generation of young female leaders around the globe.
I remember when I first learned about #DreamBigPrincess campaign, I was so impressed that Disney recognized and encouraged young girls to presue their various interests, outside of being a princess. It's great that Disney is expanding the idea and the #DreamBigPrincess campaign.
The #DreamBigPrincess video series, produced and directed by young women from the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up initiative, shares the stories of 20 trailblazing women across technology, entertainment, medicine, law, sports, arts, science, fashion and politics to show the next generation what’s possible if you dream big.
I love seeing the different areas that young girls are interested in, so I was excited to interview Mariana Anaya (Mexico) and Alyssa Gandini (Brazil), two of the young ladies part of the new #DreamBigPrincess video series.
Mariana had the chance to interview Monica Andrea Lopez Hidalgo, who's a Neuroscientist.
While Alyssa interviewed Paola Carosella, who's a MasterChef Brazil Judge!
What does #DreamBigPrincess mean to you?
Mariana Anaya: Dream Big Princess means giving new and fresh role models that will inspire them to be a Princess by just being themselves.
Alyssa Gandini: For me, this project is all about believing unbelievable things are possible. I never imagined anything like this could ever happen to me, and I think this is a trait we all share as participants. I signed up for it humbly, and later discovered that I should be proud of myself as I am proud of all the other women who are involved in this with us.
Alyssa Gandini: If I could choose one expression to translate what the Dream Big Princess project is to me, it would be "empowerment chain”. I feel empowered and inspired when I see this same feeling in the women who surrounded me in this project and, because of that, I want other girls to feel the same. So on, so forth. It’s a chain.
What was it like being part of the DreamBigPrincess video series?
Mariana Anaya: It was a one in a lifetime experience, I got to interview an amazing woman I look up to and gained 20 sisters in the process.
Alyssa Gandini: It was an unique, inspiring and empowering experience. I learned so much about others, but also about myself, through the creative process we went through, since the workshop in D.C until the launch date. These have been some crazy three months and I loved every step of it.
Alyssa Gandini: However, I guess my favorite part is meeting all these 20 other girls with completely different backgrounds from my own that made such an incredible work with their subjects. Stories inspire us to follow our dreams, and in a world where times are ever so hard, it makes me so happy to see anyone can be a storyteller. Therefore, anyone can be an inspiration to the other, creating a better world and raising better people.
Who is your favorite Disney Princess and why?
Mariana Anaya: My favorite princess is Merida because she defied authority and stood up against her own family to fight for what she believed in. Also, her hair is amazing.
Alyssa Gandini: I have two I look up to the most. The first one is Ariel. As a kid she inspired me to sing, to be myself, to be brave, to chase my dreams and to create the world I wanted to live in. I think it is important for us to reinterpret a lot of the Disney’s Princesses stories and understand that what they live goes far beyond the classical “I need a prince to live”. And Ariel was that case for me, that is why today, I still admire her so much.
Alyssa Gandini: My grown up side, however, screams “Mulan” every time I hear this question. Her relationship with her family, specially her father, reminds me of my own. She inspires me still to be fierce, true, brave, honest, humble, kind, clever and to do whatever it takes to protect the people you love, even if they hurt you. Her story touches me like no other and it makes me cry every single time that all of China bows to her.
How did you first learn about your interviewee? What stood out about her for you?
Mariana Anaya: I contacted Dr.Monica by email and she loved the project. What stood out most about her was her research, since I’m really interested in neuroscience.
Alyssa Gandini: In Washington we had to come up with options for our subjects, and Paola Carosella was already on this huge list of women I thought was inspiring for me. That is the thing though, it was a big list. So we started to narrow it down to people we though that would bring up the most diversity in the campaign and, of course, that would still be an amazing inspiration to me and all the girls and boys who would see this.
Alyssa Gandini: For me, Paola has always been an amazing person to look up to because of her values. She always came to me as someone honest, brave, fierce, decisive, objective and thoughtful of her surroundings and actions. She is true to herself in a way not many people are today and, of course this stands out for me, because it is something I value so much and that I believe people need to have the courage to do so more often. Plus, she created her world from scratch and that is simply amazing!
What did your interviewee share during the interview that will encourage you and other girls interested in this field?
Mariana Anaya: She told me that I don’t need to have the greatest ambition to dream big, and by being ñassionate about my work and trying my hardest, I can make my dreams come true.
Alyssa Gandini: I think something that really touched me in the interview and that will touch and inspire other girls, in particular, is the fact that we, as women, carry this huge weight on our backs which is “guilt”. Paola teaches us that we don’t have to make things perfect the first time we try them and that it would be naive of us to think we can make it all by ourselves, without any help what so ever.
She says it’s ok to fail at first, it’s ok to ask for help and that we should surround ourselves with people that encourage us to do what we want and that will help us get there. And I believe that is great advice, no matter which area you are pursuing in your life/career.
You can watch Alyssa interview with Monica Andrea Lopez Hidalgo below
You can watch Mariana interview with Paola Carosella below
To see more video from the #DreamBigPrincess series, visit - www.partners.disney.com/dream-big-princess-video-series
In honor of the new #DreamBigPrincess digital shorts series, all Disney Parks guests around the world are also invited to Disney bound in outfits inspired by their favorite female Disney characters on October 11, declared the International Day of the Girl by the United Nations. Disney bounding can include color schemes, patterns, accessories and more that speak to favorite Disney characters. Disney stores nationwide will also celebrate the launch of the initiative with in-store Dream Big, Princess events on Saturday, October 13th.
Through Disney’s collaboration with Girl Up, the #DreamBigPrincess campaign aims to make a tangible difference for girls who face challenges in achieving their dreams. For each like or share of a video or photo posted publicly with #DreamBigPrincess on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, Disney Worldwide Services will donate US $1 to Girl Up in support of girls’ leadership and empowerment (minimum donation: $500,000/maximum donation: $1 million). This charitable initiative kicks off today and runs until November 20, 2018.
Spanning a host of professions, an accomplished roster of women share their tips for success in the 20-part series:
- Asmaa Boujibar - Research scientist and the first Moroccan woman in history to join NASA Johnson Space Center.
- Ashima Narain - Photographer, filmmaker and former photo editor for National Geographic Traveler India.
- Blanca Treviño - President and CEO of Softtek, the leading IT services company in Latin America, champion for entrepreneurialism, IT and the role of women in business.
- Emily Blunt - Golden Globe Award-winning actress and star of upcoming Disney movies Mary Poppins Returns and Jungle Cruise.
- Celina Caesar-Chavannes - Canadian member of Parliament who served as Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister of Canada.
- Jennifer Lee - Chief creative officer at Walt Disney Animation Studios, writer and co-director of Disney’s Frozen for which she won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
- Jo Malone CBE - Founder and creative director of Jo Loves, responsible for creating some of the world’s most-loved fragrances, awarded a CBE in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honors List for her services to the British Economy and the GREAT Britain campaign.
- Karen Jonz - Brazilian skateboarder, designer and musician who won the 2008 X Games women’s vertical and the World Cup Skateboarding Championship four times, first Brazilian to win the title of World Champion.
- Karen Walker - Designer with a global, multimillion-dollar eponymous fashion label, awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to fashion design in 2014.
- Kathleen Kennedy - Film producer and president of Lucasfilm, has produced more than 60 films, including three of the highest-grossing movies in motion picture history.
- Leia Mi - Art director for Shanghai Disneyland who creates concept designs and provides art direction for Shanghai Disney Resort, was a creative designer at Walt Disney Imagineering.
- Maria Teresa Ruiz - Chilean astronomer, the first woman to study astronomy at the University of Chile, the first female scientist to receive a PhD in astrophysics from Princeton University and the first woman to receive Chile's National Prize for Exact Sciences.
- Martina Stoessel - Actress and singer who played the leading role on the internationally successful Disney Channel telenovela Violetta, first Argentine singer to reach one million views on YouTube in less than 24 hours for her single “Te Quiero Mas.”
- Monica Lopez Hidalgo – Accomplished professor and researcher of neuroscience, one of the winners of the L'Oréal Unesco Conacyt AMC 2017 Scholarships for Women in Science for her research on the deterioration of cognitive functions related to age.
- Dr. Ndifanji Namacha - Medical doctor and assistant lecturer of public health, Malaria No More UK youthambassador, delivered a keynote speech at the 2018 Malaria Summit in London.
- Paola Carosellav – Award-winning chef and restaurateur, opened her first restaurant in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2001, has appeared as a judge on MasterChef Brazil since 2014.
- Robin Roberts – Award-winning broadcaster and co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America.
- Susan Prescott - Vice president of product marketing at Apple with more than 25 years of experience in the computing industry.
- Virginie Delalande – Founder of Handicapower, first deaf person to become a lawyer in France.
- Victoria Arlen – Accomplished motivational speaker, actress, model and swimmer, won three Silver medals and a Gold medal from the London 2012 Paralympic Games, joined ESPN as one of the company’s youngest on-air talents.
This year’s video series builds on the success of the #DreamBigPrincess Global Photography series, which saw 19 female photographers from 15 countries capture inspiring stories of real-world women and girls to encourage kids to reach for their goals.
The campaign reached millions of families around the world unlocking a $1 million donation to Girl Up in less than five days. The images from the multi- award-winning campaign were also honored with an exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
The initiative is part of Disney’s ongoing Dream Big, Princess campaign that encourages kids everywhere to dream big by highlighting key story moments and inspiring qualities that each Disney Princess showcases through her adventures, such as Merida’s bravery, Cinderella’s kindness or Tiana’s perseverance. Disney is committed to helping today’s youth create the future they imagine by providing them with inspiration and opportunity through transformative programming, of which this campaign is an example.