Why are all the princesses in fairy tales so dependent on the men? Isn’t it time to change the narrative and have empowered princesses?
There’s a reason I do not like fairy tales is because women are portrayed as delicate individuals needed to be rescued. It’s like even before the story starts, women’s power as a fierce entity capable of taking on the world is dimmed. More so, it gives out the wrong ideas to the impressionable minds of young girls.
But everywhere you see – movies, animation, children products, the female is depicted as a princess and the male a warrior. Have you ever seen a product line catering to young children where the woman is portrayed as a warrior?
This is the society we live in and many women grow up with weird expectations from men and notions about themselves. That is ,unless of course life shows them the correct way to be.
Here is the lesson from a friend who was raised with lots of love and fairy tales, taught to expect only love and then set out into the world.
My friend has always been unassuming and innocent. Although she has stayed on her own, had a career, she always had the heart of a child. She freely gave away her money, because she came from a place where money was never an issue. Gradually she ended up in a situation where she had zero savings.
Then she got married and things could not have been better. Like every marriage, the bliss in her marriage was also interrupted by occasional arguments, and after every argument, she felt vulnerable. Vulnerable because she knew, she could not escape into a life of her own with her own money and space, because she had given up all to raise a family.
There was nothing wrong in this decision, but what next? Very often, her mind was plagued by thoughts of being abandoned, the what ifs and she lost her peace of mind. So one fine day, armed with a nanny, her husband’s support, she rejoined the work force and started having her own financial independence.
Happily ever after is possible only if both the princess and the warrior of real life are independent and emotionally healthy. It is a work in progress.
How many of you have kept up with your friends? And how many of you go out to pamper yourself? How many of you still do things that make you come alive while juggling work, household chores and children?
Find time for yourself. If you can sacrifice your sleep to complete a file, cook, or doing your child’s homework, you can definitely put an equal amount of effort on your happiness.
Unlike fairy tales, happiness is not served on a plate by someone else. It is more likely, something that is ‘Created by ones own actions’ as the Dalai lama says. My friend learnt the wisdom of these words after years of facing the consequences of putting herself last.
I once read about a woman who bought a bright red dress to wear on a special occasion. She was so busy living for her responsibilities, the special occasion never came and the dress remained brand new. The irony is she did not. Do not wait for an occasion. Celebrate and uphold yourself every moment.
Women who run households, run corporates or juggle both might feel they are indispensable. The truth is no one needs anyone. Even if you are involved the things that needs to be run, run by themselves.
This is how things are. Do not wait till retirement or till you find an empty nest to realise this. However, there is one person who will always need you. You yourself. So invest in yourself, nothing else really matters.
Have you noticed how in most homes in India the woman who cooks, cleans, washes and spends hours in the kitchen is always the last to eat? Mostly, managing with most of the food gone? Society celebrates such women.
But the truth is, that woman is also human and like all others she naturally wants to have her cake and eat it too. There comes a point in time in their lives when her grown children or family do not even ask ‘have you eaten?’
They do not ask because she has set an example of always putting herself last. This applies not only to home makers but also the corporate woman, who for various reasons puts herself last.
No one will appreciate your efforts, because people have a habit of taking valuable things and people for granted. It’s wise that you put your self first and see the same reflected back to you.
My friend and many women have learnt these lessons the hard way. But your daughter need not follow the same route. While reading out fairy tales to your children also include a realistic story of strong women saving the world.
You will help create a society of strong women who have realistic expectations from fellow human beings and confidence in themselves. Most importantly like my friend, she will not wait for someone else to make her happy, but be emotionally empowered.
Picture credits: YouTube
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A Social Media Content Writer by profession. A writer by heart. A genuine foodie. Simple
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