Help Disney Raise $1Million for United Nations Girl Up with #DreamBigPrincess Photos

I’ve tried to raise my two daughters to be strong, independent young women. As they’ve reached adolescence and young adulthood, they’re comfortable challenging traditional gender roles and stereotypes and advocating for women’s issues.  I heard of Disney’s #DreamBigPrincess campaign, but, honestly, had not paid much attention thinking it was just a marketing tool to sell more pink glittery sparkly dresses.  Wrong!  #DreamBigPrincess is all about encouraging and empowering girls, and Disney has committed to raising $1 million for the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up program to promote the health, safety, education, and leadership of girls in developing countries.  “Uniting girls to change the world” – now that is something my daughters and I can fully support.  Continue reading to find out how you can help Disney raise $1 million to help girls around the world #DreamBigPrincess.


Alice Parker, 9, (pictured here) is a member of The Blasters soccer team. The Blasters are all about teamwork and toughness and don’t let anything, not even a little mud, get in their way. Photo by Kate Parker

From Disney Consumer Products Press Release

Disney unveiled a global photographic campaign in support of #DreamBigPrincess celebrating inspiring stories from around the world to encourage kids everywhere to dream big. Nineteen female photographers from fifteen countries have created a series of empowering images showcasing real-world girls and women, as part of Disney’s Dream Big, Princess initiative launched in 2016, which taps into the power of Disney Princess stories to inspire kids. Photographs will be shared on social media to help raise funds for Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s program supporting adolescent girls’ leadership and empowerment.

“The idea that stories, whether real life or fictional like those of Belle or Rapunzel, can inspire kids to follow their dreams is at the heart of the #DreamBigPrincess campaign,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. “We asked some of the most accomplished female photographers to help tell the stories of inspiring women and girls from around the world—and the results are incredible.”


Mary Lengees (pictured here) is one of the first indigenous Samburu women elephant keepers in all of Africa, and works at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary to help elephant orphans return to their natural habitat. Photo by Ami Vitale

From one of the first female staff photographers at National Geographic to winners of the International Picture of the Year, World Press Photo Award for Nature, Commonwealth Photographer of the Year, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News, the accomplished roster of photographers bring a wealth of experience and talent. Each was challenged to find and document stories with the power to inspire kids.

With subjects including the youngest ever speaker at the UN; a gold-medal-winning Chinese Paralympian; the founder of the first female cycling team in Bamiyan, Afghanistan; a teenage author of a STEM coding book for kids; and a young surf champion from Brazil, the project aims to spotlight a diverse range of stories to connect with kids and families around the world. The images bring the #DreamBigPrincess message to life in a multitude of ways, including highlighting women who’ve achieved success in the face of adversity, young Girl Up Teen Advisors who’ve already helped make a positive impact on the world, and girls at play who illustrate the importance of imagination in childhood.


Rong Jing (pictured here) overcame a childhood bout of polio to become a fencing champion, winning a gold medal in 2012 at the London Paralympics. Rong also represented China in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, serving as the country’s flag bearer in the Opening Ceremony and winning three additional gold medals. Photo by Lulu Liao

As well as inspiring kids with positive images and the stories behind them, the campaign aims to make a tangible difference for girls who face challenges in achieving their dreams, through its collaboration with Girl Up. From August 15-October 11, 2017, Disney Worldwide Services will donate US $1 for any public post of a photo using #DreamBigPrincess or like of such a post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, for a minimum donation of US $500,000 and a maximum of US $1 million. Girl Up’s leadership program engages girls to take action and advocate for girls around the world, giving them empowering tools to help make a difference.

“Girl Up envisions a world where every girl can reach her full potential and be an advocate within her community for positive change and empowerment. The #DreamBigPrincess campaign is perfectly aligned with our goals, and we’re excited to partner with Disney and this incredible group of women to spotlight what it means to dream big around the world,” says Melissa Kilby, Director of Girl Up.


Girl Up Leader Miriam Farooq, 16 (pictured here), spends her time advocating for girls’ and women’s issues across Asia. Photo by Annie Griffiths

Annie Griffiths, one of National Geographic’s first female staff photographers, profiled eight teenage girl leaders at Girl Up’s Leadership Summit in Washington, DC, to showcase their inspiring stories as part of the campaign.

“Every picture tells a story, and I’m delighted to be part of an initiative that tells so many stories that are interesting and diverse. I hope that people around the world will be motivated to share their own inspiring #DreamBigPrincess images in support of Girl Up,” says Annie.

Girl Up Teen Advisor alumna Meg Schwartz was given the chance to follow her dream of becoming a professional photographer by creating images of Girl Up celebrity Champions, including YouTube influencers Brooklyn & Bailey, actress Katherine McNamara as well as philanthropist and actress Monique Coleman. Meg’s images will be shared as part of the campaign to help raise funds for Girl Up.


In addition to being one of the first-ever celebrity champions for the UN Foundations’s Girl Up Campaign, Monique Coleman (pictured here) was also named the first UN Youth Champion for the International Year of Youth. She then embarked on a 6 month global tour to empower and inspire young people, meet with government officials, and volunteer. Photo by Meg Schwartz

In 2016, Disney launched “Dream Big, Princess,” a campaign that encourages kids everywhere to dream big by highlighting key story moments and the inspiring qualities that each Disney Princess showcases through her adventures, such as Merida’s bravery, Cinderella’s kindness or Tiana’s perseverance. While each princess has her own unique and admirable qualities, what they all have in common is resilience and an ability to triumph over adversity to make their dreams come true. The Dream Big, Princess content series, which runs across Disney TV and digital networks globally, brings together a host of inspiring moments from beloved Disney movies with the stories of real-life young role models, who have dreamed big and achieved their goals to show kids what’s possible.


Growing up at a time when the dream of being a female football player was not as accessible as it is now, the women on the England Lionesses, England’s national women’s football team, serve as inspiration for young girls to dream big. Photo by Scarlet Page

The Dream Big, Princess series has already reached millions of kids and families and the photographic campaign builds on this success by spotlighting women and girls from around the world with stories that have the power to inspire others.

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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.