Thursday, January 21, 2010

101 Posts and Concerning Fairy Tales

Yay! I made it! Sure it only took me a few years, but who's counting, eh?

Concerning Fairy Tales.

We often speak of them as the dreams of little girls, full of pink and tulle and beautiful princesses or princesses to be who are swept off their feet by the perfect man. It'll never happen, people scoff. True love doesn't exist. There are no fairy godmothers. The world isn't perfect so get over yourself and find a real job, maybe you'll run into someone who won't divorce you. And for heavens sake, don't act like a prissy girl.

Have you looked at the fairy tales? Not Disney, fairy tales. Do they look rosy to you? Are they happy? Does everything sparkle with fairy dust? Does the shoe always fit? No.

They're horrible. These are the tales of young women locked up or cast aside who must persevere. They are raised in the most horrid conditions, treated in a children services worthy manner. They may not have enough to eat, or warm clothes to wear, or even a bed to sleep in. Look at the old illustrations. They're hideous. The witch looks like something out off a nightmare, the thorns cut cruelly, there are creatures crawling out of the woodwork. Look at the heroin. She's terrified. But she's beautiful. She's sweet. She's kind. She is something different, something that doesn't exist in her world. She shouldn't be. She should look just like everything else in her world. Cold, cruel, jaded.

So what do these stories teach? That every little girl is a princess and will have a wonderful life when her husband magically appears and takes her away? No. It teaches her that she must persevere. That no matter how bad it gets, no matter how badly she's treated, that she can be pure. That she can face hardship with courage, if not without tears. That sometimes the right way won't make sense, but you must follow the guidance given by others. That a prince, a man worth having, a man of honor, will look for the maiden who is not like anyone else. He will look for a woman of virtue in a land of vice. That the husband is the reward, not the goal. It is always the step-sisters who are chasing after the men and see how they fare.

The saying is, after all, and they lived happily ever after. If you take a good look at their lives before the prince comes in, it would be hard pressed to make it any worse.

Just some thoughts.

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