ByKristin Lai, writer at
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

As an 5-year-old all I wanted in this world was to be Tinker Bell. Don't get me wrong, I loved the Disney Princesses, but I wasn't interested in princes and castles. Tink was a sassy chick who wasn't afraid to hang with all the Lost Boys. And I wanted to freakin' fly. My Tinker Bell costume was not limited to Halloween. Oh no, I wore that bad boy all the time (picture included below)!

Sadly, as I got a little older I found it it became socially unacceptable for me to wear my favorite outfit in public all the time. When the day came that I no longer fit into my green Tinker Bell dress, I was crushed. I was faced with the reality that the only time I'd be soaring through the clouds would be in a crowded, stuffy airplane.

As a semi-functioning, semi-adult I'm a little more than semi-jealous of these people who are not afraid to shirk societal expectations and let their inner Disney characters run rampant!

1. Emma Kirby is in the princess business

Emma, a 24-year-old events assistant, lives and breathes Disney. To the point that she makes her day-to-day a bit more magical by dressing as any number of Disney Princesses Belle, Rapunzel, Tinker Bell, Sleeping Beauty or Queen Elsa. On why she wanted to make herself a princess because, Emma says:

"I live in a fairy tale world most of the time and I love it. It's great to feel so magical and special-ever since I was a little girl I've wanted to be a princess when I grow up."

She has recently started her own business called Once Upon a Time Parties London, that will have Emma acting as a real princess at events for children.

"If I can bring a bit of sparkle and magic to a little one's day it fills my heart with joy.

Although it might be somewhat unconventional, it sounds like Emma is making children happy while finding her own happiness in the world!

"If I can bring a bit of sparkle and magic to a little one's day it fills my heart with joy.'"

2. Richard Schaefer designs his own fairytales

In his own words, Richard is "a costume designer, illustrator, and part time merman!" While studying at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, he combined his love of Disney with his love of designing costumes.

To showcase his work, he started a series called Prince to Princess Transformation in which he is made up to look like each of the leading ladies and their male counterparts!

For Richard, this is not only a platform through which he can sell his designs, but also make a statement on gender constructs. His Facebook page shows incredible pictures featuring the characters from The Little Mermaid, Brave, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, Frozen, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Cinderella.

3. Gemma Beard is a real-life Disney heroine

By day, 22-year-old Gemma works at a gaming shop, but in her free time she takes her love of Disney to local hospitals. Transformed into Disney characters she surprises sick children in hospitals and sends presents to those who are not well enough for visitors.

‘I love bringing children a bit of Disney magic. You see them on their iPhones and think, “You’re supposed to be kids,” and they don’t look that happy to me.

Dressed as Tinker Bell, Snow White, Rapunzel or The Little Mermaid, she gains the love and adoration of the children she visits. On being a real-life Disney Princess she says:

"I put on my wig and my costume, and I’m this whole other character...More than anything, I love putting smiles on children’s faces."

Maybe we should all take a note from these people and remember how great it was to be a kid and not give a shit what anyone else thought! I probably won't be able to show up to the office dressed as Tinker Bell or Hermione anytime soon, but it's important to find a way to maintain that sense of fun and endless possibilities.

I, for one, have just decided to indulge my inner child and do something that I would have loved to do at the age of 8. Build a blanket fort! Ice cream for dinner! No bedtime!


Which Disney film had your favorite character to dress up as when you were a kid?


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