Archive | August, 2012

“Fallen Princesses” or Fallen hope???

5 Aug

Sunday, August 05, 2012 as I was scanning through the Life section of Times of India, I noticed an interesting article about: ‘Not a happily-ever -after story’, an interview with Diana Goldstien- a photographer who has given us a twisted visual of our ever loved fairy tales. And it made me wonder has it already come to that?

Diana has given us a lovely yet gruesome illustration of the fairy tales that we have grown up with. She calls it the realistic version or may I say that it is not a happily ever after ending after all.. She has taken the wonderful and much idolized Princesses from the wonderful books of our childhood and narrated what happens to those very princesses once we close the book at “and they lived happily ever after”. What caught my attention is when she said, ” But at the same time, it’s my job to teach them that they can’t get everything they wish for, and that not everything turns out as they had hoped. It doesn’t have to be a negative message just a realistic one.” Do I really want to take that away from my children? Do I want them to grow up being realistic – not believing in magical love stories like Cinderella or value friends of all kinds like Snow White and seven dwarfs or be kind natured and simple as the Red Riding Hood or wait for your true love like Rapunzel? The question is do I want to take that one hope – that world is a beautiful place to live in, away from them?

The above image illustrates Rupanzel has cancer, undergoes chemotherapy and loses her lovely locks.

Really do I want to get this real with my children who feel that this princesses who waited for her true love to come to rescue her all along to see her happy ending – end this way? Why can’t she go through life with her loved one and have a healthy normal life? The very fact that she had lovely long healthy hair shows that she has the ability to look after herself and live a wonderful life – why is she dying of cancer? And almost ironically, she is trapped back just this time in a hospital, waiting not for her Prince but death instead – how cruel..

This one is my favorite – Snow White’s marriage is a nightmare as she manages four kids without help, and her Prince Charming turns out to be an out-of-work sloth.

If Diana was a married Indian women she would have definitely throwing in the living with the in-laws angel to make it more dramatic. But that’s a whole other topic I will blog about someday soon. Now tell me do you want your little girls grow up believing that their Prince Charming are all useless, good-for-nothing man who just sits around the house, throwing his weight and being of absolute no help to his wife or kids? Such men exists, indeed, but I want my daughter to be able to distingush between a man who would be a sloth and one who would be a wonderful husband. Men these days not just bread winners of the family but also contribute equally at housework to ensure that each have their own recreational time and I know men who actually take care of the children all alone while the ladies go out pamper themselves. I want my daughter to believe that a guy like this is out there somewhere and that she shouuld not settle for less and I would definately want my son to realize that is want to be that man and not the one portrayed above.

Last but not the least – our beloved -Cinderella: cinderella getting drunk in a bar

I absolutely grew up with the hope that one day the love of my life will sweep me off my feet and just like Cinderella will take me away from all my worries and look after me.. What does an image of this very Princess who I idolized, sitting in a bar all alone tell me? Has her true love left her, or did he not turn out the way she expected him to be, or did she catch him have an aff’air with someone? Would I idolize a character like that? Do I want my daughter to grow up thinking – ‘what’s the point of loving anyway if this is how it ends each time?’

Fairy Tales are woven in the words of hope, miracles, magic and the fact that anything is possible. Yes, the world is hard – each one of these so called Princesses had their share of hardships – remember Cinderella how she endured the ill treatment of her step sisters and step mother? How Rapunzel was kept captured in a tower with absolutely no contact to the outside world? How Snow White took care of seven little creatures and waited long enough to meet her love? But I did not see them lose hope, instead I saw them have their dreams come true.

When my mother read me the fairytales she told me to believe – to dream – that anything was possible-you only got to want it so much and fix your heart upon it, eventually it will happen – you will meet your happily ever after at the end. And I grew up believing that, and I am going to make my children grow up believing the same. There is enough reality in the world to keep us awake for the night, we need more fairy tales to makes us fall asleep….