Fairy tale Endings and a Passel of Princesses

Fairy tales like drama, specifically uncertainty. They fixate on main characters who often are in situations most of us would consider cruel and unusual and then give them over to situations that sound better, but just as unsure. Why are they okay with this and more importantly, why are we?

Last weekend I saw Ralph Breaks the Internet and it was great. My favorite part was (no spoilers) the princesses. They were fierce and capable, and it makes me wonder why they even needed princes. Is that unfair?

I’ll admit that I’ve made cynical comments after reading the “happily ever after”, but honestly, what does that look like for someone who was treated as a scullery or a man who spent who knows how long living in a pond as a frog. What if Prince Charming fell in love with the next girl who had an enchanted wardrobe? Is it really too much of a stretch to assume the selfish princess was still an oath-breaking egoist even though the frog became a prince?

silver colored jewelry with gemstones

Photo by Bryan Schneider on Pexels.com

But I want to be kind. Or at least understanding. Fairy tales were made to teach. What better lesson can anyone learn than always be prepared for the unknown? I think we’re quick to dismiss princesses and fairy tale endings. What if we looked at it in another way. Leaving one bad situation for the possibility of a better one is brave especially if that new situation is the unknown.

2 thoughts on “Fairy tale Endings and a Passel of Princesses

  1. I saw that part in the previews and want to see the movie just for that! I think once Disney got a hold of fairy tales (not faerie tales) that they inexorably changed them forever. Since they started in an even more patriarchal society than we have now, they were shaped by it. I much prefer the idea of a badass princess who frees herself and fights side by side with her prince (or princess!). This sort of why I separate fairy tales from faerie tales. I see the former as more children friendly stories that tell kids to have faith, love and happiness are out there (even if the how and why are problematic to modern understanding). The latter, are the old stories that served as warnings and often scared the living hell out of parents and kids alike. Haha
    Perhaps your struggle is like mine was. You want more from the stories. Like many others, its was drove me to write the stories I wanted. Perhaps you can as well.
    I really think you’ve pinpointed something a lot of people feel about fairy tales, but cant always put succinctly. You certainly did. Tha is for that.

    • You’re right–it’s exactly why I start writing and why I published my book. I think all writers write what they want to see out there and somehow found that lacking. This isn’t to say I haven’t found my share of kick-ass heroines in literature both historic and speculative, but I wasn’t finding anyone like me (not to sound too vain). I wanted a story where a female protagonist stood on her own two feet, had adventures that she chose to go on and was Latina. I wanted to make sure there was something out there for my daughter to read. I’m so happy that Disney has moved in the direction they have (sometimes watching Snow White makes me cringe) and hope it continues. Thanks for the comment!

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