“Well-behaved women seldom make history.

Good thing these women are far from well behaved . . .”

Tiaras, pretty dresses and glass slippers. Fairy godmothers, prince charmings and happily ever afters. We’ve all longed for that picture perfect life at some point in our childhood. At the end of day, we grow out of these delusions as soon as reality hits us.

For a change, let’s look at some of Jason Porath’s ‘Rejected Princesses’ instead – ‘Women too awesome, awful, or offbeat for kids’ movies’.

Sarraounia – Sorceress Queen of Azna

sarraounia

The Azna’s celebrated ‘panther queen’, fabled to have driven two of France’s cruelest ambassadors to insanity and then death at the hands of their own soldiers with her magical powers.

Shajar al-Durr ­- King-ransoming Sultan

shajar

She defeated and captured King Louis IX in battle, then ransomed him back to his own country for 400,000 livres tournois – about 30% of France’s total annual revenue.

“In a Muslim country. In secret. Over the first couple months of her rule.”

Wu Zetian – China’s Only Female Emperor

wu

After Emperor Gaozong’s death, she took charge as Empress – a reign that lasted for 3 years, within 1 year of which, she had destroyed at least fifteen family lines with claimants to the throne. Because being empress wasn’t enough, she went on to declare her own dynasty – the Zhou Dynasty, with herself as emperor.

“Her ruthless rise to power makes Game of Thrones look like a day at the beach”

These are only few of the 50+ historical women that Jason Porath, a former Dreamworks effects animator, has illustrated for his blog.

While these aren’t entities that were actually ‘rejected’ as potential Disney characters, the name actually points to how their characters grossly deviate from society’s ubiquitous princess-mold.

Porath’s entries are as diverse as they get – with sorceresses, Amazonian queens, snipers, astronomers and some women you really can’t put a title to, all under the same banner.

The one thing that unites them all – these women were not confined by traditions or society, they refused to be slaves to circumstances and people around them and most of all – their happily ever afters did not revolve around riding into the sunset with a man.

The long awaited book by Porath, “Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics” is out now. You can order it here. Rejected Princesses posters are already up for sale here.


by Afsana Khan 

featured image courtesy: rejectedprincesses.com