By now, you’ve probably seen the plethora of Tumblr renditions of Marvel hero Wolverine as a Disney Princess. The idea is truly clever: David J Prokopetz invited artists to illustrate Wolver-Princess in celebration of Disney’s acquisition of Marvel. But have you considered just how brilliant this idea is?
In addition to being comical (get it?), the illustrations are a sharp examination of the feminine and masculine images we consume throughout our childhood. Wolverine is the embodiment of turn-of-the-century masculine ideals: athletic, muscled, even volatile and unpredictable. Unlike fellow X-Man Cyclops, Wolverine lacks the refined manliness of the Victorian age; he is gruff, visceral, and sweaty.
But Disney Princesses, for the most part, are total pictures of Victorian femininity: modest, kind, morally upright, pious. They clean and struggle over their domestic work, and yet they never fail at looking perfectly youthful.
Disney Princesses could not represent anything more distinct from Wolverine; at the turn of the century, the American public feared the “corruption” of the Victorian woman by the new male ideal of physicality and sexual excitability. That same urge to control and tame female sexuality still exists today, and in their own subtle way, these illustrations draw on that fear and subvert it. And boy is it refreshing.
Thanks to Buzzfeed
Images via Buzzfeed