Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fairy Tales for the Modern Little Woman

I grew up with Cinderella and Snow White, the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.  Pre-teens/teens/way too many moms now have Twilight as a Fairy Tale.  You hear more and more mothers wanting their daughters to have nothing to do with such unbelievable and misleading ideas in stories.

But I think there is something invaluable in a story with a happy ending.  We need those stories of hope and triumph as children to help us persevere through times when hope seems lost as adults.

So what’s the real problem most feminists/modern women have with fairy tales?  For me, it’s the fact that the princess is beautiful and it is her beauty alone that the prince falls in love with – the prince solves all her problems – and she is often completely helpless.

However, there are plenty of fairy tales that are traditional stories that have merit.  Stories where intelligence and cleverness play a role as well.  Here are a few of my favorite.

East of the Sun and West of the Moon

This story is one in which the heroine ruins her chance of a happily ever after, or so she thinks.  She then has to embark on a long journey to right the mistake she made in order to secure her chance with her prince.  She wins not based solely on her beauty, but because she shows dedication, loyalty, and humility.

The Twelve Dancing Princesses

This fairy tale is more of a tale for a prince.  He uses cunning and an invisibility cloak to solve a riddle, landing him a kingdom and a princess and raising himself from the rank of wounded soldier to king.

The Six Swans

This is a story where the prince falls in love with a girl for her beauty – but the real story is the one of the girl who is struggling desperately to save her family and remains dedicated until her task is complete.


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  2. I've never heard of the first story but I ha r always lived the last two. My grandma has the most beautifully illustrated books of those stories.