Princess Reality

Bonnie Johnson's PostOnce upon a time there lived a beautiful princess….blah, blah, blah….handsome prince…blah, blah, blah,…rescue…blah, blah, blah…and they lived happily ever after.  That was the gist of most of the fairy tales I knew of when I was a little girl.

It was a lovely thought.  No matter how difficult the beginning, in the end everything worked out beautifully.  Fairy tales are a weird genre anyway when you think about it.  There is always someone quite diabolical or evil in them.  The stories are often put together in one book for children called “Bedtime Stories”.  Scary enough to conjure up some strong nightmares for the poor little ones who have them read aloud to them right before going to sleep.  Whose idea was that?  In fairness I do know that originally these tales were meant for adults as much as they were for children.

I recall putting on the Disney movie “Beauty and The Beast” to watch with our grandson, Tristan, who was only 3 or 4 at the time.  I had to turn it off when the wolves were chasing Belle and her father through the forest.  Tristan was totally freaked out!  It never occurred to me that a Disney movie could be so terrifying.  Don’t even get me started on the Brothers Grimm, who I loved reading, but those were some scary stories!

I’m getting a little off topic here, I meant to talk about the unrealistic “happily ever after” sentiment that these stories left with us as young children.  As little girls we all wanted to be the beautiful princess who was rescued by and then married the strong handsome prince.  I have a very close friend that is still hoping for a handsome prince to ride his stallion into her life, swoop her up into the saddle with him and while she clings to his strong chest they will gallop into the sunset to “live happily ever after”.  Now I’m not saying that won’t ever happen, but I just think that there is a whole lot of messy stuff that accompanies it too.  You know, like their kids from previous marriages, the exes, the money issues, etc, etc.

To illustrate my point, I recently found the following images by Vancouver photographer/artist Dina Goldstein.  I think they are brilliantly done.  These photos come from her “Fallen Princesses” project.  “These works place Fairy Tale characters in modern day scenarios.  In all of the images the Princess is placed in an environment that articulates her conflict. The “…happily ever after” is replaced with a realistic outcome and addresses current issues.” (Quoted from  http://www.dinagoldstein.com/)

sleeping-beauty

Cinderella single

Not so Little Red Riding Hood

Rapunzil loses her hair

Sleeping Beauty

How a Princess gets so prettyBonnie

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5 thoughts on “Princess Reality

  1. Hi my name is Tracy Westerholm and I am a Romantic-Holic….Okay so I peaked at this post a day ago and killed myself laughing !! I am outing myself right now, manning up so to speak ! I live in a fairy tale world with fairy tale characters and my prince IS going to ride up on his “stallion and swoop me away” I hope it’s a Friesian, I can hardly wait ! I think he is searching for me right now with his heart beating faster in anticipation of the day we catch eyes. We will both know instantly that this is it and ride away together. I hope her’s strong enought to lift me up onto his horse. I just have to be back by 4 to cook dinner for my kids and my ex who is still living in my castle with us. But I am sure we can work something out! Timing is everything ! All joking aside, ya right, I do know I will find my 21st century romance that will completely take me back to high school feelings and making out for hours in my car. Okay I do tend to daydream and have fantasies but I love them and they are one of the things that make my world an electric, exciting place to live in. They inspire me to write and smile all day long. Life is amazing even the parts depicted in these photographs. It’s all in your attitude and perception. I absolutely love the pictures you added to this Bonnie they are brilliant. Wish me luck and if nothing else I have you to giggle with for the next 80 years and that’s just perfect !!! Tracy

    • Ha ha! I believe you WILL find him too! I love the way you fantasize and dream about a fairy tale ending. And why not! I’m just protective and never want to see you disappointed or hurt. Dream away because I do believe dreams can come true…just be careful to be specific and not too general cause you might just get what you wish for. <3

  2. It’s funny, when I think back to the days when I paid attention to fairy tales or watched the movies, it wasn’t the happy ending that was my favourite part. The scary bits were what captured my imagination. The ‘happily every after’ endings always seemed to come too soon. I enjoyed the conflict and the problem solving aspects the most! I liked the adrenaline rush that came with a big scare and the satisfaction I felt when the heroine won out in the end.
    It’s the journey that’s important, not just the destination.
    I checked out the Dina Goldstein site and she’s explored some interesting concepts here. Junk Food Red Riding Hood is hilarious!
    Check out “The Paper Bag Princess” by Robert Munsch for a modern take on a fairy tale. My girls loved it.

    • I LOVE Robert Munsch and have so many wonderful memories of reading his stories to my son when he was young. Most were so funny and refreshing but my all time favourite to this day is still “Love You Forever”. I’ve saved that book and still can’t read it without the tears welling up.

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