What Fairy Tales Do Not Teach You

Tiya Singh
Feb 18, 2019   •  28 views

They say that a human is a product of what they read. Sleeping beauty, Snow White, Cinderella and other "timeless beauties" form a part of popular culture, and almost every childhood. However, in retrospect, I have realised the narrow, botched- up image that each and every of these stories unfailingly project.

They lack diversity of thought, urge readers to comply to conventional beauty standards, and assume that marriage is endgame for all of us.

Take Snow white, or even Sleeping beauty. They share the same delicate features and pale skin colour. This is reflective of the kind of rigid mindset when it comes to representing women in fiction. They also fail take charge of there lives, happily waiting for a prince charming to show up at their doorstep, with a bright future in his hand for both of them. A woman out on her own is seen through the myopic lens- full of uncertainty. If fairy tales describe a kind of Utopia, then this Utopia is the place I will consciously avoid visiting, for it is incredibly contradicting, in its very patriarchal nature.

'They represent what literary scholar Ruth Bottigheimer called an “apparent inner drive to incriminate females” in her book Grimms’ Bad Girls and Bold Boys."

"These rancorous caricatures present us with the 'same theme' time and time again, explains Showunmi,that could severely inhibit a child’s propensity to form stable and supportive relationships."