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Discrimination in fairytales

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Introduction

To be a blonde beauty in a fairytale is the equivalent of being a modern model with the IQ of a cucumber... What do you think about fairytales? Do you think about a pretty little princess waiting for her prince or a dark sensual world of make-believe that revolves around violence? I seriously doubt it's the latter. This is because fairytales have drastically changed over the centuries. The modern versions we know today were preceded by a much darker kind of story, one that played heavily on the ideas of superstition, the devil and violence. Genders weren't as heavily criticised. Heroines used to save themselves and others too, usually with brains or charm opposed to brawn. But at least they were trying. An example of this could be "Sleeping Beauty", Perrault's version, where the Princess saves herself and her two children from her husband's evil stepmother, by cooking a goat; instead of one of the children as the ogress requested. Her husband then comes in to save her. She played a crucial part in the story: saving her children from the cannibalism of their father's step-mother. Cannibalism is certainly frowned on in society, but is in fact actually a rather common theme in fairytales: Red Riding Hood also originally included cannibalism. ...read more.

Middle

These are animals that are considered to be beautiful. Their fellow animals will provide some company and will somehow help the character to regain what they have lost. This animalistic form gives the character a connection to nature and separates them from society. They become wilder and less sophisticated, embracing a more instinctual kind of beauty. So characters have also gone from blonde to beast, the opposite of the current situation-where blondes prevail far more than beasts. Beastly women, however, are often considered to be connected the Devil, like 'wild woman' who is the devil's offspring. Lots of hair or fur seems to show some relation to evil, perhaps as it isn't very attractive. This can be compared with the Elizabethan saying 'Bush natural more hair than wit' which means that people with lots of hair or fur are supposed to be primitive, inferior, sexual and beastly. These weren't exactly desirable traits either at the time or now. Nowadays there seems to be a teeming population of blondes in fairy stories. An example could be "La Belle aux cheveux d'or" who had hair 'finer than gold' that was 'marvellously wonderfully blonde' and was 'curly and fell to her feet'. This is a rather pleasing image: a beauty with long wondrously blonde hair. ...read more.

Conclusion

Not me! They are simple stories that are debated hotly because of the context of them. Are they too violent? Are they too idealistic? Are they too perfect? Fairytales are all about love and romance. They are about good triumphing over evil in a series of unlikely events. They tell us of deeds of valour and bravery in a time that we can only imagine. They show us how a poor little maid can fall in love and become a princess. The characters may be seriously flawed and have many issues, but they are stories. Wonderful stories. Stories that we read time and time again so that we can dream of being that brave knight or that damsel in distress. I think that my childhood would not have been the same without Chicken Licken or the Princess and the Pea. I think that even though they are unrealistic and give people impossible expectations and dreams, they are a part of our culture. To edit them, as the Grimm brothers did, would destroy a time long-forgotten. I think that they still exist today. The royalty of today is the celebrities-actors and models. We look at them and wish we were like them, just as the people of the Renaissance would have looked at a princess and thought 'I wish I was her...' Dreaming is in our nature and to change that for the sake of a few misconceptions would be unforgivable. ...read more.

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