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Is there really a ‘happy ever after’? Blame those Disney cartoons for making us think that life after is going to be rainbows and butterflies when really you’re just going to end up an alcoholic, overweight, or a serial cat lady.

Canada-based photographer Dina Goldstein projected the truth behind the fairy tales in a series of photos that showcase common heroines going through the common hardships of life.

Inspired by both her daughter and her mother, Dina witnessed the irony of life in her daughter’s ‘Princess phase’ and mother’s struggle with cancer:

“Jordan, my daughter, was three at the time and was just starting to get into the ‘Princess phase’. Princesses were everywhere and I too was getting introduced to them. ( I grew up in Israel in the early 70’s , and was not exposed to Disney at all ). Just around the same time my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. The two events collided and made me wonder what a Princesses would look like if she had to battle a disease, struggle financially or deal with aging. I began to imagine what could happen to the Princesses later in life and after the happily ever after. Naturally they would have to deal with challenges that all modern woman face. My first idea was Rapunzel going through chemo and loosing her precious hair . I began to loosely sketch and came up with ideas for the rest of the images. With a very limited budget and a lot of volunteer help, I shot the series over two years.” [Source]

Her collection “Fallen Princesses” portrays some of our familiar Princesses living the life that everyday women deal with – a loveless marriage, being a lonely spinster, working a job you loathe, etc,. and Dina does an amazing job.

“I wanted the Princesses to be in real life situations with problems of their own. But now the series has developed a life of its own and there is so much discussion around each scenario. The interpretations are so individual and personal.”

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The photo of Princess Jasmine has stirred a lot controversy, but to be honest it’s one of the most amazing shot out of the entire series. Jasmine is portrayed as a strong leader and if we were guys, we’d be begging on our knees.

“Some accused me of placing the Middle Eastern Princess as a terrorist. My intention was to display her strength and courage. She is a a warrior, fighting on the front lines, just as so many woman are today in Iraq. In general I’m interested in hearing what people have to say but I’m not taking anything personally.”

Have a look at the entire collection and tell us which one is your favorite!