During a Lifetime show several years ago, the then-editor of Jane magazine shared her childhood memories of a fairy tale.
“When I read the ending, where she ended up with the prince, I thought, ‘That’s it? After all of that, she only gets a man?’”
Indeed. Even the movie “Pretty Woman,” while weakly attempting to inject a couple of woman-standing-up-herself points, offered a prostitute-saved-by-rich-man plot line.
A multitude of articles and books have been written about the somewhat unrealistic expectations girls learn from “Disney-fied” fairy tales, so I won’t belabor that point here. Neither will I rant about the other unrealistic examples set for young minds.
Instead, I want to introduce you to a new book of fairy tales. For my recent podcast, I interviewed Linda Champion about her book, “Fairy Tales for Life,” in which her stories do not all end with sweetness and light, because life doesn’t always work out that way. Magic, dragons, and fairies definitely abound, but morals and values make appearances as well, such as the lesson a prince learns when he spends too much time slaying dragons.
I also want to take this opportunity to emphasize the importance of parents reading to their children, and discussing the stories. Explaining that each person has his or her own story, and we have the ability to create our own magic. At each day’s end, there is a “to be continued …”