Throughout most childhood nights, one would be put to sleep by being read bedtime stories. Fairy tales take a tremendous part in those stories especially for young girls such as being taught that true love is real, the good outweighs the evil, and the world is pure. The lessons we learned as children last a lifetime.
In the popular story “Cinderella,” it teaches that true love does win and the good wins over the evil. To add on, a prince charming will always be there to save the damsel in distress. A negative impact slowly deteriorates the minds of young children and enables them for adulthood. Fairy tales give girls a false hope of adulthood which is potentially damaging to their future relationships.
One and of the most important stories parents rely on to read their child is “Cinderella.” The story of Cinderella is about a princess waiting to be saved by a prince. The moral of the story is to “have courage and be kind”, that statement as a whole is a very good and important lesson to teach children in preparation for adulthood. On the other hand, the way to author portrays the courage and tenderness is not what children should be fantasizing about. Explaining the story of “Cinderella”, “This places a large amount of unnecessary stress onto both sexes and in particular women as they believe that they should take up the western traditional role of being a woman,” explains Dr Victoria Showunmi, who lectures in gender studies at UCL. When picturing the traditional role of being a women it is finding your true love and true love will be superior to all. Young girls believe that once you find your true love, so you think, you will live happily ever after but there is so many more factors that is attached.
In the article, “What do Fairy Tales Teach our Children?”, written by Maria Khwaja, a young girl writes a poem and she says, “Leave me alone in my fairy tale bubble / away from your harsh words.” Children are expecting a safe haven from all their problems because that is what Cinderella had with her prince charming that came and saved her. Growing up, everyone will go through hard times and one will have to be strong to overcome it, not hide away from it. The story portrays Cinderella as weak.
“be silent in the face of injustice; wait for a man to save you” (Khwaja, Maria. April 17, 2015). To sit and wait for a man to come to the rescue is the same as waiting for a shooting star. It happens, but not when one is expecting it. Children should be raised to go out and be independent with no man and learn on their own. Fairy Tales, in regards to “Cinderella”, also create a false sense of reality and false expectations. Fairy Tales somewhat set up a disappoint for the future generation with how they perceive what life is. In Fairy tales everything works out perfectly without a problem, teach a physical appearance is key to finding a man and you need to be beautiful, cook, and clean.
However, nowadays things have changed tremendously and both gender roles need to be doing the dirty work women once were expected to do and grow up doing. In the story “Cinderella”, it shows the false hope of life and what one expects it to be like, “they are extremely shallow and they deliver the message of how only good looking people can find love and happiness while unattractive people are evil and deserve miserable lives,” Do?a U writes in his article, “Negative Influences of Fairy Tales.” Cinderella gets her name because she cleans all day and lays by the fire and sometimes sleep in the ciders where she gets the name Cinderella. In the book, “The Classic Fairy Tales”, written by the Grimm Brothers, the King holds a festival for this son, the Prince to choose from all the women to find his Princess. Cinderella stepsisters prepared for the festival and laughed at Cinderella when she started to get ready for it because she was dirty from cleaning all day and night. Cinderella’s family attended the festival without her and Cinderella decides to go on her own. Her family turned her away because they did not believe that Cinderella was pretty enough to partake in the festival and would be a disgrace to the family. Physical appearance is a huge plot in the story saying that you must be beautiful to be with the king and live happily ever after.
Fairy Tales often leave out important messages that your children should be introduced to at a young age, like diversity, racial, and physical stand points. More importantly, the stories only focus on the men saving the women and living happily ever after but in reality it is so much more than that. In the article, “Five Reasons to Stop Reading Your Children Fairy Tales Now,” written by Olivia Petter, explains how easy it is to overlook the general idea of a fairy tale. However, it is also easy to overlook the little things that is going in your children’s memory.
Petter explains that, “For a child encountering these stories for the first time, such restrictive aesthetic standards can be hugely detrimental, portraying the idea that beauty and happiness is synonymous with thinness.” Princesses such as Cinderella, Belle, and Ariel create an unrealistic women with little to no diversity. A thin waist, thing thick hair, and a one of a kind face is what it takes to be an up and coming princess. Lastly, stories such as Cinderella has showed there is always a villain trying to harm one’s success and they need that one good thing to overcome that and save them from all of the hurdles.
In the article, “Influence of Fairy Tales on Children,” written by Elizabeth Danish, she explains that not all Fairy Tales are bad, but parents need to start looking at the bigger picture. Potentially, in older stories, they show young girls that they have to wait around for their prince charming to save the However, in today’s time, women and men both of the same heroic conquest of succeeding in life and making it happen yourself and not to wait around for it. The information the children acquire is up to them, but all stories can have a different impact with how you perceive it. “For the woman’s part of the story, the heroine stays trapped often in a tower guarded by a villain or a dragon. This dragon is often believed to represent the woman’s father who keeps her trapped and prevents her from setting out on her own journey. The girl is then forced to wait for her savior – prince charming or a knight in shining armor to come and fight the dragon and then free her so that she can get married in a huge castle and live happily ever after,” Danish wrote in her article. In Cinderella she is stopped b y her evil stepmother and two sisters and it is her role to retaliate against them and find her own happiness. That itself is a good lesson but what not is not a good lesson is what Cinderella is retaliating with.
She is trying to be the prettiest and get the prince charming to save her from her duties at home and from her family. A women should always rely on herself only to succeed and not believe the outdated views about women needing to be saved. Nowadays women are viewed to be through the same heroic conquest as men are.
More research should be done to help learn how to effectively treat the negative effects to the false hope of adulthood which is potentially damaging to their future relationships on today’s generation. Throughout the story of “Cinderella”, it portrays that girls will have an evil person or thing will always be there to stop what one dreams to achieve and a prince will be there to save the day. Another attribute to the negative points of “Cinderella” is that a girl must be the definition of perfection to even have the slightest chance in succeeding. A women must have all of the perfect features to be a princess and be saved.
There is absolutely no diversity amongst these stories or different figures. In the final analysis, “Cinderella” is an outdated fairy tale that is giving children false hope and expectations to what true love is and how the real world will be one day. The story is getting young girls up to believe that everything is perfect and rainbows when you find the “perfect” guy. Today fairy tales should be told in only truthfulness and how the world is in today’s time.
Such as, women and men are not expected to go through the same heroic conquest to achieve the ultimate goal, to be happy.