‘Boys can be princesses, too.’ That’s the main idea of photographer Kitty Wolf’s new campaign of the same name. The Chicago-based photographer believes that anyone, regardless of gender, can “enjoy the magic, beauty, and empowerment of a fairy tale princess.”

“I have seen boys being told that princesses are ‘just for girls’ or that liking princesses and especially dressing as one somehow makes them weak, inferior or not boys. They’re told it’s not manly, or macho, or normal. This leads boys to feel ashamed of their interests, confused, sad, and lonely,” Kitty writes on her website.

“Putting on a princess dress doesn’t make a boy a girl anymore than putting on a shell makes them a real ninja turtle. When I say ‘can be a princess,’ I mean they can be a princess when they play the same way they can be a superhero when they play, even though neither is literally possible by definition. I simply feel that a child’s imagination should not be limited by their gender.”

In an in-depth interview with Bored Panda, photographer Kitty revealed what inspired her to create the campaign and talked about the reception that her project got.

“The inspiration came mostly from a little boy in one of my preschool classes. During free play, he liked to play pretend as a princess. One day I overheard two of his female classmates tell him he couldn’t play as a princess because princesses were for girls. Now, we wouldn’t stand for it if a boy told those girls they couldn’t play as ninja turtles or something because they’re ‘just for boys,’ so why do we do it for boys? That idea sat around in my head for a while.”

More info: BoysCanBePrincessesToo.com | Facebook | Instagram

Teddy and Ariel

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Kitty continued: “At the time, I owned a princess party company so I thought to myself, as a company I have a wider audience to send a message, what kind of message do I want to send out there? I remembered my little preschooler and it hit me, boys as princesses! They’re so under-represented, I wonder if I can change that. I had a team of professional princesses, some basic photography skills and sizable Facebook following so I just went for it. My original plan was just to put some cute pictures of boys as princesses on the internet. I had no idea it would blow up to be what it is now. I’ve since closed my princess party company though, so I can focus on other things, such as projects like this!”

Calvin and Cinderella

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Kitty told Bored Panda what the most positive parts of her work are: “The most pleasant parts have definitely been the actual photo shoots with the kids! The princesses in the pictures are professional princess performers (not affiliated with Disney though!) and were in character the entire time. I wanted the boys to get a chance to meet their real heroes. So not only did they get to participate in a meaningful project, they got to hang out with one of their favorite characters!”

Michael and Elsa

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

“I wanted to capture their pure joy as well, so many of the shots you see in the gallery are all candid as the kids hung out and played with their new friend. There was just so much happiness at those photo shoots, I hope it comes through in the photos! The second most pleasant thing is all the positive feedback it’s gotten. People saying they wish this had been a thing when they were kids and how it would have made them feel less lonely. Just shows how much it was really needed and how many people it could help.”

James and Anna

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

According to Kitty, she’s been a hobbyist photographer “for a long time” and focused on nature photography. “I ended up having to do a lot of photography for my princess party business and from there I delved into cosplay photography. I still consider photography more of a hobby or side hustle, since I mostly just do cosplay photography and projects like this. My advice for anyone is to just do it. The first photos you take might not be great but they can only get better if you keep at it.”

Tobias and Tiana

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Kitty also noted that her project has “definitely sparked a lot of conversation.”

“Not all of it has been positive though. Unfortunately, it offends a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. I’ve gotten a lot of hate messages, comments, emails. Been called awful names, accused of awful things, had threats made against me, all because people can’t handle seeing a boy in a dress! But those hateful remarks don’t get to me. All they do is inspire me to keep going. As long as there is hate, I know this project is needed, so I won’t stop until the hate stops! I do have to thank the “haters” though. They are doing a very good job spreading the word about the project! If you saw this project on Twitter, it’s because one person brought it there in anger and then it spread like wildfire. My main goal was to have the pictures spread all over the world and people against the project have helped with that immensely!”

Kai and Moana

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

“Overall, the reception has been positive though. So many comments praising it and loving it. So many parents posting their own pictures of their own little boys as princesses. So many comments from people saying this would have helped them as a kid. Just shows that this was needed and wanted and will help people. If it helps just one little boy to not feel alone, then it was all worth it.”

The photographer added: “One thing I’d like to add is a shout out to the parents that participated in this. They are truly brave to put themselves and their family out there like this. They all knew what the reception could be like but they also knew how important this project is. They want to help little boys like their own sons. The way they support their kids to be who they are and play how they play is commendable and we should all aspire to be as good a parent as they are!”

Liam and Mulan

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

​The internet was split into several camps when it heard about photographer Kitty’s new campaign. Some people adored the core idea that everyone is free to be whomever they want to be. Others wondered if the kids were being pressured to do something they might not otherwise want to do. While still others pointed out the grammatical fact that boys are called ‘princes’ while girls are called ‘princesses.’

Elias and Rapunzel

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

According to photographer Kitty on her website, she wanted a series of photos showing boys dressed as their favorite Disney princesses together with those princesses. “I know there are little boys out there that love these fairy tale characters just as much as the little girls we meet doing princess parties. Our interactions with them have been, for whatever reasons, few and far between, but we see these boys, we know them, and we love them!”

Everett and Beauty

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Image credits: The Boys Can Be Princesses Too Project

Speaking of princesses, Disney recently released a sequel to the incredibly popular movie ‘Frozen’ about princess Elsa of Arendelle. While in 2020, Disney will be releasing the live-action version of ‘Mulan.’

Dear Pandas, what did you think of Kitty Wolf’s photo campaign? What’s your favorite Disney princess? What did you think of ‘Frozen II’ and do you plan on watching ‘Mulan?’ Share your thoughts in the comments.

Someone criticized the campaign and people rushed to defend the project

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Some internet users were ecstatic about the photographer’s campaign