The "Antiprincesas": Argentine author breaks stereotypes with a new type of children's book
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The "Antiprincesas": Argentine author breaks stereotypes with a new type of children's book

“We wanted to break away from the stereotype of a woman whose beauty is only on the outside and show examples of women who have internal beauty,” Author of the books Nadia Fink told BBC Mundo.

Instead of re-hashing tried Brothers Grimm fairytales, where the beautiful maiden always gets her prince, Fink has instead released a series of children’s books based on the lives of famous Latin American women.

The first “Antiprincesa” was Frida Kahlo, followed by Chilean folk singer Violeta Parra.

Photo: BBC

Photo: BBC

“We had investigated the lives of Frida and Violeta for the magazine, and I asked myself what could we do to tell children these stories,” Fink adds.

So, in combination with Chimbirote, a children’s publisher, and Sudestada, a political and cultural magazine where Fink works, the new collection was born.

Photo: BBC

Photo: BBC

“We wanted to show examples of women who didn’t stay stuck, waiting for a prince to save them, but instead they changed their own lives.”

Child friendly

One of the principal challenges that Fink faced was making the stories “child friendly”. Both women had difficult love lives and tried to take their own lives on numerous occasions (Parra committed suicide, Frida tried on several occasions).

The book on Frida also shows some of her most famous works and mentions her sexuality: “For Frida, love was reflected in both men and women.”

Unlike Disney or Barbie, the women didn’t have an easy childhood.

“Violeta didn’t have a fairy godmother to make her a fantastic dress,” her story outlines how her mother made her a skirt out of an old curtain.

Books for sale in Argentina. Photo: BBC

Books for sale in Argentina.
Photo: BBC

Happily ever after?

For now the third heroine is yet to be confirmed.

But the “Antiprincesas” will continue to make children question stereotypes and their culture, across Latin America and beyond.

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