"Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale of all." Hans Christian Anderson
I posted this on facebook the other day, simply because I like the quote. A friend commented, "Yeah, and I'm the princess trapped in the tower waiting for her prince to rescue her, but he's too stupid to figure out how."
Her comment got me thinking about how fairy tales really have given us a skewed view of happily ever after. I mean, even stories that center around a strong female still teach us that she needs to find her prince before she can find true happiness.
Come on, already.
Why are little girls taught that, no matter what, they won't be truly happy until they find a guy? It's like that scene in Sex and the City (The Movie) where Carrie is reading Cinderella to Charlotte's daughter Lily, and she says, "You know this is just a fantasy, right? I just think you should know it doesn't always turn out this way." Lily asks Carrie to read the story again, and Carrie says, "And another one bites the dust."
Please understand, I'm all for happily ever after - and I think it's a beautiful thing when two people find each other and fall in love. I just don't think little girls should be taught that finding a prince equals happiness. I also don't think a little girl should feel she has to wait for a prince to find her, or that she has to be worthy of the prince.
I told my friend that I thought we could write her a better fairy tale. One where she escapes from the tower herself, finds her prince, and then makes him pass a series of tests to prove that he's worthy of her.
So where's that fairy tale? I'm lookin' at you, Disney.