Popular adaptations of fairy tales feature the damsel in distress trope. Interestingly, older versions of the same fairy tales showcase women that are more than just princesses who find true love. To fight these stereotypes that portray women as weak, I created a series of oil paintings that give the female characters back their agency. The stories I used as inspiration for my paintings come from Grimm’s Fairy Tales and The Arabian Nights. The paintings feature close-ups of female protagonists during decisive moments of their stories. The women are active and influence their own tales. To highlight the power in decision making, my oil paintings are larger than life with striking light and shadow. The characters from the stories reflect the complexity of women in reality.