Completing the Equation
For decades, society has introduced fairytales to children at a young age. As the children grow older, they are exposed to more stories, such as television shows. As each child grows mentally and emotionally, they are exposed to the idea that happiness can only be found in love. This love is usually found between two beautiful people, such as in ABC’s The Bachelor and Charles Perrault’s timeless fairytale “Cinderella”. Each of these exerts shed light on society’s view of happiness and the idea that we, as members of society, are expected to agree and achieve this type throughout our lifetime. What we are not told as children, however, is that there is more to life than love.
For as long as most people can remember, they have been told fairy tales and stories. At a young age, children are read “Cinderella”. By looking back at the story, one can recall that Cinderella was a beautiful, yet ordinary to poorly dressed young woman who found her husband only after magic gave her the most beautiful gown and led her to a ball to meet her prince. In the text of a rewrite of “Cinderella” states, “This godmother of hers [Cinderella], who was a fairy, said to her ‘Thou wishest thou couldst go to the ball; is it not so?’ ‘Yes,’ cried Cinderella, with a great sigh” (Charles Perrault). This quote shows one how upset Cinderella was at this instant. She wept because she was not as beautiful as her step sisters and could not attend the King’s son’s ball. But recall how Cinderella’s attitude changes shortly after. The godmother flicks her wand and Cinderella appears wearing the most beautiful gown and awaiting to board a wonderful carriage that will carry her to the ball. Later, Cinderella attends the ball and has the best night she could have possibly imagined; she escaped her hard life of chores and cheap clothing (Perrault).
What message does this send to little girls who hear this story? At the ball, a dolled up Cinderella danced the night away with the handsome prince and it made her night truly magical. Without a man, would the night have been as great? “Cinderella”, along with many other short fairy tales, gives society the impression that happiness can only be found in marriage between two beautiful people of the opposite sex. Since these ideas are presented to people at such a young age, these ideas are embedded in young minds and are somewhat difficult to modify.
ABC’s The Bachelor also gives society a similar definition of happiness. In the first episode of The Bachelor, season eighteen, twenty-seven women are introduced to one man whom they all believe they will love. As the night goes on, personal interviews reveal that these women all felt that their life was missing something without a man. In the first episode, each of the women were dressed in their finest gowns with perfect hairstyles, and were given only a few seconds to give a lasting impression to the bachelor, Juan Pablo. In this example, a direct correlation...