February 2016 – Invent Your Own Fairy Tale

It has been very interesting to watch how the messages we get from classic fairy tales are changing. I watched the 2015 Cinderella movie because it is up for a Best Costume Oscar. The message was very different from some of the other takes on this story. You might have childhood memories of the story. I thought the message for girls was your prince charming will take you away from the ashes to the glory of the palace. Since my family had little money this was a hopeful message for me. The 2015 version stressed that the prince loved Cinderella as she was, he loved her true self. He met her and loved her before she was transformed by her Fairy Godmother. One of my favorite quotes was what Cinderella heard from her mother  “I have to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer. Have courage and be kind….When there is kindness, there is goodness. When there is goodness, there is magic.”

The movie Ever After presented also had a very different view of the main female character.  Cinderella saves her future husband from from a band of outlaws. She was strong enough to do this due to all her manual labor. When they are married she has provided him with books and informed him of the injustice in the world he could not see from his isolation in the palace. A more recent movie, Frozen got a lot of positive press for the strong female lead. The story is somewhat based on the older Hans Christian Anderson story The Snow Queen.  There a little girl Gerda is the lead and saves her friend.

Interpreting fairy tales with an updated thought process is nothing new.  Florence Scovel Shinn was an artist, speaker and writer born in 1871.  She wrote a chapter on The Inner Meaning of Snow White and the Seven DwIMG_2514arfs.  She was asked to give a Metaphysical interpretation of the tale.  The evil step-mother is our negative thoughts.  The birds and animals Snow While meets in the woods are our hunches or intuitive leads.  The dwarves are protective forces and the Prince is not a person but our Divine Plan. More research is showing our subconscious beliefs about what we can or should do often interfere with our happiness. Letting go of our wicked step-mother, those thoughts and doubts that keep us from realizing our full potential can be the first step to Happily Ever After.