Makeup artist Richard Schaefer transforms himself into Disney princesses so authentic that you’ll do a double take. The 22-year-old has an impressive collection of 40 costumes and 30 wigs that he uses to cosplay as Snow White, Ariel, Cinderella, and more. He’s perfected their longing stares and doe-eyed expressions to mimic not only their looks, but personas, too.
It takes Schaefer about 2 hours of prep to become these head-turning ladies, but the time spent is worth it—people are shocked upon learning that she is actually a he. “I think it’s a real compliment when people think that I’m a female cosplayer,” he told The Daily Mail, “because it means that my transformations must be convincing.”
Schaefer’s interest in costumes began while he was in school; he was often bullied and started to create clothing to help cope with his loneliness. After losing weight, he decided to start cosplaying as princesses because others often remarked that he looked androgynous. “Curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to transform myself into my favorite princess—Ariel, who I have loved since I was a child.” Happy with how fabulous he looked, Schaefer has since dressed as different princesses (and princes) and gained a lot of admirers in the process.
Schaefer successfully transforms himself into villains like Cruella de Vil, too!
And here’s what Schaefer looks like when he isn’t channeling Disney alter-egos: