1.Finding a ‘charming prince’ is essential to a ‘happy ending’
What? Really? Like that would solve my existential crisis or give me the space I so badly crave! Oh, and what if I swing the other way huh? What if I have eyes on another pretty ‘princess’? How’s that for a bummer? Nah, a charming prince is no longer a necessity for a real HAPPY ending! Of course, we need that shoulder to cry on sometimes, and then there’s the pampering(a huge bouquet of red roses on your b’day morning?! Definitely the work of your Prince charming!) But other than that, there’s not much truth in that genre of ending! Whether you’re a scared little Cinderella or a sleepy-headed Snow White, you CAN & WILL find happiness in things that have zilch to do with a charming Prince(an occasional date doesn’t hurt though!). Go get a job, Cinderella. That way you’ll have all the glass slippers you ever wanted and you won’t even need a crazy old fairy godmother to turn pumpkins into chariots for you!
2. A princess MUST be the ‘fairest of ’em all’!
As per all the fairy tales we’ve ever read, even if you aren’t born a ‘fair maiden‘, you still require magic to turn you into one before you start your hunt for that elusive Prince Charming! How degrading is that? No wonder body-shaming is all the rage among school kids these days! ‘She does have gorgeous hair but she’s too fat you know, she’ll never get to be Rapunzel in the annual skit!’ or ‘She’s too dark to be a Snow White!” , these are just a few of the innocently uttered body-shaming accounts we get in school. I say ‘innocent‘ because these kids are not to blame for their brain-blocks! It’s the stories, man! I mean ‘Snow White’ was named so because she WAS fair to start with. Okay, fair enough! But what about Cinderella huh? That young lady was supposed to resemble ‘cinders’ (if her step-mom & sisters are to be believed), but she was magically transformed into a ‘Snow White’ too by the end of the book! Seriously! Have you ever seen a black woman playing any of these princesses? Duh uh??!!
3. If you can’t dance well, you ain’t ‘soulmate’ material!
Now REALLY!? That’s just taking it to another level altogether! To be a real princess, you must not only look like you’ve been white-washed and made to wear a blonde wig, BUT you apparently also need to get dancing lessons! What happens to the rest of us with two left feet huh? Do we ever get a shot at this Prince or what? Nope, we are disqualified folks!
4.Stepmothers are just ‘born evil’.Period.
In all these years, I’ve probably come across a couple of step-moms who’ve graciously taken up the huge responsibility of bringing up somebody else’s kid as their own. And guess what? They were the kindest, most beautiful souls you could find! But what do their kids learn from all those fairy tales they read as kids? Step-mom equals pure-unadulterated-evil! Think wicked smiles, secret conspiracies to kill you, poisonous apples offered as breakfast!!! What a harmful lie this one eh?
5. Pretty women have teeny-weeny feet!
Now we know from where the Japanese women get their obsession with small feet (so much so that they actually wrap their feet with tight bandages till they’re ‘of age’!). How freakishly insane is that? Yes, I do understand that having ‘washer-woman’s feet’ like mine are not much of a desirous asset when you want to wear stilettos and stuff, but cm’on, cut the other averagely endowed women out there some slack will you? Your feet have absolutely nothing to do with your beauty, for that matter neither does your face, OR your body. Wow, did that just shatter the glass-ceilings of the ‘fairy-tale’ palace? (Hah! Like I care! That’s the whole point of this post anyways). Glass slippers can and DO come in a variety of sizes ladies! Believe you me!
Having said all that, I wouldn’t mind admitting that I have always loved getting transported into a world where everything is so pretty and..well..unreal. Nothing like life! But amazing till the last page. We all have secretly wished to be a Disney princess sometime or the other haven’t we? However, the feminist in me is revolted by the skewed standards of ‘beauty’ set by these stories. Maybe someday when I have kids of my own, I will tweak some of these in places and get them printed for my kids. Then they can read about a ‘Snow Brown‘ for a change or maybe a Cinderella with a kind step-mother and big feet! Not a bad idea right?
However, some of the more recent Disney movies have been much more up my alley if you know what I mean (‘Frozen’, ‘Brave’ and ‘The Croods’ to name the best ones!) These movies have broken tradition and gone to the extent of not even having the all-important ‘Prince‘ in the story-line ( like the ‘frost-melting’ sister-love in Frozen or the Irish mother-daughter duo of Brave!) Looks like Disney’s finally coming of age!
Now THAT’S what I call true empowerment of fairy-tale princesses! 😉