"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Myth of Happily Ever After

This post was inspired by the first week of Blogher's August NaBloPoMo prompts.

The most dangerous story that we tell our children is the Disney version.

In the original Cinderella, the step-sisters cut off parts of their feet to squeeze into the glass slipper.  As Cinderella and Prince Charming begin their life together, small birds peck out the step-sisters’ eyes.

In the original version of The Little Mermaid, she trades her life, not her voice, for legs and a chance to woo Prince Charming.  Unfortunately, she is unsuccessful and dies, turning to seafoam.

So why do we feel the need to tell the Disney version to our children?  Why do we as a society insist on sugarcoating everything that is presented to our children?  Why can’t we tell them stories that have sad endings more often?  Do we really expect all their lives to end happily ever after?  Can we really promise that?

I’m not saying that we should abolish the happily ever after ending (I understand we all need to escape once in a while) but I know that life is not perfect, and we should not raise our children to expect a perfect life.  If presented with more stories that show how to deal with life’s difficulties, maybe we can raise a generation of children with real coping skills, who understand that life can continue without happily ever after, who understand the myth of happily ever after.

Image sources: listserv.com, princessdeficit.wordpress.com

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