My Knight’s Shining Armour is Tin Foil

Samridhi Sharma - 3B Chemical
Posted on: February 6, 2019

As a child, I was completely in love with this fairy tale called Rapunzel. You’ve heard about it. The one the movie Tangled is based on? I loved it so much, and I think it wasn’t because I loved the story as much as I loved the feel of the thick pages against my fingers. But I still loved the story and here is a rundown:

Rapunzel is trapped in a tall tower and needs to escape. A knight sees this and asks her to lower her long locks that reach the bottom of the tower. (I know, right?) The knight uses her hair like a rope, climbs to the top of the tower, and ends up rescuing her. There, all caught up.

The more I think about this, the more it baffles me. Was it just the idea of being rescued that made me love this story so much? Was it the extremely weird and unattainable standard of beauty? You know, the long, blonde locks.

As a young girl with a very malleable mind, my fairy tales did not reflect who I was supposed to be as an adult. I think this is a gap that society is slowly bridging. We are moving away from the classic renditions of old German tales with slightly more palatable endings. Don’t get me wrong, I still think Sleeping Beauty is twisted. However, everyone dying is not a better ending in any way.

We need to find a balance between everyone dying in gruesome ways, and everyone living happily ever after post the wedding of the prince with the princess. New fairy tale renditions like Tangled and Frozen are doing just that.

We need to realize that we are raising children to be world leaders, CEOs, doctors, engineers, scientists, and whatnot, and what they are taught as children really affects who they become as adults. Teach your girls that they do not need a kiss on the lips to wake up from a coma. Well, not literally that, but teach them that they can rescue themselves, and even slay dragons, if needed. Draw morals from books like Nancy Drew, where girls will see a smarter representation of themselves rather than a prettier one. Teach your boys to vocalize their feelings. Teach them that the pen is mightier than the sword and that wits can overcome any challenges. Make your own fairy tales, and I urge you to use the existing ones with caution.

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