"I don't wanna be like Cinderella": Fairytales and Feminism

The Grimm’s Fairytales are a collection of stories aimed at children with the intention of teaching them right from wrong. Disney took its own creative liberties with the stories, turning them into perhaps more-child-suited stories, a lot of which targeted young girls. To this day the cartoons are re-watched, musicals attended with fervor, and now there are increasing numbers of live-action re-makes and spin-offs. As these stories continue to teach children, especially girls, what are the messages being received?
To consider:
1) To what extent are the characters (male and female) developed? How does this change in different versions (from Grimm’s to today)?
2) The appearance of the characters, especially the actresses chosen for the upcoming remakes (race, body physique etc?
3) The impact of these stories on young children (both boys and girls) – are these characters good or bad role models?
4) What do these stories teach us about behavior, social expectations, and even romance?

  • I took a class in studying patterns in fairytales, and in terms of gender relations, heterosexual marriage features many times as an end reward for the (often poor) main character, either male or female, and the love interest is often not mentioned much and a member of royalty. This sort of crosses into class issues, but it is an aspect of the societal expectations and what is seen as desirable (wealth and romance that leads to marriage and likely children). – Emily Deibler 8 years ago
  • Taking a cultural perspective on how the lessons in these stories have changed from the original Grimm's Fairytales to the contemporary re-makes would be especially enlightening, as it would illuminate the prevalent cultural priorities and values of our present day. – HeatherNicole 8 years ago

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