Gender-Swapping Peter Pan: A Social Art
Ever since the Adventure Time Gender-Swap special aired on television, I’ve been a huge fan of gender-swapping characters. I came across this on a Disney board the other day and I instantly fell in love with the artist, a young French student who is quick with her pen, magical with her colors, and limitless with her imagination.
This is Peter Pan’s gender swap, Petra Pan. In the original story of Peter Pan, Peter is a magical boy who can fly and refuses to grow up. We associate Peter with the male gender at the peak of their ages: young and reckless with no sense of priorities. The phrase “boys will be boys” has become a household saying and we tend to always associate them with rowdy behaviors and a different and abnormal way of being human. It’s the 21st century and I have to say, boys are not the only ones who are refusing to grow up. Girls, like Fionna in Adventure Time, also long for adventure and fun. In Gender Swaps, we see a new light being shed onto girls and boys committing actions against the norm. It’s a new kind of art, really. It’s a social art and it’s a justice for both genders.
One of my favorite aspects of this character design by the artist is that she does not fail to illustrate the tom-boyish features of Petra. Sometimes, gender swaps can turn into a gross, lewd direction that amplifies the sexual features of a woman. Some artists tend to over-sexualize a gender swapped female, enhancing features such as the breast, the buttocks and giving her a Barbie kind of look. They also tend to show more skin and dress their characters in revealing clothes. Petra is a whole different story. With her dirty tousled hair, sun-burnt nose, freckles that spell adventure and a pirate-looking outfit, it’s as if her appearance lets us imagine all the wild goose-chases and overseas voyages she has already experienced. From one look, Petra was a DGAF girl. She didn’t care how pretty she was or whether or not she’d be married twenty years from now. All she cares about is herself and the adventure that awaits (and maybe some leisure as well).
Tinkerbell is definitely one of Walt Disney’s most iconic characters. Despite being an adorable counterpart to Peter Pan in the original animation, we saw Tinkerbell as not only a loyal companion, but easily jealous and definitely capable of destruction (even on a pixie-sized scale). The male version of Tinkerbell has many thoughts running through my head but the fact that fairies or pixies can be boys really hit me. We don’t see many merman or male fairies in stories since those are magical creatures usually associated with females. The same goes with female werewolves or wildlings (like the Lost Boys). I think the artist captured a different Tinkerbell with this development. Although it’s not nearly gender swapped with the original characteristics, it’s a definite close one. Like female Tinkerbell, male Tinkerbell looks like he’s a pixie with few words to share, a shielded affection for Petra, and loyalty beyond all that compare. I want to praise the addition of tattoos as well, because I am a fan of tattoos. I don’t believe people should be judged for their tattoos, and neither should pixies.
Here we have the Darlings, a surname so dainty and cozy it fits the characters just right. Wendy has been swapped to Wren, John to Joan, and Michael to Michelle. Wren displays many of the traits Wendy has but with a more brotherly fashion, such as lifting Michelle on his shoulders compared to Wendy cradling Michael in her arms. Wren is, nonetheless, the perfect gender swap of Wendy: careful, mature and a bit of a worrier. Then we have Joan, who is just as confused and worried as Wendy. Lastly, Michelle is the playful Michael. In my honest opinion, babies and children have no gender whatsoever. They all act the same, which means both boys and girls scream at the same decibel during the supermarket check-out line and they both eat mud pies. It’s that simple.
Last but not least, I want to praise the artist for not only gender swapping Hook, but recreating the Captain using a different ethnicity. I think it’s very important to recognize that power comes in all different shapes, colors, and sizes. Everyone has a background story worth telling and everyone is destined for success given equal opportunity. Gender swapping is a social art, and so is Ethnic swapping. Hook has to be one of my favorite character developments so far. What I’m getting at from this picture is a woman from the Barbary Coast scorned by vengeance over her right hand. Of course, we all know it’s Tick-Tock’s fault.
Hope you all enjoyed. Only once in a blue moon do I come across something I truly enjoy. To view more of this artist’s work visit her deviantART profile http://galaxyspeaking.deviantart.com/