We've all heard the fairytales: Cinderella, Snow White, Rupunzel—you know the ones. These stories are shared—and remixed—while remaining permanent fixtures in popular culture. Take Cinderella; there's a version for every decade (not to mention, century). Hilary Duff gave us a Y2K teen moment in A Cinderella Story, Brandy led a musical take on the myth in 1997's Cinderella, and no matter the year, it always seems like there's another Disney live-action remake on the horizon.
That said, as lifestyle brand Billie puts it in their new campaign, these are legends "you know and love but kind of wish weren’t so… problematic." Read on to learn more about the new initiative, the message, and what's next—straight from Billie’s co-founder and CEO Georgina Gooley.
After a slew of powerful, mission-based projects, the razor brand is proof brands can stand for something more than just capitalism. The company has continuously used its platform to create change and start important conversations in the beauty and wellness world.
Billie has a long history of changing the narrative—most recently, the company celebrated International Women's Day by expanding the definition of "womanhood" for a new generation. In a stunning video directed by Quinn Whitney Wilson and narrated by Indya Moore, viewers were forced to confront their own biases, instincts, and beliefs about what it means to be a woman.
Now, the brand is taking on a new challenge. This time, reclaiming fairytales we all grew up with—and renewing those outdated narratives through an LGBTQ+ lens. It's an update that's long overdue. But, Billie is no stranger to rethinking beauty norms. As Billie CEO Georgina Gooley puts it, "we wanted to make people from the community feel seen, while also putting a smile on everyone’s face."
The campaign launched with a cheeky and inclusive take on Rapunzel. The princess in question has long body hair (something we can all relate to after a year of quarantine). And there's no prince in the picture because "she's hella gay." The brand followed up with a version of Snow White "about chosen family, platonic love, and *ahem* consent."
The brand's final series takes on the most recognizable princess of all, Cinderella. Manifesting a fairy drag-mother, this new hero, Rel, finally finds her vibe, heads to the ball, loses a sneaker, and begins a queer love story.
The Fairytale series is all about "retelling them in a way that many of us wish we had heard as children," says Billie's CEO. These takes are a refreshing joy to read—especially on Instagram, which can sometimes feel like a claustrophobic and saturated space. Traditionally, these stories "introduce you to romance, identity, gender roles, and basic dynamics between people—which is why it’s important to demonstrate the many different forms each can take," Gooley explains.
What separates Billie's campaign from many other Pride initiatives is its approach to talent. "We knew that the only way to authentically represent the lived experiences and perspectives of the LGBTQIA+ community was to work with individuals within it," explains Gooley. The company tapped a host of gifted creators to develop the project: DJ and producer Vanessa Newman, writer and comedian Dylan McKeever, screenwriter Nicole Najafi, and consultant Asia Hunt all had a hand in bringing the campaign to life.
A different visual artist illustrated each series. You've probably seen their work on Instagram (and if you haven't, I highly recommend giving them a follow). Sofie Birkin's Rapunzel, Alva Skog's Snow White, and Jordan Moss's Cinderella embody a colorful, unique visual take on the legends. "We worked with partners that could authentically shape the characters' identities and portray a wider representation of womankind," says Gooley. And it shows.
For the Billie team, it's all about representing different types of "happily ever after."