Growing up, it was pretty much drilled into us that Disney Princesses were the perfect combination of courage, grace, innocence and, of course, beauty. My first crush as a kid was Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and if I’m being completely honest, I still find the cartoon version hotter than Emma Watson’s portrayal.
But despite playing such a huge part in our childhoods, up until the 90s there wasn’t a great diversity in race when it came to these beautiful royal heroines. Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Merida, Rapunzel, Elsa and Anna are all white, with the only racial diversity being represented by Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas and Tiana.
Well now meet model and makeup artist Hamel Patel, who has been showcasing her stunning beauty and skills by portraying our favorite Disney Princesses in a traditional Indian style.
Writing to her 34.5K followers on Instagram, Patel, from North Carolina, explains how: “Growing up I always wished there was a Disney Princess I could relate to, one that represented where I came from. Introducing outfits/makeup looks inspired by the eight original Disney Princesses we all grew up watching, with a little desi twist!’
As well as being a stunningly gorgeous model, Patel often likes to showcase her makeup skills and dress up. It certainly is a refreshing change from the monotonous modeling shots we’re so used to seeing online. Here’s Patel’s Christmas get-up:
And here she is showcasing her makeup skills by dressing as the Taurus zodiac sign:
But she undeniably has showcased her skills best as the Disney heroines. Each princess has her own traditional dress, bindi, and jewelry, and some (including myself) may say that Hamel actually looks better than the originals. But hey, check them out for yourself:
Seamlessly slipping into the character of the Arabic Princess Jasmine, Patel looks more like a real-life version of the character, rather than just a woman in a costume. The authenticity is breathtaking, and no doubt Disney should hire Patel to portray Jasmine in their parks!
Complete with Beast’s red rose, the originally French Belle looks amazing in her signature yellow, but instead of a ballgown, it’s a sari.
Patel then transformed herself into Cinderella, choosing a powder blue sari from Banjara Indian Boutique and jewelry from her own mom’s collection to complete the look. The ribbon hairband perfectly mimics the classic look the Fairy Godmother bestows onto the princess, but the sparkling bindi adds the final Indian touch.
The 20-year-old then reinvented Pocahontas by opting for a red and yellow outfit, and pairing it with Native American-inspired seed bead jewelry. For her makeup, she chose deep shades of brown and tan and complimented them with a turquoise liner (which perfectly mimics Pocahontas’ necklace).
Up next is The Little Mermaid, Ariel. Matching the colors of Ariel’s shell bralette (is it a bralette? Bikini top? Just a bra?), Hamel adorned herself in a two-tone aqua and purple sari.
The fork/dinglehoppe in her hair is the perfect finishing touch.
Next, onto the very first Disney Princess, Snow White. Hamel opted for a royal blue dress with gold accents, in order to replicate Snow’s iconic dress with the blue bodice. Hamel then added ornate gold and ruby jewelry to complete her look.
Finally, there’s no mistaking that she’s that princess who sings to woodland creatures thanks to the big red bow in her hair and a hopefully-not-poisoned apple in her hand.
And if you’ve been inspired by Hamel, why not mimic her and check out her stunning tutorial:
This sleeping beauty must have nodded off for centuries in order to wake up this beautiful. Matching Aurora’s baby pink dress by wearing an outfit from Banjara Indian Boutique, Hamel donned gold jewelry, including a headpiece that recreates the Princess’ gold crown. The pink eyeshadow, eyeliner, and lipstick also go perfectly with Sleeping Beauty’s dress.
Finally, the warrior Mulan was recreated with beautiful patterned dress, and completed with a forest green bindi, scarf detail and statement earrings. Hamel captioned the snaps with, “Find your inner warrior”.
I think I can officially confirm that I have found my new favorite princess – and her name is Hamel Patel.