ariel comes from, Rihley’s dress, jewelry, and crown are all adorned with seashells of different shapes and sizes.
#9 Chloe Simone as Aurora
Chloe Simone looks stunning in her pink/fuchsia dress inspired by Aurora’s iconic pink ball gown. Though Chloe opts for an unusual yet striking head accessory over a traditional crown, the cosplayer poses for the camera holding a beaded gold crown similar to Aurora’s tiara in 1959’s Sleeping Beauty.
#10 Kheris Rogers as Belle
Kheris Rogers’ golden tulle dress resembles the ball gown worn by Belle during her first dance with the Beast in their 1991 Disney movie. Though not wearing a pair of opera gloves, Kheris is sporting a multi-chain bracelet on her left wrist that adds a touch of glamor to her overall look.
#11 Celai West as Cinderella
Celai West’s costume may not be as sparkly as Cinderella’s blue ball gown, but its chic yet edgy look would surely get heads turning. To spice up her rather plain-looking dress, Celai wears various metallic and pearl-adorned accessories, including an arm cuff, ring, necklace, choker, hoop earrings, and several hair clips.
#12 Layla Emani as Elsa
Though Layla Emani is wearing a similar set of clothes as Elsa following her transformation in Frozen’s Let It Go sequence, the cosplayer’s costume is filled with star motifs instead of snowflake designs that are usually found in most outfits of the Snow Queen. But just like Elsa’s, Layla’s blue-toned attire features translucent sleeves and cape that add a layer of elegance to her fierce appearance.
#13 Taylor Lia as Jasmine
Taylor Lia’s cosplay of Jasmine is simply unmistakable. From her cropped tube top and matching puffy pants to the way her hair is worn, everything bears a striking resemblance to the Princess Agrabah’s look both in the 1992 animated film Aladdin and its live-action adaptation in 2019. Despite the similarities, Taylor’s costume still exudes African sensibilities, thanks to the vivid printed fabric of her two-piece outfit and the rococo details of her jewelry and other accessories.
#14 Nyla Cyprian as Moana
This photo of Nyla Cyprian as glammed-up Moana is Vogue-worthy. While Nyla’s seashell-adorned crop top is a close replica of Moana’s upper garment in her eponymous 2016 movie, the cosplayer opts for grand pleated skirt with bright red floral prints over the character’s signature Motunui skirt. And to add a touch of edginess to her look, Nyla wears matching metallic bracelet, necklace, and head ornament all adorned with glittering stones.
#15 Jordy Curet as Nala
Jordy Curet looks like a true royalty in her cosplay of Nala from The Lion King. The feathers covering Jordy’s grand ball gown represent Nala’s cream-colored fur, while the scepter she’s holding is a fun nod to the tuft of fur on the lioness’ tail, which is noticeably darker in color than most parts of her body.
#16 Messiah Askew as Pocahontas
Though Messiah Askew’s portrayal of Pocahontas is a lot more vivid than the actual character in her eponymous 1995 film, there are a number of elements in the cosplay that actually capture some of the Disney Princess’ cultural sensibilities. For instance, the string of colorful feathers draped on Messiah’s left arm is a nod to Pocahontas’ Native American origin, while her pair of tan opera gloves are reminiscent of the character’s signature Powhatan clothing in the movie.
#17 Jaxon Rose Moore as Rapunzel
At some point in 2010’s Tangled, Rapunzel’s long hair was decorated with fresh and vibrant flowers. But for this cosplay of the character, Jaxon Rose Moore’s locks are adorned with various golden trinkets. The cosplayer’s outfit also resembles the Princess of Corona’s signature purple/pink German dress, but is made with vivid fabric featuring circular geometric patterns.
#18 Zaria Kelley as Shuri
Though known for her goofy personality, Shuri is a fierce ally to her loved ones at times of trouble. And that side of her personality is perfectly captured by this cosplay featuring young model Zaria Kelley. Though longer than Shuri’s, Zaria’s hair is fixed in a similar way the Princess of Wakanda wears hers in 2018’s Black Panther. Unlike Shuri, Zaria isn’t sporting any piece of Wakandan tech, but the cosplayer looks ethereal in her matching copper-colored bracelet, arm cuff, necklace, earrings, and crown.
#19 Alexis Wanguhu as Snow White
Snow White’s iconic court dress is amazingly recreated with African aesthetics for this cosplay featuring Alexis Wanguhu. The bright yellow fabric of Alexis’ skirt comes with dark blue leaf motifs that are commonly found in traditional African textiles. The cosplayer’s version of Snow White’s signature red headband also comes with a twist. Instead of having a simple bow décor, Alexis’ head accessory is decked out with flowers, gemstones, and even a tiny apple figurine.
#20 Cassidey as Tiana
Cassidey is one with nature in this photo of her cosplaying as Tiana. Inspired by the Princess of Maldonia’s lily-themed outfit from the movie The Princess and the Frog, the cosplayer’s dress comes with a petal-shaped skirt made from green glossy fabric with striking geometrical pattern. Aside from holding a couple of white lily flowers and a toy frog that is supposed to be Prince Naveen, Cassidey is also wearing a number of dragonfly hair ornaments that make her look fairy-like.
#21 Sheena Henry as Anna
Cosplaying as Anna, model Sheena Henry wears a teal top with a plunging neckline, a light-yellow bolero jacket, and an aquamarine skirt with huge graphics of yellow-orange sunflowers. If you don’t see any resemblance between Henry’s costume and any of Anna’s dresses from the Frozen film series, that’s because the latter is inspired by the character’s look from the eight-minute short film Frozen Fever, which debuted in theaters in 2015, alongside Disney’s live-action adaptation of Cinderella. Anna in vivid and brighter colors is a refreshing sight, and Henry’s cosplay definitely captures that.
#22 Audree Lee Young as Ariel
If you’re a huge fan of the Disney Princess line, then one look is enough to tell that Audrey Lee Young is channeling Ariel in this cosplay photo. Young’s green ankle-length skirt depicts Ariel’s mermaid tail, while her purple off-the-shoulder blouse represents the character’s seashell bikini top. The model is also wearing a bright red headwrap, which serves as a great stand-in for the princess’ fiery locks.
#23 Debbie Vickers as Aurora
Debbie Vickers’ version of Aurora can dance comfortably with Prince Phillip, as she’s wearing a pair of loose-fitting pants underneath her hot pink dress. And thanks to the waist-high, front slit of her dress, the cosplayer can show off her trousers that come with vivid and highly elaborate African prints.
#24 Lauren Gabourel as Belle
This cosplay of Belle features Lauren Gabourel wearing an off-the-shoulder dress that is seemingly inspired by two of the most iconic outfits of the character from the Beauty and the Beast movies. Gabourel’s costume has a light gold base color that appears to be a nod to Belle’s golden ball gown. It also features huge all-over prints of three intersecting lines, which happen to share the blue color of the Disney Princess’ signature apron dress.
#25 Jessica Bray as Cinderella
Cosplaying as Cinderella, Jessica Bray is ready to dance with Prince Charming in her blue A-line dress with a thigh-high slit. Though not as elegant as Cinderella’s silvery-blue ball gown, Jessica’s casual dress is just as striking, thanks to its eye-catching circular geometrical pattern that adds a touch of African aesthetic to the model’s overall look.
#26 Tiffany Sutton as Elsa
Tiffany Sutton’s modern-day depiction of Elsa is pretty on point. Wearing a high-waist dress inspired by the character’s popular Let It Go garb, Tiffany is all smiles as she flaunts the lovely geometric prints of her outfit as well as her pair of translucent slip-ons with snow-like motifs. To complete her Elsa look, Tiffany wears a pair of dangling snowflake earrings and fixes her hair in a loose French braid just like the former Queen of Arendelle did in the movie Frozen.
#27 Ranitra Coleman as Jasmine
Ranitra Coleman’s Jasmine is waiting for her magic carpet ride, in style. Wearing what appears to be a short-sleeved, loose-fitting jumpsuit with a wide metallic copper belt, Ranitra pays homage to the character’s look from the original Aladdin movie by wearing a number of gold and turquoise accessories, including shoes, cuffs, earrings, bracelet, necklace, sling bag, and headwrap. Ranitra’s outfit also includes a coat-like piece of outerwear with a Jasmine brooch pinned on it.
#28 Michelle Levert as Merida
Michelle Levert is channeling her inner Merida in this cosplay photo with a set of clothes inspired by the Princess of DunBroch’s look from the 2012 movie Brave. Michelle is wearing a long-sleeved black dress with a brown scarf tucked into a belt, similar to that of the character during her coronation night in the film. Though the belt has Celtic motifs and the scarf features African patterns, both styles meld perfectly fine.
#29 Alia Dong-Stewart as Moana
If Moana was an adult living in the present time, then this is what she would look like. Cosplaying as the Chosen One, Alia Dong-Stewart wears a red/brown off-the-shoulder hanging blouse that is reminiscent of the character’s iconic crop top made out of Tapa. Completing her Moana look are matching seashell bracelet and earring, and a necklace with a round gem pendant depicting the Heart of Te Fiti.
#30 Cherish-Sally Mutua as Pocahontas
Cherish-Sally Mutua’s cosplay of Pocahontas may be simple but it definitely hits the mark. The model is wearing a sheath dress with striking African patterns, which has the same color as the character’s native Powhatan clothing. She’s also wearing a turquoise bead necklace representing Pocahontas’ iconic article of jewelry that originally belonged to her mother.
#31 Tiffie Starchild as Rapunzel
Tiffie Starchild nails her modern-day cosplay of Rapunzel by putting on an off-the-shoulder, body-fitting top, which has the same purple color as the character’s traditional German dress from the 2011 movie Tangled. Tiffie pairs this with an ankle-length skirt with eye-catching geometric patterns, and also holds a Pascal plushie to help onlookers realize that she’s actually cosplaying as the Princess of Corona.
#32 Erica Kurzawa as Snow White
This cosplay of Snow White is giving off some serious summer vibes. Model Erica Kurzawa recreates the character’s signature court dress by wearing a blue off-the-shoulder crop top and a bright yellow skirt with large graphics of blue flowers. She also wears a large red/yellow bow on her head, which serves as a nice stand-in for Snow White’s iconic red bow headband.
#33 Dominique Brown as Tiana
Dominique Brown is proud of her Tiana-inspired outfit comprised of a green long-sleeved top and a high-waist, floor-length skirt with green, yellow, and orange square designs. Completing her look is a gold-chained sling bag featuring Tiana’s face and her iconic lily pad tiara. It’s also worthy to note that the photo was taken at Disneyland Park’s New Orleans Square, which is a nod to the setting of The Princess and the Frog movie.
#34 Domonique “Dom” Battle as Vanellope
Dominique “Dom” Battle looks cute and comfy in her outfit inspired by Vanellope from the Wreck-It-Ralph film series. Though Dom is not wearing the same clothing pieces as Vanellope, the colors of the cosplayer’s cropped top, baggy pants, and sneakers are reminiscent of the character’s set of attires. And in a nod to Vanellope’s Sugar Rush origin, Dom makes sure that her bracelet, necklace, and even nails are all candy-themed.