Monday, August 22, 2005

Airy-Fairy Tales

On her excellent blog, Uma has this link on the Arabian Nights stories from a different perspective – a new look at Scheherazade as a resourceful woman who used her wit and knowledge to outwit the oppressor than succumb as a victim. It made me think however of all those fairy tales that I read as a child, taking them at face value, not understanding the many stereotypes they hide.
Infact if you take any story such as Cinderella, (which was a favourite as a child), or others like Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel, it is clear now that they all perpetuate the image of the long-suffering heroine who is released finally only by the arrival of the Prince Charming or a benevolent Fairy Godmother. This archetype persists till today in the form of our numerous Fairness Cream and other beauty products advertising that promise to give you this much-sought-after beauty upon which the Prince Charming will appear mysteriously and carry you away into the sunset The Adbusters site has some interesting ads that spoof the beauty industry campaigns.
That reminds me of a lovely play I acted in during school – A spoof on Cinderella where the heroine is actually a scheming beautiful woman who subverts the myth to use it to her advantage and ultimately control all the other characters in the play. Since none of the others can see through they myth, they fall for the façade of innocent victim and end up becoming victims themselves. Lovely!


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janestarr said...

Yes, the permeation of the princess is everywhere...sadly I think many still think the answer in related to prince charming. I think eventually we all learn a little bit different tale.

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Charukesi said...

somewhat unrelated, but if you like spoofs - have you read the politically correct short stories - another one in that series is once upon a more enlightened time. great stuff!

apu said...

yes jane, and the permeation is so much that sometimes we dont even realise how we fall to it!

No Charu, havent read that one...seems interesting tho - will check if my library has a copy..

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