Fairy Tales and other stories are an inseparable part of our childhood. We have grown up reading and hearing tales of knights and princesses that offer us the chance to learn a lot but also desperately need some updating.
Cinderella needs to start taking things into her own hands and put a stop to her stepmother’s tactics because her mother would have never wanted her to endure injustice. Should she stop dreaming about balls and gowns and maybe dream about getting an education?
Maybe Rapunzel doesn’t need rescuing by a man she fell in love with and Snow White could have been kissed by her dwarf friends who loved her if not more than surely equal to the prince charming’s feelings. How about she decides to take back the kingdom and save the people of the kingdom from the clutches of the evil Queen?
There is yet another huge flaw in our fairy tales – most of them portray the characters as perfect in shape, size and features. As kids, when our brains are unguarded, we think that these characters are the way we should look, walk, talk and behave. Taking inspiration from them about their bravery and courage is good but setting a mindset about beauty and strength is only pushing ourselves into a mould we cannot get out of.
Which human being is as perfect as the ones shown in these tales? Believing in magic and in beautiful things is all great – but setting gender roles and portraying most princes as noble knights in shining armours is like telling kids that the world is white and if you aren’t white, then you should bleach yourself!
Somehow rarely does any fairy tale show that love can happen more than once, that you will be hurt and you will grow – most show love at first sight and happily-ever-afters. If one grows up reading that, setting unrealistic expectations, it gets difficult to accept that before finding the right person, there will be a lot of pain.
There are some great books written most recently like Rebel Girls & Stories For Boys Who Dare To Be Different that we should read to the kids of today. Then maybe, the woman won’t grow up thinking that they have to wait for rescue & for their prince charming and men won’t grow up thinking that they should have a certain physique and a certain level of bravery to rescue the other sex that is weaker than them.
All said and done, let fairy tales continue to awe us – only after a little updating.