A lot has been said and written about the drawbacks to revisiting the same stories over and over again. As a person who has written novels based on nursery rhymes and fairy tales, I prefer to look at story re-imaginings as a way to write myself and people like me into stories we’ve told for centuries. And I’m clearly not alone. Fairy tale retellings are very popular and for the very reason I described. The proof is Hallmark holiday movies.
I participated in a one-woman letter-writing campaign a few years ago. Every year I would compliment their programming and then ask them to consider making the characters more representative of the viewing audience. And over the years slowly (very slowly) but surely Hallmark has included people of color, movies about Hanukkah and this year, same-sex couples. A special thrill was seeing Julie Gonzalo, a not infrequent actress in Hallmark movies actually getting to play a Latina and her love interest was Black! I will admit that not all of them are great and some are downright bland, but it’s sort of the point. Sleepy little rom-coms that normalize everyone’s stories are just as important as mixed race and same-sex couples proliferating commercials.
Seeing yourself in a story gives it special significance and should never be discounted.
What stories do you want to see retold?