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Enough of the myth of happily ever after?

I’m beginning to think that the Disney Princesses are wrong for more than just their annoying high pitched voices, impossible physiques and general wetness

Perhaps worse than these is the idea that you meet your prince, ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after

It wasn’t so bad when that was the point at which the credits rolled and the more cynical amongst us could imagine that perhaps Snow White could be found hurling crockery at her prince or that Cinderella had a hissy fit over doing the washing up one more time

Thanks to the toe-curlingly saccharine Princess Magazines we now get a vignette of lives where the prince remains handsome and considerate and happily ever after really appears to BE happily ever after

Not for these princesses the harsh realities of the real world – the grinding monotony of jobs which make you feel utterly miserable but you are told you should feel grateful to have, the disputes over household chores or a prince that has put on rather too much around the midriff and has let his personal hygiene standards slip

Are Disney Princesses to marriage what Friends was to flatshares?

A version of reality that has absolutely no basis in reality and that just sets us ordinary mortals up for failure and disappointment?

I don’t know many people for whom marriage existed in the realm of happily ever after for longer than the honeymoon – heck I even know some for whom it started to tarnish before they got on the plane back home

Marriage is hard work – they say that sticking at it and working will be worth it but there are times when I struggle to see that when stuck on the treadmill of work, more work, commute, chores, family

And are you really ready to get stuck into the realities of trying to make a marriage work if you think that it is going to be all flowers, song and prettiness?

In the same way that we need princesses that look and behave like real girls perhaps we also need to see that they can cope with the laundry and putting a meal on the table that every single member of the family turns their nose up at?

Perhaps unless we start to show that marriage is hard work we are risking raising a generation that lust after the happily ever after without realising it is only a fairy tale

Or perhaps we need to start educating our boys to understand that women do need nurturing, flowers more than once a decade and that romance isn’t something that stops the second you walk down the aisle

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10 comments to Enough of the myth of happily ever after?

  • I think that you might be on to something here. I hope I can educate my boys about what a woman needs and I know that they have a really good male role model in MadDad. We have been married nearly 19 years and yes we have to work at it, but then it is worth it.

  • I don’t seen anything wrong with Disney Princesses. After all whether we are being realistic or not we all secretly wish for our “happily ever after.” No one goes on a date hoping they’ll meet the man they want to work at a marriage with. We want our Prince Charming.
    And from the point of view of children we should let them enjoy their fairy tales. They know they’re not real. Just as they know that there’s not really a creature called the Gruffalo.
    It’s up to us the parents to show our children how to love and respect each other with a marriage or any other relationship. It’s us who will ultimately shape our children into young adults not a book or a film.

    • Hannah Brewer

      Is a good point – I guess I just wish that there was more focus on marriage is hard work and you will have to fight to keep it together rather than the assumption that happily ever after automatically follows on

  • Jen

    I totally agree! It seems that Disney, to some extent, also agree, since the latest batch of princesses (Tiana from the Princess and the Frog, the one from Brave, the one from Tangled, Mulan, for example)are far more kick-ass than their pink and frilly predecessors. The princess magazines tend to gloss over these modern ladies though, which is a real shame as the role models they provide are so much more relevant and realistic – not to mention achievable.

    • Hannah Brewer

      I agree – I loved Merida from Brave because she seemed like a real, achievable role model rather than a pink fluffy fantasy

      I’m all for a bit of make believe but please temper it with some reality from time to time

  • I used to agonise about the whole Disney princess brainwash thing with my daughters – until I realised that watching me cope with divorce and remarriage was quite a useful counterbalance! As long as we all know that fairytales are just that, I think we can keep our daughters’ feet on the ground – and if those of you with sons could spread the message about housework and flowers, we’d all be very grateful 🙂

  • I do try with my sons. In particular, I tell them how women love a man who can cook (and clear up after himself). Did Prince Charming cook?

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