Symone Seven; A Young Photographer Who Self-Portraits into Disney Princesses to Inspire Little Black Girls

As I usually do these quarantine days, I was scrolling down on my Facebook Feed when I noticed a post that a friend had shared, and really got into my skin. That’s when I discovered the mastermind behind the art of Symone Seven; a 23 years old photo editor and her inspiring creations that definitely made my day. This amazing photographer literally self-portraits into 8 magnificent pieces representing the most recognized princesses movies from our childhood. I felt proud seeing a Black Snow sporting an afro, I personally love the fact I found a princess which my daughter Luna can relate with.

Symone as Snow White

I had to say, I was amazed by the idea of a new image on Disney Princesses, and how she took the chance to influenced little girls to find themselves as any princess they could ever dream, it really blows my mind. Seven desires are to bring joy and self-love for girls and teenagers who might feel forgotten by the color of their skin. Her remarkable work influenced by Brady as Cinderella talked about her intentions to show the beauty of black females and the importance of accepting who they are. Fighting against any popular opinion, Seven shows outstanding security to her spectators by embracing their identities that would be never forgotten and will be surely an example for many communities around the world.

Later that afternoon I took the chance to write Seven about her work and the rights to share the images to the audience here in Awkwardly Vain. -Out of the sudden- I ended up creating a Q’s and A’s for the beautiful soul of Symone Seven.

Symone as Belle

“𝑀𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑙𝑒 𝑏𝑙𝑎𝑐𝑘 𝑔𝑖𝑟𝑙𝑠 𝑛𝑒𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑒𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑣𝑒𝑠 𝑎𝑠 𝑚𝑎𝑔𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙”

What is your background? What should the audience know about Symone Seven?

I’m 23-years-old Photoshop Educator and Influencer, working out of Atlanta, Georgia. After transitioning from a full-time portrait photographer, I now spend my time teaching others to empower themselves. I teach Photoshop online from my eBooks to live classes every Sunday. I’ve recently come out with a new eBook called “Photoshopped.” to help business owners edit their own photos in Photoshop. I post self-portraits weekly on my Instagram -@symoneseven- about culturally relevant topics as well as an influence on brands.

Symone as Pocahontas

What does your work aim to say?

If you see my work, and it made you proud to be yourself: mission accomplished.

Symone as Tiana

How does your work comment on current social or political issues?

This project was created to make people feel good. There wasn’t a political motive in mind. I intended for children of color to see themselves as their favorite characters. But what I’ve found with the project being shared nationally (from Good Morning America, Business Insider, BET, Bossip, The Shade Room, and more) is that it resonates with so many people of different cultural backgrounds. I’ve had everyone from elderly women, white men, black fathers, black women, little children, white women, come together to appreciate the art itself and my willingness to advocate for children who look like me.

How did you become who you are today?

I came to be from the village of people who raised me. I came from a household that encouraged me to work hard and a community of people around me who helped me be the best I could from my tutors, to my babysitters to my mentors. I’m thankful that I grew up in an environment that wanted to see me win.

Symone as Cinderella

What is the message behind your Disney Princess Cosplay?

I want black and brown children to feel seen, heard and appreciated when they look at the work I created for me. I created this princess project to allow them to see a positive representation of themselves, as well as see themselves in spaces they weren’t included in before.

Symone as Malefica and Princess Aurora

What inspired you to create that photoshop in particular?

I’ve had this project planned for a year and I was going to release it around March 2020 release of the live action Mulan. But as we all know now, the cornavirus pandemic would change many things to come. I saw this time as the perfect opportunity to spread the joy and nostalgia of when it was a much more simple time.

Symone as Rapunzel

Are you well aware that your project is against any stereotype? What do you have to say about that?

I’m more than happy to be an example that as people, we have the power to define ourselves. This princess project is the proof that I can be anything I want to be.

Symone as Jazmine

What is your favorite Disney Princess?

Brandy as Cinderella will always be the most cherished to me. It was the first time I ever saw a black princess and it gave me such validation as a child to see myself as beautiful and powerful. I had to create that moment for children growing up today as well as give that moment to the older generations that wish they grew up with that type of representation.

Symone as Ariel

What is your advice to any dreamer?

My advice to any dreamer is to never stop. If you know what your purpose is, keep working toward it. If you’re lost, keep seeking. If you give up, you’ll never know all the good Life has waiting on you.