How 14 Black women seized Disneyland in African wear

Ama Nunoo February 25, 2020
Disney princesses wearing traditional African prints, Photo: Madeline Barr Photography

Most people growing up had some form of obsession or fascination with Disney. Some outgrow the Disney phase and others just cannot live without anything Disney.

Hence, they join a DisneyBound community that resonates with their personal ideals and that is just what Audrey Lee Young did. Disney bounding is a group of like-minded women who wear outfits inspired by Disney princesses at the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

Young found a Disney bounding community that visits the parks regularly and five years down the line, she and her fellow women are changing the narrative in the way the world sees Disney princesses.

Hers is new era of Disney Bounding princesses wearing African print outfits inspired by Disney princesses; AfricanPRINTcesses to be more precise.

According to Pop Sugar,  Young conceived the idea of putting her own spin on Disney bounding several years ago and this year, she was able to join forces with 13 other Black women to don African print Disney princesses inspired outfits.

“I said, ‘Well if there aren’t any more black Disney girls, let’s make the Disney girls black.’” 

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Warning: Long caption ahead. . . Four years ago I was asked to be in a #groupdisneybound. It was all black girls and @followtheyellowbrickgirl had always wanted to do the Muses from Hercules. That was when #blackgirldisneymagic began. A year later we got together again and all bounded as different versions of Tiana (since she has so many outfits). Later that same week I came up with our next idea. Since we were out of black Disney girls I said “why don’t we make the Disney girls black?” I wanted to #disneybound as Disney princesses but in African Print. Well, 2018 went by, in 2019 we ended up doing a Dora Milaje group bound and FINALLY, in 2020 during black history month, my vision became a reality. On February 8th, I was able to assemble 14 black women together to make this dream come true. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful, strong and talented group of ladies. Everyone looked absolutely amazing. Walking around Disneyland dressed like queens was amazing. We were graced by the photography talents of @madelinebarrphoto who made us look even more beautiful, if that’s possible, and was the perfect woman for the job. Please go and click on all of these ladies feeds to see their close-up majesty. . . Ariel – @audreyleeyoung Snow White – @erikaenchanted Elsa – @followtheyellowbrickgirl Anna- @3babykoi Aurora – @geekygarbs Rapunzel- @tiffiestarchild Merida- @miniaturemissy Belle- @dressesandcapes Vanellope- @domdivadoesit Tiana- @dominiquebrown Moana- @crossfit_disney_princess Cinderella- @dapperjess Pocahontas- @chrshpls Jasmine- @missgolden_lady

A post shared by Audrey Lee Young (@audreyleeyoung) on

She started working on her African print mermaid skirt as far back as 2017 when Young thought of the concept and asked someone to sketch her Ariel of “The Little Mermaid” outfit for her.

This Disney maniac said when she thought of the idea, “It was all black girls and @followtheyellowbrickgirl (another member) had always wanted to do the Muses from Hercules. That was when #blackgirldisneymagic began.”

Esla AfricanRINTcess, Photo: Madeline Barr Photography

“A year later we got together again and all bounded as different versions of Tiana (since she has so many outfits). Later that same week I came up with our next idea.

“Since we were out of black Disney girls I said ‘why don’t we make the Disney girls black?’ I wanted to #disneybound as Disney princesses but in African Print.” 

Doing something this innovative need careful planning and more importantly execution, especially working with 13 other people who mostly brainstorm virtually via Instagram.

Jasmine the African PRINTcess, Photo: Madeline Barr Photography

“It was important to see this through because when I came up with the idea, it was literally because our group had run out of black women Disney characters to portray,” she explained.  

Eventually, the women chose Black History Month to debut their inner AfricanPRINTcesses because they thought the timing was perfect.

“It would make a bigger impact and really showcase the point of the idea,” she said about debuting during Black History Month

On February 8, the group met at Disneyland and became the center of attention instantly. Many people stared and stopped to get photos with the beautiful African print clad princesses.

Cinderella African PRINTcess, Photo: Madeline Barr Photography

The AfricanPRINTcesses dressed as Snow White, Ariel, Anna, Elsa, Merida, Belle, Vanellope, Moana, Pocahontas, Tiana, Jasimine, Aurora, Rupunzel and Cinderella.

Disney’s Mikey Mouse, Chip and Dale and Donald Duck even had their time with the princesses, Pop Sugar reports.

 Young said, “At one point we finally had to leave Main Street because there were a lot of people staring and pointing as photos were being taken. All day guests were commenting on how beautiful and majestic we looked.”

Tiana inspired her African print dress, Photo: Madeline Barr Photography

The women went with their official photographer Madeline Barr and took some amazing shots that’s gone around on social media gaining so many likes and shares.

Young said, “the response has been overwhelming. I’m still in shock that it has gotten so much praise.”

This act by this disneybounding community is a move to inspire Black girls to be bold and be inspired by the courage of her creativity.

AfricanPRINTcess Belle, Photo: Madeline Barr Photography

“For all the little girls out there who still don’t see the representation they deserve or who are still told that their black/brown skin and kinky hair are undesirable, you are beautiful princesses.

“The standard of beauty is YOU! You can be a mermaid, you can be a boss lady, you can be a warrior, you can be an adventurer,” Young said.

“Dream big and dream bold.” 


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