This Artist Is Giving Disney Princesses Period Blood Stains for the Best Possible Reason
When Ariel sang about wanting to become human in "Part of Your World," bleeding from her vagina once a month wasn't exactly what she had in mind. But the truth is, menstruation is a fact of life for most human females/non-mermaids.
Since we're assuming Ursula didn't hook a sister up with any tampons post-transformation, the following image serves as a reminder that if Disney movies were based in reality, they'd be a hell of a lot, well, bloodier.
Calling out period-shamers: Activist and artist Saint Hoax has already used the likenesses of Disney princesses to make powerful statements on various issues, from intimate partner abuse to incest to war. Now, he's tackling period-shaming by depicting iconic Disney characters with telltale blood stains.
"Disney princesses are perceived as perfect females," Saint Hoax told Mic. "Portraying them with period stains implies that [it] could happen to any female and it's a natural process."
The Middle Eastern artist explained on Instagram the three-photo series was inspired by a female friend telling him her date had period-shamed her. "Halfway through dinner, she had a period leak that left a bloodstain on her skirt," the post said. "Her date didn't handle the situation well; she could tell he was uncomfortable." The guy said he would call her the next day, but of course, he didn't.
Believing her date was "revolted" by the accident, she reached out to apologize via text. Her date then responded with: "How can I date a girl who doesn't know what a tampon is?"
"Some people might find these images disturbing," Saint Hoax said. "I think the fact that my friend had to apologize for having [a] period leak is more disturbing."
A bloody brilliant artistic tradition: In light of the fact that period-shaming and menstruation stigma are real issues in many cultures, other artists have used their work as a way to break down menstruation taboos.
Artist Jen Lewis, for instance, recently used her own period blood to create a stunning abstract photography series called "Beauty in Blood." Some artists literally paint with their own blood, an art form known as Menstrala (a portmanteau of "menstruation" and "mandala"). In 2012, Bitch magazine did a roundup of what they considered the "best menstrual blood artists/projects worth seeing," including one in which women wear their period blood as lipstick.
Now, thanks to Saint Hoax, we have Disney Princess Period Art — which, when you consider Disney's problematic history of promoting unrealistic and reductive depictions of what womanhood should look like, may be some of the most powerful pro-period images of all.