I was one of those little girls who loved Disney movies. Who am I kidding, I still love Disney movies!
I was thrilled when the first African-American Disney Princess hit the big screen in The Princess and the Frog. Finally, a princess I love that I can also cosplay!
My friend Jessi (who also happens to be my boyfriend's sister) invited me to join in a big Disney Princess costume group for ACen this year. Jessi was working on a Belle costume from Beauty and the Beast.
I was hesitate at first because I don't sew, but Jessi and her mom Karyn agreed to make the dress if I would wear it. How could I say no? I wanted to contribute as much as possible, so I helped cut fabric, and create the pieces that didn't require sewing (the flower pin, and petal tiara).
There's no pattern for this petal dress, so Karyn created her own. I'm also not a fan of strapless dresses, so we added matching straps. It was so comfortable to wear. I think there is about 16 yards of fabric in my gown.
I decided to use my natural hair for this costume and ditched the idea of buying a wig. So my version of Tiana has an afro puff. People actually loved my hair with this costume.
I'm amazed at how beautiful the gown turned out...AND I got to be a PRINCESS! I'll be honest, I'm terrible at the "princess poses" with all the delicate hand lifts and whatnot. I'm more accustom to super hero action poses, or just simply smiling. I have to work on my princess poise.
I had a blast being Princess Tiana at ACen. Surprisingly, Disney characters were very welcome at an anime convention. The greatest thing was all the little girls who recognized me from across the room, and dragged their parents to come meet me. A lot of the moms I ran into were just happy to see a group of characters they recognized themselves. I got a lot of hugs that weekend, and it was fantastic.
I carried around a stuffed froggy Naveen as a prop. A little girl warned me, "If you kiss him, he'll turn into a prince...but you'll turn into a frog." That tickled me so much. I assured her I wouldn't kiss him, so I wouldn't turn into a frog. Hopefully the next convention I wear this to, my boyfriend will be Prince Naveen.
Three things I learned from being a Princess:
- Be prepare to smile non-stop
- Wear comfortable shoes underneath that ball gown
- Go to the bathroom in pairs (someone is going to have to hold your hoop skirt)
To see more pictures of our entire Disney Princess group, check out the ACen galleries from Elemental Photography and The Enthusiasts.