"When did he stop treating you like a princess?"
That's the tag line of artist Saint Hoax's awareness campaign for domestic violence titled "Happy Never After." Similar to his first poster series "Princest Diaries," which promotes awareness of issues of sexual abuse by family members, the objective of "Happy Never After" is to encourage victims of domestic violence to report their attackers.
"Disney princess are perceived as ideal females," Hoax told HuffPost in an email. "They belong to a fairytale land where happy ever afters are bound to happen. But what happens after the happy ever after?"
The disturbing posters are meant to be exactly that. They show our favorite Disney princesses bruised and bloodied, images that are particularly jarring because they tie the somber topic of domestic violence to characters who played a large part in many women's childhoods.
As Hoax explained to HuffPost, "By portraying Disney princesses as victims of domestic violence, I'm proposing the idea that no girl/woman is safe from being emotionally/physically/sexually abused." Disney princesses are seen as the epitome of feminine perfection, yet domestic abuse can affect any woman (or man) at any time -- even Ariel, Jasmine, Cinderella and Aurora.
"As a Middle Eastern artist, I always have the urge to voice out the injustice and inequality that takes place in my region," Saint Hoax told HuffPost, describing his inspiration for the project.
While both "Princest Diaries" and "Happy Never After" are uncomfortable to look at, it is this exact effect Hoax hopes to have on his audience. Hoax describes the purpose of his projects simply: "Victims of abuse are not alone and it's never too late for them to take a stand."
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Head over to Saint Hoax's website to see more of his work.
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