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Gender Stereotypes in Fairy Tales

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Fairy Tales have been around for generations and generations. Our parents have told us these stories and we will eventually pass them down to ours. In this time of age the most common fairytales are Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and The Beast and many more. Children idolize their favorite character and pretend to be them by mimicking everything they do in the stories. The character’s behavior is what is viewed as appropriate in society. These fairy tales show a girl and a boy fall in love and live “happily ever after”. The tales in many people’s eyes resemble a dream life that they would want to have of their own. However, have you ever really looked at what makes up a fairy tale? Many things are unrealistic but the most unflattering aspect of these tales is how women are depicted in them. Fairy tales give an unrealistic view to how women should look and behave in real life.

Women in these fairy tales are young and beautiful. In all reality not every girl in this world is truly considered beautiful by our society’s terms. In today’s society the term beautiful is often used to describe a women who is a size 0, tall, flawless skin, and dressed nicely. Haven’t you ever seen princesses that are in all these fairy tales, our society’s description of beautiful describes every single one of these princesses?

Being beautiful for a woman is the most looked at characteristic that each of these princesses have. Attractiveness is the most important attribute that women can posses, and is often an indicator of chances of future happiness (Neikirk). This is how these princesses get by in all of these stories. But what is that telling every young girl who watches or listens to these fairytales. Are we telling these youn...

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...amily she finds the true meaning of being brave and saves her family (“Brave”). I like this kind of movie instead of a man being the brave and independent one now the woman is. These are the kind of fairy tales that need to be told so that women do not feel the need to be weak and dependent on other people. If fairy tales slowly become more realistic then I think they are a good thing but teaching women to not be strong or if their not a size 0 and gorgeous, well that in my eyes is not okay.

Works Cited

"Brave." Disney Movies. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.

"Disney Princesses: Classic Fairy Tales Or Gender Stereotypes?" Hartford Courant, 27 Aug. 2012. Web. 09 Dec. 2013.

Maggiore, Brittany N. "Female Discrimination in Fairy Tales." Web. 9 Dec. 2013.

Neikirk, Alice. ""...Happily Ever After" (or What Fairytales Teach Girls About Being Women)." Web. 8 Dec. 2013.