Fairer Tales: Princesses Doing it for Themselves by Emma Dodd

Award-winning author Emma Dodd re imagines the tales of three beloved fairy tale heroines

There isn’t a child who has not read or heard the popular fairy tales like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel… the list goes on. But what comes across surprising is that none of the girls are shown to have strong characters or a will to deliver themselves from their misery. They are the eternal damsels in distress who wait in earnest for a prince to rescue them.

This gender stereotype exists even today and has been passed on generations. Yes, they are a fascinating read , but the generation today should not be blinded in to following the same. Fiction even today rarely has female leads who lives an inspiring life on her own and does not wait to be found by a prince. Books even today propagate a life for women where their ultimate desire is to found by the man of their dreams and whisked into the clouds to their dream abode.

Author Emma Dodd has rewritten three popular fairy tales: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel. The characters are not seen as waiting for the prince to rescue them, rather they  take charge of their own lives and establish businesses for themselves and live as independent women not dependent on a man.

It has been observed that from early childhood, gender stereotyping through popular culture and the stories we tell our children plays a key role in shaping their attitudes . Kids are easily influenced by the stories they hear and read. A look at the fairy tales section for girls undoubtedly delivers the message that girls should be demure, coy and helpless, and wait for a prince or savior to rescue them from their misery. The girls themselves are shown to lack spirit and courage. There are fewer books where female characters are shown strong and capable of leading independent lives, let alone financially secure. Author Emma Dodd rewrote fairy tales with the idea of educating girls to be financially educated and better at handling money. A research conducted highlighted the fact that boys were good at handling money whereas girls failed at doing so.

But on a deeper level the book connects reader to the idea beyond finance. It actually inverts the idea of damsel in distress and shows girls take the reins of their lives in their own hands. These princesses do not sit down their lives waiting, rather they become their own savior, take situation in hand and assess the waters to decide the course of action.

“Ensuring that both boys and girls can see empowered female characters is important in building confidence and understanding of what girls can achieve independently.”(Quote from an online article)

The book can be downloaded as a free e-Book or audio book from https://www.hsbc.co.uk/savings/financial-education

Published by avid reader

Words do not describe a person. I am many things and yet nothing. I am an avid reader, reading her way through the pages of life. Some stories warm the heart and yet others have let me dry. I am a result of my life, and yet my life is part a result of me. Don't try to figure me.

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