North Carolina-based makeup artist and model Hamel Patel’s latest project is going viral. The Indian American has recreated classic Disney princesses but with a “desi” twist.
For her online project, Patel transformed herself into Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas, Aurora, and Ariel.
“Growing up I always wished there was a Disney Princess I could relate to, one that represented where I came from. So, I came up with this idea many months ago and I’m so happy how they turned out,” she wrote on Instagram alongside the first photo featuring her as Snow White. “Introducing outfits/makeup looks inspired by the eight original Disney Princesses we all grew up watching, with a little desi twist!”
For her first look as “Snow White,” Patel wore a royal blue outfit, which she complemented with ornate and ruby jewelry. She also sported a big red bow and posed with an apple in her hand.
As an Indian “Cinderella,” Patel dressed up in a sky-blue sari and finished off her look with a bright bindi, a high bun and a headband.
For her next look as Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty,” Patel chose a pink outfit and the same color makeup, including eye shadow, eyeliner, and lipstick. She matched her pink attire with a lot of gold jewelry, including a maang tika or headgear that mimicked Aurora’s crown.
As “The Little Mermaid’s” Ariel, Patel wore a two-tone purple and aqua sari with a fork or ‘dinglehopper’ – as the mermaid princess calls it – tucked in her hair.
“Beauty and the Beast’s” Belle was next, and Patel impressed her fans in a bright yellow sari, heavy jewelry, red lips, and a half-up topknot. She titled the photo as “Bhoomi and the Bewaqoof,” and also used a red rose as a prop.
Next, she presented Jasmine from “Aladdin,” which was her “favorite look of the whole series.” Clad in a turquoise lace outfit, Patel looked every inch a Disney princess.
Patel transformed herself into “Pocahontas” by wearing a red and yellow outfit, a Native American-inspired bead jewelry, and wore her hair down.
The last princess to feature in the photo series was “Mulan.” Sporting a fierce look in this transformation, she captioned the photo as “Find your inner warrior.”
Patel told the Insider that she is now fully embracing her culture with these creative looks, each of which took approximately four hours from start to finish.
“I styled each outfit with traditional Indian clothing and jewelry inspired by the outfits each princess wore,” Patel said. “The makeup was based off of the colors of each princess, so I had a lot of fun creating all of those colorful looks!”
The 20-year-old managed to delight her social media followers with her unique looks which have garnered a lot of positive feedback.
“Of course, there are going to be people who don’t understand the purpose of the Desi princess looks, but I think that it’s a good thing,” she said. “It gets a conversation going about representation and it’s something that should be talked about.”