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Happily Ever Afters May Not Be So Happy After All
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'And they lived happily ever after.' This is a sentence that we all have heard countless times throughout our childhood. All fairytales end at this sentence and children grow up in the world of fairytales. It is these fairytales that instill in an individual certain values and morals. All fairytales end at a point where justice prevails and all evil is eradicated. This not only leaves the young ones happy but also ensures that they do all they can to become good individuals in the future. Fairytales actually play a pivotal role in the development of young individuals. They have certain impacts on the minds of young individuals that remain with them till they are grown-ups.
Often, young girls grow up listening to stories about fairies and princesses who wait for their prince to come rescue them from whatever miserable lives they have. The happily ever after thus involves a pretty, young girl being rescued by a strong, handsome prince. This is where, I believe, fairy tales go wrong. You see, fairy tales insist on the fact that girls are weak, fragile and helpless creatures. The prettiest of them are the nicest; those who do not fit the normal standards of beauty are evil. These are the values that we start giving young girls and so, these traits become a deep part of these girls' personalities.
Similarly, boys are given the impression that men are destined to save a weak, fragile woman from a tower and only then can these men gain any respect in society. The similar laws of looking good also apply to men as a prince is always someone handsome, someone who can be distinguished from the ordinary masses simply because of his handsome appearance.
Although nothing may seem wrong with these fairytales, they actually distort the images of perfection in the eyes of young boys and girls. What if a girl does not fit the exact definition of beauty? What if she isn't amazingly thin, what if she doesn't have thick, long hair, darkeyes and a beautiful voice? The image of beauty that these fairytales instill in the minds of young girls tends to stay with them for life. As a result, if they grow up to be like their fairytale princesses, they may turn out to be arrogant and if they don't turn out to look like these princesses, they can be bullied.
In high school, it is often seen that cheerleaders are given a lot more importance than other girls. The most important characteristic for them is the fact that these young women look better than any of the other girls in the school. This system also leads to the bullying of other girls. If one tries to find the root of the problem, there is a very strong possibility that the roots go back to these fairytales which embed certain ideas in young minds which grow with the child and become these individuals' beliefs.
It is sad that fairytales never tell women to get themselves out of their own troubles. Why couldn't Cinderella work part time, earn enough to buy a dress and go to the ball herself? Why was Snow White not wise enough to not take an eatable from a stranger? This would definitely make the fairytale lose its magic, not to mention the revenue that many companies make by selling various products associated to these fairytales and the film companies that film these stories. However, it would change the impact that these stories have on the minds of young children.
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