One of my favorite things in the whole world is a good fairy tale. Seriously. If you want to win me over, tell me a fairy tale. Sweep me away with an adventure full of dragons and magic and sword fights and castles. I fall in love with a good fractured fairy tale every single time. Now, I know this might be disappointing to some of my more "purist" fairy tale fans, but really many of my favorite fairy tale takes are the Disney versions. They're so full of magic, music, and romance. And their protagonists are kind, compassionate, and courageous (among a whole bunch of other really great qualities).
So, when the idea of writing a series of my own versions of fairy tales first came to mind, it was definitely influenced by the Disney perspective. Here's the twist, though, and really my only big critique of Disney fairy tales: yes, the heroines of these stories are kind and brave and creative... but looming over all of that as the most obvious trait is the fact that they are wonderfully, unrealistically, perfectly attractive. These princesses have the perfect glossy hair, flawless complexion, and bright smiles. Even Anna, as she wakes up with her mess of bedhead, is perfectly disheveled, still portrayed just right to be relatable... yet still unattainable.
Because I appreciate authenticity, let's break down my perspective. I have glasses, for starters, which ticks off one box of something I've never seen in a Disney princess. Like most normal people, I don't have a consistently flawless complexion. My body shape is closer to a rectangle than the slim-but-curvy (how does that even work?) ideal. Thankfully, I've had people close to me, like my parents, who have always reinforced that my worth and value isn't dependent on what I look like. But what about the young people who don't have that? What about those who can't hear that narrative over everything else that tells them otherwise?
That's where I'm coming from as I embark on the adventure of writing my own versions of fairy tales. I want to challenge this focus on being physically attractive, while also emphasizing all those wonderful personality traits even further. Really, this whole thing started with a simple question (which maybe I should have mentioned before the very end of my blog post): What if Cinderella wasn't pretty? More to come on that soon...
11/11/2020 11:39:16 am
I can't wait to read these!! You are beautiful...inside and out!
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