Snow White: What would Disney princess look like if she was 100 years old? AI predicts heartbreaking future
The troubles of old age have certainly caught up to the original Disney princess.
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With the story of Snow White first being 86 years ago - and the princess being a teenager in the tale - she would currently be celebrating her 100th birthday in real life.
With many fairy tale princesses typically depicting unattainable beauty standards, older people in folk stories are often seen as jealous old crones, determined to steal the younger women’s youthful beauty for themselves – this is no different in the original tale of Snow White, where the story depicts a wicked Queen envious of Snow White’s youthful beauty.
But AI programme MidJourney has flipped the script, turning the fairest of them all into a grey-haired, heavy lined woman, who behind the smile is suffering from loneliness, respiratory issues and Alzheimer's.
Claire Baker from TakingCare Personal Alarms, which commissioned the image, said: "In this instance, MidJourney included the heavy lines and grey hair that is so often associated with ageing. However, it was great to see that this depiction of an elderly person is positive, with Snow White smiling.
“While AI shows how Snow White might look in her true aged of over 100 years old, it’s also interesting to explore the kinds of lifestyle and health changes the princess might have faced in her old age.
At age 100, Snow White would likely have faced a number of health issues and serious falls, as studies show one in two over 80s experiences around one fall a year. She may also suffer from respiratory issues and potentially even illnesses such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s.
“Along with the health issues Snow White may have faced, she may also suffer with loneliness. We all remember Snow White with her beloved companions, the seven dwarfs, who stayed by her side through thick and thin and provided her with a safe haven.
"As we look at Snow White in her old age, we can’t help but think that the Seven Dwarfs would all be at least 120 years old by now, so Snow White would have probably lost her closest friends a long time ago. This situation happens regularly with elderly people and may lead to lack of social involvement.”
“It’s been interesting to examine how AI interprets ageing, but it would be good to see older people better represented within popular culture more generally.
"In fairytale stories, older women are so often jealous and gloom, usually associated with evil and misdeeds, so it would be good to see some of these reimagining’s challenge ageing stereotypes to create characters that are far more representative of real life, helping cast a positive light on healthy ageing.”