Is the image of servants, maids and housewives a reality? Does a handsome, rich prince always rescue these helpless women? And most importantly, do they always live happily ever after? The simple answer is no.
Guilty readers, these "Once Upon A Time" fairy tales that have been read as bedtime stories for as long as anyone can remember. They however have a severely negative influence on children. They give them false expectations, stereotypical ideas and the impression that all dreams come true!
Let us examine the so-called heroines of these fairy tales- they are all beautiful! Cinderella, Snow White and Anastasia-are any of these women Black? Chinese? Asian? Ugly? Fat? Disabled? No! What kind of message is this sending to our youth? Is every young girl that reads a fairy tale white, thin and gorgeous? Most definitely not! Girls feel that unless they are blessed with beautiful looks they will not find their "prince charming" and live happily ever after.
Besides being beautiful, look at the roles these women play. Snow White was a housemaid for seven males dwarfs, Cinderella, a servant in her own home and Belle, a helpless prisoner to a powerful male. Some may argue that these characters are good role models for girls because in all tales they play the "important" roles. But really all they are doing is confirming people's warped belief that "it's a man's world". Cinderella for example focuses on archetypes of women- she passively cries out for help, instead of taking action into her own hands. These heroines give the message to young females that the way to accomplish things is not to do it actively, but to wait, with patience and virtue for a princely man to rescue you from your position. Does this mean that if one is...