Best day ever!
If you’re just tuning in now, I created a blog series called #DisneyPrinsesa where I reimagine my favorite Princesses into versions of them that are a little closer to home – as Filipinas. Last year I did Disney Princess inspired looks for Philippine Independence Day. This year for my birthday, I worked with their actual costumes.
But for the final installment of this series, I saved my favorite look for last –
This was a special one for me. I was a bit older when Tangled came out, so I knew a little bit more about myself when I met Punzie for the first time. I knew I was a bit of a hobby hoarder. I knew how much I hated being idle and how I easily I could fill out a day’s schedule with a variety of activities. I knew I liked pink and lavender. I knew I didn’t like being stuck in one place. I knew I had a million dreams before the song existed lol. I knew I was a lot like her.
Those qualities haven’t changed much in adulthood. I’m still the type of person who would rather learn a new trade than be stuck in one that doesn’t make my heart full. I’ve done everything from Musical Theatre to Opera, to Ballet to Flamenco, to fashion to writing, to business to teaching.
But as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to appreciate that Rapunzel wasn’t just about finding new dreams, but about living them. I’ve learned that you can’t stay in your tower full of hobbies forever. I’ve learned to turn those hobbies into goals. I’ve learned to take risks to find my floating lights. I’ve learned that most of the time, big dreams mean big failures too, and that’s okay. I’ve learned to improvise and find my “frying pan” when times get tough. And I’ve learned that no dream is too small nor too big for as long as you’re willing to do the work to pursue them.
As the years go by, the more you question if where you are is okay. And Rapunzel has taught me that for as long as you believe in something, always leap. Because that is the only way to truly live.
That’s why finding the right dress for this was so important to me. Because she is important to me. Since Punzie doesn’t have her own live action movie yet, I wanted to do something special for her. I wanted to create my own version of what her dress would look like. And since pink and lavender and flowers are all of my favorite things, I basically got to make my dream dress.
The only official Tangled touch I incorporated were these Punzie rings I got from Tokyo Disneyland. But I did add my own little nods to her original costume, like this corset inspired top.
I also made one long floral train on the back of my skirt – which if you look at my hair accessories and follow it all the way down, actually look like Rapunzel’s signature braid. And if this “live action” dress was already an exciting concept for me, turning it into a Filipiñana made it even more magical.
Sometimes being a Filipina woman with big dreams is not easy. Although the world has made some improvements in its acceptance of other races and cultures, a large part of it will still only see my brown skin when they look at me twirling in a dress meant for a blonde, white Princess.
But that’s why I started this campaign, and that’s why turning Punzie’s dress into a Philippine terno (butterfly sleeve dress) mattered so much to me. Because the qualities of a Princess don’t belong to just one race. And dreaming doesn’t only belong to one class.
We all have a right to leave our towers. It might be harder for some, and easier for others. But in the end it all comes down to what matters – the courage and strength of our hearts.
So here’s my new dream. My dream is to see more races and more cultures represented through this positive and uplifting platform. That’s why I’m starting a new campaign for everyone who wishes to participate – #PrincessWhereItMatters. Every voice counts, and any way to promote inclusivity is important. So let’s make magic around the world by showing that we are all the same, where it matters.
If you’d like to be featured on this blog, comment below, send me an email, or send me a message on Instagram. I would love to be able to provide a venue for every Princess to tell her story.
“Haven’t any of you ever had a dream?”
**If you guys would like to wear versions of your favorite Princesses in your national dress, please let me know! I’d love to see different cultures represented through our beloved Disney characters. Just send me a message on Instagram if you’d like to be featured on the blog and on my IG page. Or just simply use the hashtag #PrincessWhereitMatters. It would be amazing to see the Princesses represented by different nationalities!
*You can read my first Disney Prinsesa blog here
*Photography: Christine Day Lorico