Fairytales, many written by The Brothers Grimm Jacob and Wilhelm, has been told to children the world over for hundreds of years, in the 1800’s they were used to teach children the roles boys and girls should play, as well as what it means to be good or evil. Fantastical stories told by the Brothers Grimm of princesses, princes, Kings, Queens, and valiant knights, retold and molded into the medium of the time. But what does it do to your child’s psyche? Can fairytales do more harm than good? What underlying message is your child receiving from such fantastical stories?
Originally fairytales have been dark in nature, from the Little Mermaid turning into sea foam after she couldn’t win the heart of Prince Eric; to Cinderella’s evil step sisters mutilating their own feet to win the heart of the prince, only to get their eyes plucked out by doves at Cinderella’s wedding. They’re somewhat infamous for their sexually explicit and violent subject matter. Some people have never heard these original tales due to extensive censorship, making them more enjoyable for children.
Fairytales are important historically because they provide children with information about a certain period (Baker- Sperry). What they don’t do is provide positive images about groups who are not white, middle class or hetero-sexual. On the surface, fairytales are fun and amazing stories. But underneath it gives little girls and boys false ideas on love, gender roles, and the concept of good and evil. Which in turn lead to problems later on; extremely high expectations, depression, body image issues and an unrealistic view on life.
Love is one of the major misconceptions in life due to fairytales. In the fairytale there is a love at first sight situation with t...
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...ey also boasts self serving and biased perspectives outside of the stories.
The use of scare tactics in fairytales also renders them undesirable as good reading material. One of the main arguments is that they teach children morals. Sadly, fairytales are not seen as tales of morality, but as cautionary tales. They usually aim to deter children from being too curious about the world around them, deviating from any behavioral norms. And by using intimidation, cautionary tales persuade children to obey laws set down by parental authority; celebrating docility and a conformist’s nature, while discouraging curiosity and willfulness (Maria Tartar). Other stories like Little Red Riding Hood scare children into behaving. Little Red wouldn’t have been eaten had she obeyed her mother and not gone in the woods. Getting eaten alive was her punishment for disobeying her mother.
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