Little girls only have a few good role models to look up to, aside from their mothers.
Fairytale princess stories, damsels in distress, big-chested Barbie dolls and cartoons that portray women as lesser than men constantly surround them.
Cartoonist and mother Linnéa Johansson aims to change that.
The artist recently created a badass coloring book called “Super Strong Princess.” The images depict Disney princesses (and other popular female characters) as strong, independent and self-sufficient women.
Johansson was inspired to make the coloring book when she shared a cartoon she drew of a princess switching outfits with a superhero to a group of 5-year-olds. She wanted to convey the harmful nature of gender stereotypes, but the children were already conditioned to think otherwise.
It broke my heart to hear that at a such young age, they think that a girl is defined by her beauty, a boy is defined by his strength and that a boy wearing a dress is somehow humiliating.
In the coloring book, characters including Snow White and Elsa are portrayed as scientists, athletes and decision makers -- roles associated with strength.
But, the book isn't just for girls.
I think it is a common mistake that we make as adults to think that a child should just identify with a role model of the same gender. I want to teach my sons that they can look up to anyone… I want them to learn to respect a woman and not see her as their property, or as someone that should please him and be pretty.
The full coloring book is available for (free!) download on Johansson's website, but you can check out a few of her powerful cartoons below.