The Real Truth Behind Fairy Tale Relationships

fairy tale relationships

So many girls are raised thinking that the world is perfect and they will grow up to be a princess. I know that when I have my daughter, I’ll probably tell her stories of Persia, Ancient Egypt and Sparta. I don’t really want my daughter to grow up to be a Princess; I want her to grow up to be a Spartan woman. I don’t want to be the father who tells his daughter all of these tales of happy endings, and she gets older only to find out they were all lies. Most of those stories from our youth were great, I think there was some truth to them, but I don’t think it was explained all that well.

“I can remember stories, those things my mother said
She told me fairy tales, before I went to bed
She spoke of happy endings, then tucked me in real tight
She turned my night light on, and kissed my face good night
My mind would fill with visions, of perfect paradise
She told me everything, she said he’d be so nice
He’d ride up on his horse and, take me away one night
I’d be so happy with him, we’d ride clean out of sight
She never said that we would, curse, cry and scream and lie
She never said that maybe, someday he’d say goodbye”
(Anita Baker – Fairy Tales)

I always loved that song as a child.  Now, take for example, Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas, and Nala. I’m going to break this down in a way that will relate this to the real world in the most realest way ever.

Cinderella – She lived in a city with mad people. She basically got treated like crap from her family because she was pretty. But Cinderella was one chick in that whole city. That’s the only woman in the city who ended up getting a Prince. Remember the scene at the ball?  How many of those women showed up looking for a Prince and the shoe didn’t fit? Think about that in today’s terms: So many women want a Barack, but there’s only one Michelle out of all those women in the world. That was the same for Cinderella’s story, you can’t possibly think that everyone can find a Prince.

Belle – Many of you know how I feel about “faith-based” relationships. Faith is the belief in things not seen. She had to learn to love a Beast in order to get her Prince. But think about how many women will turn to Gaston because he looks good on paper and miss out on their Prince. Your mother told you that you were a Princess, but she also told you not to bring home any ugly babies. The Beast never had a chance.

Ariel – Ariel had to learn to shut the heck up to get a man.

Jasmine – She was looking for love, and her dad was trying to get $30,000 by getting her casted on Teen Mom. She ended up dating a homeless guy who was convinced he was a Prince. Turns out he was a nice guy, but she had to learn to trust a man with her heart and that’s hard work.

Mulan – She had to pretend to be a man to get a man.

Pocahontas – She had to fight a war and teach white folks (who would later end up killing off all her peoples) to survive.

Nala – Spartan. That’s all you can say, she had to go get her man who had forgotten who he was and ran away from his home. Then she managed to get pregnant on the first night! That’s Spartan.

But you’ve got to ask yourself, are most of the women we know as strong willed as these fairy tale women were? And while we’re thinking about all of this, let’s think about the men.

Cinderella’s Prince – He had to try and slide a glass slipper on a bunch of ratchets and boppers just to find his Princess.

Ariel’s Prince – He had to kill a super-saiyan sea monster to get his Princess.

Aladdin – He had to go into the desert, get a genie, a magic carpet, a parrot and kill a wizard to get with Princess Jasmine.

Simba – He had to go back to the place where his pops was murdered and fight his Uncle, which required him to not only beat a bunch of hyenas, but then he got fire thrown in his eyes.

Ask yourself another question, do you really think the men of today are trying to do all that for their Princess?

The reality of life is that while your mother told you that you’d grow up to be a Princess, they never told you that Princes sow their royal oats before settling down. You’ll have to wait for him to finish sowing and decide he wants to be a Prince, ask Kate Middleton. Your mother told you that you could one day be the Princess, but she never told you that the Prince would have options. Your mother told you that a man was going to sweep you off your feet, but she never told you that most men don’t chase women anymore. You’re going to have to figure out how to make him sit still. In real life we can count all the happy endings we know on our hands.

Maybe your mother should have told you this when you went to bed at night:

When you get older you’re going to find a man to marry and you’ll get to pick out the best wedding dress in the world. People will come from far to see it. You’ll have to take your dress though. It will be free, you know we love free. It will be beautiful and it will make you look like a Princess. In fact, it will be televised for everyone to see. The whole world will be watching.

But baby? There is only one Vera Wang dress and there’s a nasty b*tch that wants it more than you do. So if you truly want that fairy tale wedding, and you want the best wedding dress in the world, you are going to need to kill that b*tch and take what’s yours. Now get some rest we got work to do in the morning. There’s only room enough for one Princess.

- Dr. J

 

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  • KitKatCuty84

    I definitely won't shy away from teaching my hypothetical daughter about fairy tales, if only to learn about good story telling. That was my first intro to story telling, and I think it's valuable. My daughter (AND SON, for that matter), will know about ALL kinds of stories, from fairy tales, to fables, to legends, to myths, to tall tales and everything in between.

    Now, I will ALSO give my daughter OTHER books, that talk about self worth and that are stories of reality. She'll have both.

    I don't think a kid can be raised completely on reality. We all need a little fantasy and as long as there's perspective, it's completely healthy. No, I didn't believe in Santa Claus, but I DID believe that I'd find a prince. And no, NOW I don't think I'll find a prince (despite the many emails in my spam folder), but I do think I'll meet a great man that I could possibly marry and begin a family with. A little fantasy + reality = healthy.

  • Lyric

    Ooooh!I say all the time I would be so much better off if I was never told tht fairy tales were true & so would a lot of women who r still waiting for a knight in shining armour who’s never gonna come.& plus on top of tht my dad is pretty close to a prince (well a poor mans prince) & my mom has no understanding of wht the rest of us go through like one of my aunties had a philandering cheating a** husband & my mom says well she was such an angry woman tht’s why he cheated.of course she was angry!anyway I used to think all men were like my dad but I’ve refined my reality a little bit & right now I just hope the dude I’m with is mostly done (he used to be a player & has a long track record & itches still be hitting him up all the time) & as long as he comes home.I’m pregnant with my first baby right now & I’m crossing my fingers hope to die it’s a girl (I want to buy all pink everything) & if so I’m gonna make sure she’s prepared for the modern way;I’d rather she was a beast than have a princess complex for sure

    • Lyric

      39 weeks with a boy now ^^^ :) his nursery theme is white lace & black ribbons;I had to compromise on the pink but I need the lace!damn man house god but I’m trying to convince one of my sisters to adopt a girl from china so hopefully tht works out;all boys in the fam so far this generation.I love boys but who runs the world?girls

  • Darrk Gable

    I must be a bad dad. I have two daughters, but as they get older I’ll tell them they’re princesses, and treat them as such. I’ll even explain the fairy tales. However, as their dad, it’s my job to prepare them for real life. They’ll be special to their fam, but outside of us, until a man is gung ho about them, they’ll be another chick in the dating pool. I figure it’s better to tell them the truth than set them up for hurt later. And yes, my oldest also knows ain’t no fat white guy coming down the chimney.

    • AverageBlkGuy

      Word!!! This is exactly how I'm planning to educate my daughter about real life when she gets to that point. Thank god I have at least a decade to go on that

  • http://twitter.com/AlissaInPink @AlissaInPink

    There isn't anything noble about low expectations in life or in love. I'll teach my daughters to expect the best because it's those people who expect the best that so often get it.

    • miamixtapes

      I agree , and I love your articles on NM !

    • Trish

      RIGHT !! Seriously guys, stop blaming us bc u dont want to work for a good girl or perhaps u were turned down by many "princesses"…i plan to teach my girls about high expectation and workin hard for wht u believe and want…u dont see guys compromising on a girls beauty and i know, i have 4 brothers and guy friends…so

  • AfterMath

    In the words of Nas, "Life's a *****".

    I was having a conversation with a friend about my reading habits and why I prefer fictional stuff about faraway places with happy endings as opposed to stuff that discusses the intersections of racism, sexism, classism, and a bunch of other -isms that exist in our world. My response was simple. Because I deal with that ish every freakin day. When I read, I want to get away from that stuff and just think that maybe there's a reason to be optimistic.

    So I don't really have a problem with the fairy tale stories we tell our young ladies. Its similar to telling our sons the stories of Barry Sanders (anybody catch "A Football Life", dude is my hero!!!) and Michael Jordan and a bunch of other heroes who made it without focusing on the work ethic and pure random acts of chance that come into being in such a position. When they get older they can start looking for deeper elements to these stories, graduate to ones where they learn about the complications of relationships and careers and society, get into some complex stories where there are no good guys or bad guys, are forced to wonder whether they should cheer for R. Kelly, Michael Jackson and Chris Brown.

    But as a kid, I want them to be able to get away and not thinking that what they have to look forward to is the stress that I deal with no a daily basis. That's just the inspiration for the Toys R Us song, "I don't wanna grow up".
    My recent post Learn About “the Other” Algebra

  • MaggK

    Lollll that was funny, "The Beast never had a chance." LOLLL i can't with u Doc!! I LOVE that Anita Baker's song too!!!

    But well, I probably would have hated my parents if they had told me the fairy tales stories the way you did it Doc… Kids don't need to know all that… Kids need to believe in love… because really our world will be very horrible if even kids loose faith in love!!!
    I think what is wrong is to think that those fairytales stories don't happen a lot… You can only count all the happy endings you know on your hands?! Damn people are sad around you!!!

    What i found interesting though is that you noticed things that those princesses and princes did to get their men and women… And that's exactly it… We don't do such things… women don't love beast, women talk to much, women don't date homeless dudes…. Men barely fight for women… We don't act like princesses or princes… Why do we expect to live a fairy tale then?!

    • SMilez_920

      "And that's exactly it… We don't do such things… women don't love beast, women talk to much, women don't date homeless dudes…. Men barely fight for women… We don't act like princesses or princes… Why do we expect to live a fairy tale then?! " ——-> +1 Men ask for queens but don't act like kings…. women ask for gentlemen but don't act like ladies

  • 12 Point Buck

    I know this is about fairy tale *relationships*. But I think seeing those fairy tales from the perspective of a young boy has a different effect on dudes– like I never truly bought into the "love" narrative. Whenever the prince would "win" the princess, it was like "but of course. he's the man. he won the game. he gets the womens".

    Lemme re-break it down:

    Cinderella's Prince- so rich and powerful he throws a party just so he can find the baddest chick in the land. Rejects all but one. And when she ran off, he got his servant to go find her. Notice he only showed up at the end to verify the shoe-match.

    Prince Erik- He wasn't desperate for love since he's a prince. He really just wanted a chick who could sing. He didnt ram a sunken ship into Ursula's cervix because of his love for Ariel; he did it for the challenge. Look at the expression on his face during that scene. He's enjoyin that isht.

    Aladdin- He almost smashed Jasmine as a "street urchin" in the first 10 minutes. It was his destiny to become the Prince of Thieves, and the whole chain of events that gave him Robin Williams in a bottle and a flying carpet possessed by a dog didn't have anything to do with love; that was his life path. He fulfilled his destiny first, then figured he'd go after the baddest chick he'd seen thus far, which just happened to be the princess.

    Simba- his whole motivation during the entire first half of the movie was to be a total badazz like Darth Vader. And the 2nd half was to take revenge on his uncle and become the king of the pride. He didn't do any of that to win the affections of Nala. In fact I dont think he even fell in love; he fell in lust after being stuck with a pig and a rat for 5 years.

    These fairy tales imply that if you are an assertive and capable man who fights for what he wants, doesn't let people walk over you, and are physically and mentally strong, the world belongs to you. You can become wealthy, powerful, and even schmang princesses. And from that "big man" standpoint, the typical fairy tale mirrors real life.

    It must suck for the girls tho, because a lot of fairy tales really do give the unrealistic impression that they should "wait for prince charming to come". Or that guys will go through hell for the girl, and it all leads up to love and happily ever afters. All lies.

    Some of the new fairy tales are more empowering to girls tho. That Brave movie was tight.

    • Hairbear_FLL

      BWHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Loving your breakdown!

      And in reality, fairytales do come true. For men, agreed, you have to be wealthy, powerful, full of confidence, assertive, and handsome. So in essence, those men do get to pick the cream of the crop.

      Now for women, it's basically saying the most beautiful women will get choose. Period. (See Amber Rose, Kim Kardashian, Matt Damon's wife, Tiger's ex-wife, etc). Doesn't matter your circumstances, as long as you res pretty your "Prince Charming" will choose you. Which is true in a sense too. Now 'pretty' is debatable, but typically involves your appearance. Which is why women stay getting their hair done, feet did, make-up, nice(provocative) clothes, and play up their assets (whatever it may be), to catch the eye of potential "Princes". Bottom Line: Most want to get choose, just like in the fairytale.

  • amicus82

    Dang J! I don't think you have to crush all her dreams before she even gets started, lol. You can just tell her how a good man is supposed to treat her and then encourage her to wait for that man. It's really as simple as that. It's very hard to wait, but it's been done before and the alternative (hooking up with the wrong guy) is much worse.

    All this you wrote makes me sad :(
    My recent post The Split: Surviving The Love Hate Relationship

  • Robdraper

    I really like the theme of this one Dr. J. I think we live in society that pushes us to be grounded more in fantasy than reality. When we do engage in the fairy tales we focus more on the happy ending than the moral of the story. All of those characters listed above had to face challenges in order to get to the happy ending. The so-called perfect couples have to endure difficulties in order to find each other. Earlier this year two of my closest friends got married. If we focus on solely on their recent marriage we forget all challenges they had to face inside and outside the dating world just meet each other.

    • AfterMath

      I don't know exactly how people define fairy tales, but I thought about this in context with some of the books I've enjoyed reading and why I've enjoyed reading them. I don't think I'm that special of a guy. I mean, I'm a smart dude – at least that's what I've been told. I had a somewhat troubled youth – many people can say this. I was able to stop doing a lot of those bad things before they got out of control – nothing too special here. And now I'm happy with the direction my life has taken.

      That's a pretty simple overlay for my life, but if I were to exclude myself and say put in my best friend, or some guys from my college or some guys from my job, or people I talk to at the sports bar, they could say that it was also the story of their life. Same goes for the people I read about. One of the few nonfiction books I enjoyed reading was "The Pursuit of Happyness" and DUDE WENT THROUGH SOME STUFF as a kid, but his life follows this basic plot. And while these fairy tale plots are so simple that they depend on some magic being the reason that people's fortune suddenly changes, that doesn't take away from the fact that they basically follow this simple formula.

      Even in the relationship scene, my married and committed friends have the same basic plot for their romance lives. Only one of these relationships can be forever (unless you doing that polygamy thing) so up until that one its gonna be a lot of swings and misses. Then something happens, you meet her and she meets you and tada there's your fairy tale ending. Doesn't mean there are no challenges left, just that unlike the complexities before the turnaround, this one is going to get worked out with a lot less stress.
      My recent post Covariance of Vectors

  • Smilez_920

    Lol love the break down. But it sounds less like you want women to be realistic , but you want them to lower the standards and fight off other women for ” their man” which in real life doesn’t work.

    I saw all of these fairy takes as a child. But I also had real life ish around me that got me out a fairy tale mode. Now that I’m older I have combined the two.

    While I let my daughter she has to do we part to prepare for a prince and find him. I will let her know ( like these stories ) when a man wants you he wants you and nothing will hold him back, Not Ursalla , not a mob a towns ppl, not a hating behind step mother, not an army , not Jafar , nothing.

    I don’t think the foundation of the fairy tale is the issue. Because any man will teach there daughter to be with a man that will fight for you. I just think it doesn’t tell the part about how you have to put in some work ( not chase ) to get your prince.

    PS. Beast wasn’t ugly lol he was more if a fixer upper. A hair cut, shower , and new outfit had him looking like gold to Belle.

  • Smilez_920

    Fairy tales need to show and teach women about the frogs they’ll run into before they get to their prince.

    That’s some real life stuff they need to know. How to avoid frogs to find your prince.

  • http://whatyouallow.com/ Wildflower

    Love is a battlefield and this is sometimes expected. But I want to skip all that and luck up.
    My recent post So I Tell You Leave When I Mean Stay

  • Mr. SD

    Damn! Now that Anita baker song gonna be in my head all day…thats my jammie jam!

  • Bree

    Oh yeah Fairy Tales was my jam too back in the day. :)

  • bellatrice1

    While fairy tales do, at times, over-romanticize life, these things do occur. Men have begged, borrowed, killed and stolen all to gain the affections of a woman. Look at history. Therefore, I don't think it is completely unrealistic to believe in fairy tale romances. They may not occur exactly like Disney films, but they do occur. I'm keeping hope alive!
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  • http://twitter.com/DoctaPOPS @DoctaPOPS

    For the record as soon as I started reading this I thought of that Anita Baker joint. One of my favorite joints from her. And to be honest, it's one of the most honest songs I've heard a woman sing. They don't have any disclaimers in fairytales, none whatsoever.

  • http://twitter.com/MademoiseleOgus @MademoiseleOgus

    No mention of Tiana or Merida (Princess and the Frog, Brave)? Just curious…

  • http://www.trutheye.wordpress.com bee serendipity

    I feel like I read this post before, somewhere.

    That said, I think finding your prince is actually about knowing you are a princess. As a parent, your job is to make sure that knowledge is instilled. If a girl can grow into an adult retaining that knowledge, then indeed one day her prince will be hers. It’s all about attraction.

    One of the major reasons fairy tales seldom happen in our time is that ladies are trying too hard.

    It’s not a woman’s job to a man, it’s a man’s job to find his woman. And if u are that woman, he will find you.

    • cynicaloptmst81

      You did…here, lol. I'm almost positive its a repost. :-)

  • http://supertravesti.org travesti

    really good :)

  • appreciativelurker
    • appreciativelurker

      whoops- lurkerpostfail- the link is titled "If Disney films had honest titles"

  • O_o

    Ummm. I’ve definitely read this somewhere else.

  • davidspence1

    http://davidspencesite.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/m

    Check this out if you dont believe in fairytales