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Today, Cinderella will not deck up to impress a prince and neither will Rapunzel wait for one. It’s time we changed our fairytales, isn’t it?
Dear grandma, I need a new set of fairytales, yours don’t work for our girls anymore. Anachronistic. We need a new set. Kindly update, Grandma!
I can’t tell your tales to the next generation lest they get the same values as me. And I seriously want to steer them clear off that perilous zone. I’d better write my own set of updated fairy tales.
No, Cinderella of today will not deck up to go to a ball to charm some prince. Given a fairy Godmother to grant her wishes, she better head to the town and pursue a career. Why should she wear those uncomfortable glass slippers when she can go out and paint the town in those comfy pair of sneakers?
Now don’t even get me started on the flaws in the story of Rapunzel! Pssst, first things first, get me the name of her shampoo and conditioner! Now to the flaws. Why on earth did she wait for a prince to rescue her? She could have easily made her way down the tower with the help of her hair!
Then there is Jasmine who, despite being a prince, couldn’t arrange a world tour for herself. She had to wait for Aladdin on magic carpet to take her around the city. I mean, hello! You can hire a chauffeur driven carriage to do the same.
All your damsels are in distress, waiting for a knight in shining amour. And the ones who are not, are evil witches, inflicting pain on them. What about sisterhood? And what about women supporting women? Nope, no stories on that.
And no, my dear Grandma, all stepmoms are not evil like your stories portray. This has created a lot of mess across centuries. It helped people form opinions about women and that’s never a good thing. It made women judge themselves and that’s even worse.
When a woman starts speaking out and living life on her terms, or in other words, behaves opposite to fairytale princesses, she is labelled as evil. So, you see, it has stunted their growth, their progress. Society has started judging women based this fairytale yardstick and somewhere I have your tales to blame.
I’ll need a new set of tales now. Tales which speak of women living unapologetically, inspirational tales of strong women and numerous anecdotes of them winning in life.
So that, when I tell my little girl about woman who flew helicopters like Gunjan Saxena or wrestled like Geeta Phogat, she will want to be one of them. And when the society hears these real life tales of sheroes, they will not be flabbergasted when these girls of tomorrow will set out to achieve more.
I need a new set of fairytales, grandma.
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Mardaani 2
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