A Disney princess in real life | Symone Seven

Meet the photographer who transforms imagination into reality and embodies representation

Mark Odecho
4 min readMay 7, 2020
Symone Seven

For kids, watching a movie or an animated film is something always exhilarating. It brings out the best in them and puts a smile on their faces.

They get immersed in films in such a way that they build bonds with characters that resonate well with them.

They aspire to become like those characters and as they grow up, the bonds they created significantly impact their development and childhood. Films simply stimulate their creativity, interests, and imagination.

However, for black children and especially girls there’s always a void despite there being a bond. A void that particularly springs up due to the lack of diversity and representation.

Cinderella | Symone Seven

It goes without saying that race and color play very significant roles in the development of children. A deficiency in inclusivity or improper representation through biased stereotypes, disenfranchises black children.

This in turn culminates to a profound lack of pride, potentially inhibiting the blossoming of proper social or emotional capabilities.

That’s where Symone Seven comes in. Symone is a photographer and an Art Director based in Atlanta, Georgia. Her work strives to fill that void. To bridge gaps, pave way and shine a light for black children.

She uses her skills to bring forth imagery that embodies and uplifts young black girls.

The Princess and the frog | Symone Seven

Symone noticed that even though over the years much had been done to allow for more representation in the media, much was yet to be done.

Bigger strides were required in bringing forth more characters in films who amplify black girls.

More needed to be done to avert black children from succumbing to problematic and unfeasible beauty standards that do not embrace them.

Therefore, she came up with her Disney princess series. Through it, she created positive images of herself as various Disney princesses.

As you would expect, her work resonates extremely well with black kids. At seeing her Disney series, children and even adults feel inspired and rejuvenated.

In fact, for a split second, it leaves you speechless as you gasp in disbelief and amazement.

The Little Mermaid | Symone Seven

It goes to show you just how much we all dream and yearn for such representation. It highlights the dire need for more people like Symone.

People who encourage and shower young black girls with praise about their skin.

It confirms with absolute and glaring clarity that sun kissed, melanin coated skin, is the elixir of beauty we have all been missing. It’s a jewel, an obsidian immaculate in form, dark as the tents of Kedar yet too luminous to dim.

As I conclude

Symone comforts and reassures young black girls of their worthiness and significance through her work. She cultivates and nurtures self-love in their hearts.

She teaches us that we do not have to conform to delusional beauty standards that sideline black people. Why? Our melanin radiates perfection and we are too precious a master piece to be second best.

Aladdin | Symone Seven

So look in the mirror dear black girl and redefine beauty! Look in the mirror and start loving what you see. Love who you are! Your skin, hair and body.

They say beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Well…behold, look at your reflection, see perfection, then embrace it…and fall in love with you.

Because, listen… We are indeed beautiful and glorious to behold not in spite of our blackness, but rather because of it. Being black is an honor!!

“If someone does not want me it is not the end of the world. But if I do not want me, the world is nothing but endings.”

Nayyirah Waheed



Mark Odecho

A writer with a passion for stories on people of African Descent.