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Fairy tale princesses re-imagined as senior citizens

We all know the classic fairy tale princesses look, but what would they look like when they get older?

November 09, 2023

Cinderalla as an old lady

Fairy tale princesses have a long history, with Snow White hitting the silver screen back in 1937, Cinderella in 1950, and Sleeping Beauty in 1959, but through the magic of animation they always maintain their perpetual youth.

However, if these princesses continued to age beyond their teenage years, Snow White would be turning 100 this year, while Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty would be celebrating their 83rd and 80th birthdays respectively.

Even though we have seen multiple remakes of these characters, their portrayal beyond adolescence remains unexplored.

We have explored how these well-known forever-young characters would naturally age if they were living beings.

Using the Artificial Intelligence tool MidJourney, elderly care experts from Taking Care Personal Alarms have created AI-generated portrayals of what fairy tale princesses would actually look like in real life today, aged from 80 – 100 years old, delving into some of the potential real-life challenges they might have encountered as part of the ageing process and showing that ageing can be beautiful.

Fairy tale princesses are recognised by people across the globe, spanning generations, so it’s been really interesting to explore how they would look as older women. With help from AI, we can finally see what these eternally teenaged princesses would look like in their more senior years – and it’s lovely to see positive images of senior women generated by AI, which reinforces the beauty in ageing.  

Claire Baker
Elderly care expert at TakingCare Personal Alarms

Elderly care expert Claire Baker from Taking Care Personal Alarms said:

“The images depict gentle physical ageing characteristics like silvery-grey hair, deepening wrinkles, and a timeless princess-like smile."

“It would be great to see this interpretation of ageing replicated more across popular culture. Perhaps for the next big fairy tale movie launch, producers won’t typecast older people as the archetype ‘evil old crone’, but instead will embody some of the positive sides of getting older, helping promote the possibility of happy and healthy ageing!"

Barbie reimagined as an 83 year old woman

While many think of Barbie as a never-aging 19-year-old, fans might be surprised to learn that Barbie is actually aged 83 in real terms, having made her debut in 1959 at toy stores aged 19.

See what Barbie would look like now

“Fairy tale stories and movies are often criticised for the unrealistic representations of beauty that they showcase to young women, and whilst there have been many progressive developments in the types of princesses that are hailed in popular culture, more could be done to showcase that ageing is a natural and beautiful part of life."

“Instead of obsessing over youth, it would be wonderful to celebrate the beauty in ageing and make ageing aspirational. Princesses shouldn’t be worried about staying young forever, but excited by all the amazing experiences they have as they grow up.”

“What the images don’t show, however, is some of the health issues the typical 80-year-old may experience (even princesses).

“Studies show one-in-two over 80s experiences at least one fall a year, with many struggling from poor mobility in old age. They may also suffer from respiratory issues and potentially even illnesses such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Claire Baker
Elderly care expert at TakingCare Personal Alarms
Sleeping beauty in old age

Image source: Midjourney

“With the Alzheimer's Society indicating that 70% of individuals in care homes experience dementia or severe memory impairments, it is highly plausible that Sleeping Beauty would have grappled with dementia, unable to remember her loved ones—a stark reality mirroring the challenges faced by numerous families worldwide today."

Cinderella as an old lady
Image source: Midjourney

“Cinderella might have encountered issues with her stability and posture, stemming from spending her early years scrubbing floors."

Snow White as a pensioner
Image source: Midjourney

“Lastly, the oldest of the princesses, Snow White, could be struggling with profound loneliness, having potentially lost her beloved prince and her seven dwarf companions over time.

“And of course, many of the ageing princesses might have encountered a few tumbles in their respective castles, which often feature numerous staircases and potential trip hazards.

“It’s been interesting to examine how AI interprets ageing, but it would be good to see older people better represented within popular culture more generally, to challenge ageing stereotypes by creating characters that are far more representative of real life, helping cast a positive light on healthy ageing.”


Caring for the elderly

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