8th grade students go viral, fight for equality at Women’s March


Ava Rothenberg, Glory Chase, Naiobi Benjamin, Jacqueline Marks, Daisy Kaplan and Gwyneth Williams pose for a picture at the Women’s March. They dressed as Disney princesses, while holding signs that stand up against stereotypes. Photo courtesy of Williams.

When eighth grade students Naiobi Benjamin, Glory Chase, Quincy Gordon, Daisy Kaplan, Jacqueline Marks, Ava Rothenberg and Gwyneth Williams arrived at the Women’s March on Sunday, Jan. 21, they had no idea they would go viral.

The students went to the march dressed up as Disney princesses, but with a twist. According to Kaplan, their costumes were inspired by drawings of Disney princesses holding up protest signs.

The girls came up with slogans, including “This is one beast of a problem” and “I won’t let it go” in reference to “Beauty and the Beast” and “Frozen.”

Their goal was to make a statement about how they are tired of women being portrayed as helpless.

“We’re not just going to sit idly by and wait for someone to save us,” Williams said. “We can save ourselves.”

A Buzzfeed reporter approached the girls and interviewed them for an article, “These Teens Dressed As Woke Disney Princesses For The Women’s March And It Is Everything,” at the march.

Additionally, an Instagram post of the girls on the Buzzfeed account received over 40,000 likes.

“It was really exciting because it felt like we were making a difference and people were recognizing our efforts,” Kaplan said.

All seven girls said they are passionate about women’s rights, and, particularly, female representation in the media.

“There aren’t a lot of powerful female figures that little girls watch when they’re really young,” Williams said. “The first girls you idolize are princesses. Your first idol shouldn’t be a princess who needs help.”

According to the students, their Archer education has played a large role in their passion for equality and feminism.

“We got everything we know from Archer,” Chase said. “Honestly, there’s a big chance I would not have gone to that Women’s March if I had not gone to Archer.”

When they arrived at the march, the girls were  surprised when crowds of marchers surrounded them trying to take pictures of their costumes and posters.

“One of my distant family members came up and took a picture of us. [She] didn’t know it was me, and later they looked at the picture and went, ‘Oh wait, I’m related to her!’” Gordon said.

The girls credited their awareness of current issues and events to their classes.

“[We learned about] intersectional feminism in [Wendy] Deming’s English class,” Marks said. “We originally saw the picture of the princesses holding the signs in history class. Because we were together at Archer, we had this idea.”