I have always been fascinated with fairy tales, and the idea that Prince Charming is just one castle away.
The idea that you just need to run across a field to his encounter and have an amazing, perfect movie kiss.
The idea that after that kiss it is gonna be happily ever after.
Unfortunately reality is a little bit more complicated. Unless if you’re called Sleeping Beauty, you don’t just wake up with your Prince Charming waiting for you. You gotta work hard for your treat, bathe in sweat chasing him!
However, it’s one thing to discover that the frog you kissed is in reality a prince, and it’s another to find out that the prince you like is a pig! What a disappointment!
I’ve been contemplating that subject after reading an old version of Sleeping Beauty. I’m obviously not talking about Disney sanitized version but the disturbing version of French collector of folklore, Charles Perrault. “La Belle au Bois Dormant” (1697). I used to have Perrault’s contes when I was a kid. Although I think some of his stories are not appropriate for children. (But this is another debate). Luckily for the little girl that I was, I found the pictures illustrating La Belle au bois dormant so boring that I couldn’t bother reading it… until the other day.
The beloved fairy tale story of this young woman who goes into a comatose state after getting a splinter in her finger and then being revived by a handsome prince are the basic elements we all know.
The story changes and gets out of any kind of taste when- instead of kissing Sleeping Beauty- the prince cowardly rapes her and finally abandons her… asleep. When a few years later the prince eventually returns, he discovers the woman has awoken from her sleep and has two kids, his kids: Aurora and Jour. She was sleeping the whole time and would have never awoken if it weren’t for the excruciating labor. The most disturbing thing in this story is that she still agrees to marry him and follow that pig in his castle as if nothing had happened.
Umm well I guess it’s a matter of mentality and the era we live in. I’m glad today this nasty prince would be condemned for assaulting her. But back then; did women really have other choice than getting married? Besides, a prince was a prince: handsome, rich and brave- and turning him down would have been a blasphemy.
Even if I still like how the Grimms brothers’ revised story reaches its denouement when the prince awakens the Sleeping Beauty with a lovely kiss. (Shortly afterwards, they marry and “live happily ever after.”) I also think that it’s important to mention that this nasty prince is no hero!
And if anything at all, we, women should keep the original version in mind to prevent us from chasing pigs and help us catch the Frog!