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Gender Stereotypes In Fairy Tales Essay

1644 words - 7 pages

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 young girls that if they are not 5’8 that they are not good enough or if they are a size five do they need to stop eating to get to that size 0 if their hair is short and not long and does not flow in the wind is that not acceptable? These stories, for example, The Little Mermaid, Arial wants to drastically change her body to be with a man she does not even know or has ever talked to yet she is in love with him. That story gives the wrong impression to young girls and gives them the idea that if they do not look like these princesses or look a certain way that they are not accepted in today’s society. Another example of this is the Victoria Secret Fashion show for two hours women who are size 0 with so much make up on who have spray tans and wear next to nothing and our society thinks it is acceptable and appropriate. Young girls watch the fashion show idolizing these “perfect women” just by the way they look but it is not their fault it is how we as a society have taught them to be like to be accepted. In addition to having to look like a model what comes next in these fairy tales? Of course it’s their knight in shining armor.
In every one of these fairy tales, a man which most of the time does not come in until the very...

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