Tale As Old As Time; Are Fairy Tales A Crime?

Empress By Empress, 4th Aug 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

Women once started their lives as little girls. Little girls spent their childhood hearing the romantic love fables of Prince Charming and the damsel in distress. We grow up and we expect to find our own Prince Charming. Our own fairy tale. But has that led us down a road of setting the bar too high for the real men of this world? I question where I fall in the basis of fairy tales.

The Beginning of Thoughts

This week has been my first week fully alone without children. It has been an extremely difficult and silent transition. In fact, there were moments, especially in the dark of the night where the transition seemed to slip into an insanity, madness of the brain. Just as I had predicted weeks ago, I have spent ninety percent of my time locked in my own home. Talking to myself and taking care of the cats. Needless to say though, my home has never been cleaner, at least the upstairs. I haven't touched the basement. My boys turned into a tornado war zone and I'm afraid if I start down there I will get lost amongst their belongings.
Along with cleaning and taking care of the animals, I have found myself doing a great deal of out loud thinking. Sometimes this is a great thing, as it helps me place things in order within my mind. But sometimes, like the last few nights, it sends me down a rollercoaster of emotions. Everything from bitterness, to anger, hatred, loathing, jealousy and all that bad stuff in between. This morning I awoke with many clarifications and realizations about my precarious and lonely situation.

Fairy Tales

I got to thinking this morning of fairy tales. You know which ones I refer to. Cinderella and her Prince Charming, Ariel and Prince Eric, Belle and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty and her Prince, Snow White...there are just so many. All with the base story line of true love conquering all. These are the stories all little girls grow up with. This is what we base our future lives on. Our husbands, boyfriends....they all are left with the battle of living up to the expectations of these perfect gentlemen in the fairy tales us women grew up with. And in retrospect, us women, are left everyday with a sense of loss and heartbreak because we either don't end up with anyone at all, we spend our entire life searching for Prince Charming, or....we find him and realize that he is not really Prince Charming at all, but merely a shadow of the figure we envision in our minds.
Us, as little girls, have been given the opportunity to be let down by these fairy tales. And men, so few of which ever actually know much about these fairy tales (they're too feminine) have no idea that this is what we are looking for.

My Fascination Fairy Tales

I had two favorite fairy tales growing up. Beauty and The Beast, and The Little Mermaid. This is what I fed off of for most of my childhood. Looking back I really had to figure out why these two stuck out in my mind; why did these two fairy tales resonate so strongly with me when I was a childhood that I still carry a fondness for them now?
As a little girl, I never felt I belonged. I felt out of place in this world, in my family...everywhere I went it's like I just didn't fit in. I felt like somewhere out there I was destined to be someone else, something else. I just had to find it. I very often felt like Ursula the sea witch was a portrayal of my own mother (yes, I realize that seems harsh. And yes, I did tell my mother this. She thought it was funny). So this all explains why I had such a fascination for the story of Ariel and how she beat all the odds and ended up with her true love Prince Eric. But why Beauty and The Beast?

Tale As Old As Time

It was just this past week that I started to figure out why I had such a fascination with the story of Belle and her Beast. The true moral within the story is about beauty within. Something I have always preached. I have always hated when people have called me beautiful, or gorgeous, or even good looking. I don't like when people judge me based upon my outside appearance. It's extremely frustrating. I am beautiful on the inside, who cares if there is beauty on the outside?!? If I was ugly, no one would ever bother to try to get to know me, or date me, or even want to try to love me. They would be missing out on the beauty that I have on the inside. But this isn't even the full basis of what I derive from that fairy tale.
It is said that the prince was spoiled and selfish. Didn't ever think of others and the reason he was cursed is because he was so selfish he turned away a beggar with no food or shelter in the storm. My thought is that he became a hideous beast because he was hideous on the inside. Had there been any kindness, decency or beauty on the inside I don't think the curse would have worked. The reason Belle was able to break the curse is not so much that she could love the hideous beast but that her beauty and love was able to change the ugliness he had within him. With this way of thinking, the story becomes quite different in my mind. She didn't learn to love the ugly beast, she learned to love the beauty that was finally coming through.

Where Do I Fit In?

So with all this thinking of fairy tales and my own fascinations, how does this pertain to my life as it is now? I wish I knew. I wish I had that answer because than my nightmare insanity would finally cease to exist and I could move on with my life without feeling like I've missed out on it entirely. Basically at the root of all my thinking, I wonder where I fit in in this vast world of fairy tales. I once knew. When I was with my ex I felt as if I was living Snow White and 7 Dwarves. With my ex included there were 7 boys in all. I had an "evil sister-in-law" that tried on more than one occasion to get me to eat the perverbial apple and if I had, no one would have kissed me to wake me up.
Now, with my ex out of the picture, it's down to me. Just me. My boys two weeks every month. But the rest of the time, it's only me. No family, not much of anyone else anywhere. Is there a fairy tale that pertains to that in some way? I don't really think so. Ariel had her father, sisters, and her friends. Belle had her father. Cinderella had her fairy godmother. Sleeping Beauty had her fairies. Jasmine had her father. Every story, every woman, has someone in their life in some capacity. I, on the other hand, have no one. But.....Belle loses her father near the beginning of the story and is left alone with not much of anything but her beauty and her wits. So I think I'm inclined to follow this story a bit more closely.

Simple Point

My point is simple. Have we, as women, doomed ourselves to a life of lowered expectations because of the basis we have placed on these fairy tales of true love and prince charming's? By being raised to love and cherish these fables as the root of love and romance, have we inevitably raised the bar too high for not only men to reach, but ourselves as well? I, personally, used to dream of that wedding with my own Prince Charming. Of being truly in love and happy and live my Happily Ever After. Now I don't dream of those things anymore. I have felt jilted and slighted by my once love of the fables of true love and romance. Therefore, I have tried going down the road of cynicism and lowered expectations. I've just allowed myself to be used by men in whichever way they felt they needed me and I convinced myself that in this way, I was being helpful and I was being true to myself.
Unfortunately, that has left me feeling even more jilted and slighted. I've felt used and abused and down right miserable. So now, here I sit wondering yet again......is there a fairy tale for me? Is there a hero to rescue me from this rabbit hole of misery I've begun to fall down? I suppose we will just have to wait and see.


Fairytale, Love, Love Story, Prince Charming, Romance

Meet the author

author avatar Empress
I write and have published poetry and was editor of the school newspaper all through highschool. I can write a variety of different genres from articles to novels

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
4th Aug 2013 (#)

this is great and I understand so much of your personal feelings as I felt the same about similar things but now I honour myself for all that I Am and all I have done for they have brought me to where I am today...

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