Artists have reimagined Disney princesses as everything from women with average body types to breast cancer survivors. But one writer and sex education speaker has decided to portray the beloved characters in a new way to raise awareness for Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.
“Almost every day, my timeline on social media is bombarded with reimagined Disney princesses in one way or another, and most people get a huge kick out of it,” Danielle Sepulveres told Forbes.com. “So one day it hit me— had anyone ever drawn them going to the gynecologist before?”
Sepulveres teamed up with artist/illustrator Maritza Lugo to create a series of images showing Disney princesses visiting their gynecologists.
“She told me she was trying to convey how important it is for women to be educated on all fronts when it comes to their bodies,” Lugo told Forbes.com.
In one image, Sepulveres depicts Cinderella having her blood drawn for STD testing, and in another, she illustrates Jasmine and Aladdin discussing family planning options with a doctor.
Cervical cancer affected over 12,000 women— 4,000 of whom died— in 2012, the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While the disease used to be the leading cause of death for women in the United States, numbers have decreased significantly in the past 40 years. However, with highly accurate screening methods and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine— HPV is the underlying cause of nearly all cervical cancer and several other cancers— Sepulveres believes these numbers could be reduced even further.
“There is a stigma attached to HPV and cervical cancer, and the media plays a part in perpetuating it,” Sepulveres told Forbes.com, noting that, according to the CDC, the majority of sexually active individuals will contract at least one strain of HPV at some point in their lives. “I want women to know that even though they don’t have a celebrity ambassador, they don’t need to be embarrassed and they don’t need to feel ashamed.”
Sepulveres added she feels the U.S. needs more comprehensive sex education and that women need greater access to health services.