There are two new TV shows that recently premiered, Grimm and Once Upon A Time. Both of these draw inspiration from Grimm’s fairy tales and present two very unique perspectives on the ‘storybook’ front. Grimm is about a detective who recognizes all of the paranormal villains who live around us in our world today while Once Upon A Time focuses on a town where all the residents are fairy tale characters who have forgotten their past. Both shows are a stretch (and since I like them probably will not survive) but they provide a bit of entertainment on slow TV nights.
Thinking about these two shows led me to question the stories presented to us as children and I started to make some observations that I felt were appropriate to share with you. I would be interested in hearing others’ perspective on this, so if you are reading and wish to comment, please do.
Hansel and Gretel: Why would those two kids want to live with their parents anyway? The moment there wasn’t enough food to eat, their mother decided she would send them out into the forest with bread and water so they could ‘make their way’. A great deal is made about this witch who tried to cook them and eat them, but really who is the villain here: the evil witch or the evil mother who convinced the spineless father to help get rid of his children? My vote goes to the parents who should have been convicted of child endangerment. Meanwhile, while going into the foster system might not always be the best solution, at least Hansel and Gretel would have been fed and they might have been placed with people who might have been kind to them.
The Frog Prince: No woman I know would ever kiss a frog. This story makes no sense and is not believable.
Rapunzel: Every woman I know who has long hair wants short hair. If they have straight hair they want curls. Nowhere in the story does it refer to shampoo or conditioner or any deep conditioning treatments. I live with a woman who has shoulder length hair and she has a closet for all of her hair products. This story is also not believable.
Cinderella: This poor woman based her entire relationship on one shoe. Are we truly to believe there was no one else in the kingdom whose foot would have been the same size? And, had the prince met an ugly creature with pretty feet would he have confused her for Cinderella? What kind of moron would not recognize the beautiful girl he danced with a few nights ago? But I don’t leave Cinderella off the hook either for she was responsible for her own issues as well. From the minute her father died and the stepmother made her wait on her and her two visage challenged daughters, Cinderella should have put her plan into action. She could have spit in their food, put bedbugs in their beds, taken in their clothes so they wouldn’t fit, etc. There could have been a host of retaliation actions ‘Cindy’ could have taken. Finally, if I had a Fairy Godmother, I would ask her to send me to Florence or Paris or a plethora of other places where I could get my dance on – I would have made FG’s wand take me somewhere other than to the big Palace in town. And second finally, what’s with the mice as pets? Most women do not like mice – doesn’t make sense. And third finally, no self-respecting person would ever ride a pumpkin anywhere.
Snow White: I don’t know what part of town Snow was from, but (again!) no self-respecting young lady would move into a house with seven men – seven little men. I am not making this about me and my aversion to little people, but could the seven dwarves be trusted around Snow White who looked like a young Elizabeth Taylor? Something tells me she was safer with the Queen. And if she was going to ruin her reputation by moving in with seven strange men, why didn’t she just take up with the Hunter who was sent into the forest to kill her. Society might have found this more acceptable and she might have been able to gain her reputation back instead of the Grimm brothers writing about her adventures with the seven little men all these years. Snow also wasn’t a religious person because she missed the whole temptation with the apple symbolic message that was put before her when the Evil Queen fed her a poisoned apple. Various translations of the tale explain how she woke up to ‘true love’s kiss’ and then upchucked the apple (how romantic for the Prince to be burped on after a kiss) and others say how one of the dwarfs tripped and the dropping of the casket prompted Snow to spit out the apple – wouldn’t Snow have been covered in blood since the casket was made entirely of glass? How appealing for the prince – a burp or Sissy Spacek in the final scene of Stephen King’s Carrie, either way Snow would always be considered a loose woman.
I could go on because there are hundreds of stories, but applying today’s sensibilities to yesterday’s fables will have to wait for this post is done. And as they say, may we all go on to live happily ever after (and if not forever, then at least may it be happily).
Happy Friday everyone!