Waverly here! Everyone knows the Disney Princesses, and many of us have spent our childhoods dressing up in their beautiful dresses!

What I’m learning now, though, is that there is SO MUCH more to the Princesses than pretty dresses!  Each one of them has their own unique stories that have the power to inspire our imaginations, spark social conversations, and empower us – no matter how old we are! There is a brand new book coming out called Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara by Emily Zemler, a freelance writer and journalist based in London. This engaging book features Disney Princesses such as Moana, Merida, Rapunzel, Tiana, Snow White, Mulan, and much more, and “goes beyond their tiaras” to explore their legacies and how they influence us, teach us about society, and empower us in our everyday lives! It features concept art, memorabilia, and original interviews (*be sure to check out MY original interview with the author below!). The book can also be good for children, as they it is very descriptive and makes reading a more fun experience. It’s such an amazing book and so interesting to look at and read!

Credit: Mandy Rodgers

This book really does go waaay beyond the Tiaras of the princesses to explore their origins, the music, the fashion, the fandom….and how they inspire GIRL POWER!!  One of my favorite chapters is the one on fashion, and it tells how the princesses’ beautiful dresses inspired so many areas, from weddings, to jewelry, to hair accessories and shoes. The pictures featured in this chapter were very pleasing to look at as well! Reading this brought back so many memories and it was great to relive them and get more perspective on the importance of the fashions I grew up with!

Another favorite chapter of mine is the one on music.  We all know and love so many songs sung by Disney Princesses, and they have given us strength and made us feel like we weren’t alone in how we feel. These songs help us understand that it’s ok to follow our own paths sometimes and to “let it go” if something isn’t right for us.  The book goes deeply into the songs and gives us history, little known facts, and of course…amazing pictures to go with all of that!

There is so much fascinating information and so many amazing pictures in this beautiful book! Just opening it up made me feel magical. It has interviews with Disney historians, directors, voice talent, and fans. I especially love the last chapter on “Girl Power” which explains how Princesses like Moana, Ariel, Mulan, Tiana, and of course all the others, give us all the inspiration and courage to follow our own paths! With this book and the Disney Princesses to guide us, we can only imagine “how far we’ll go!” So … go beyond the tiara and check out this book!

Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara
Published September 20, 2022, by Epic Ink, an imprint of The Quarto Group
Hardcover, 192 pages, 200+ illustrations
$40 US, $53 CAN
ISBN: 9780760373620

I am honored to have been given the chance to interview the author, check it out below!

Photo Credit: Dominic Whisson

What made you decide to write this book?
I was approached by my publisher in January of 2021 to see if I’d be interested in writing a book
about the Disney Princesses. The only parameters I had was that it shouldn’t be a “Making Of”
book because lots of those exist already. The idea we had was to create a book about what
inspired the Disney Princesses and then how the characters then went on to inspire so many
things in our culture, from fashion to games to cosplay to memes. It was a lot of work to come up
with a structure and outline, and then to do all the research. I interviewed more than 55 people
and did a lot of reading. I also watched every movie, TV series, and short film that features a
Disney Princess. It was a big challenge, but also so much fun. I learned a lot and I hope readers
will too.
Which Disney Princess inspired you the most and why?
I have been inspired by each Disney Princess in a different way. However, Ariel has always been
my favorite Disney Princess. I was nine years old when The Little Mermaid came out and I went
to see it in the movie theater. We sat in the front row. I loved the movie and Ariel so much. I had
an Ariel doll and always pretended to be her when I went swimming, waving my hair around in
the pool. I love her sense of adventure and her curiosity. Ariel is interested in learning more
about humans, who are not like her, and that shows us that she is open-minded and accepting.
She is not afraid to take action to go after her dreams, which is something that has always
inspired me.
Why should kids and adults read this book?
A Disney fan is a Disney fan for life. As we all know, Disney movies, and Disney characters, are
not just for kids. I grew up watching movies like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, and I still feel
deeply connected to those films and to the Disney Princesses in them. A good movie is passed
down from generation to generation, and continues to connect with audiences forever. Kids will
like this book because it’s fun to learn where the Disney Princesses came from and to see some
of the cool behind-the-scenes images. Adults will like it because they will remember watching
the movies in their own childhoods and have memories of the Disney Princesses inspiring them.
I think there’s something in this book for everyone, even if you don’t think you’re a princess fan.

What values and lessons can Disney Princesses teach us in our everyday lives?
The Disney Princesses are very inspirational, not just because they live in magical worlds and
have great adventures, but because they embody important traits. A Disney Princess is kind,
curious, generous, and intelligent—which are all things we should aspire to be ourselves. There’s
an idea I talk about in the book: “If you can see it, you can be it.” That is why it’s so important to
see these amazing heroes onscreen. If we see someone like Tiana being a hard worker or Mulan
being courageous, then we know we can be those things too. The Disney Princesses show up that
it is possible to be a good person even if you have to go through challenges or hard times. They are also good friends, whether it’s to animals or to other people, and that’s a great reminder for
Looking forward, how can Disney Princesses create a better future?
To me, a better future is one that is inclusive. I really admire Disney Animation Studios for
continuing to make films and to create characters that reflect the incredible diversity of the world
around us. Films like Moana have used detailed research about the cultures they represent and
that allows us as viewers to see the wider possibilities of what it means to be a Disney Princess.
But on a broader level, the Disney Princesses remind us to be kind. More kindness will always
make the world a better place.

About the Author
Emily Zemler is a freelance writer and journalist based in London. She is a frequent contributor to
the Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone, among other prestigious outlets. Emily is the co-author
of A Sick Life, with TLC’s Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, and the author of The Art and Making of Aladdin.