Happily ever after

I grew up reading fairy tales, watching Disney princesses, playing with Barbie Dolls, all falling for prince charming, or in Barbie’s case, Ken.

Some parents are against children playing with toys like Barbie, which give negative ideas to children, “influencing” them to be shallow, and to think how women are “supposed” to look in order to be considered as “beautiful”. There’s also a teen version doll which is so popular, Bratz, with dolls dressing up like “tramps” (as I quote from among the key words brought up as I was talking about this with friends). Or you know like how in fairy tales, the princesses are always the “victim”, and they wait for their princes to come to their rescue, and expect a “happily ever after, the end.”

My daddy calls me his princess. One of the perks of being the only daughter in the family – you’re the ONLY princess 😀 you’re forever daddy’s lil girl, mom’s best girl friend, and adik’s favourite kakak. Although my lil bro is at an age, where he hates everyone and everything except his “stuff”, sometimes, when he’s in one of his rarely good moods, he comes to me and plays with my hair, rubbing my head vigorously, and walks away. One of his funny ways to express his love for me. Haha.

I don’t know how my parents do it, honestly. They raised me, thinking I was “their” princess, occasionally dolled me up in party princess dresses, allow me to sing and dance, carrying a microphone (or an imaginary one) as I pleased – but even for this, I don’t believe I grew up to be “shallow” or wanting to conform to the society’s definition of “beauty”, or to be spoiled in fact. I do not believe in being helpless, or playing victim, just so I can have some prince charming in his shining armour to come sweep me off my feet. I believe that I should be held liable and responsible for my own self, and expect no one to do anything for me, but to take charge and control of my own being and destiny.

Some of my friends who have recently had babies and little girls, decide to limit what their daughters watch or play with – not wanting their children to believe in fairy tales and end up with broken hearts, or not wanting their children to be spoilt and big-headed, or to think the only way to a boy’s heart is through long tanned legs and blond hair. So, really, where do you put the line? Can’t you have both? The wonderful world of imagination, of fairies and elves, and pirates or the wicked witch? And at the same time, educate the children, that this isn’t, real? That things don’t work this way in the “real world”? But isn’t the “real life” somewhat the same as well, only not as exaggerated?

It’s really up for both parents on how to raise their children. But it really is a tough question, isn’t it? What are the boundaries? Like if the children are allowed to play with dolls, what costumes are considered “decent” and what are not? Then, also, if we “tell” our children that “skimpy wearing dolls”, are no-good, a little like Erin Brokovich-y, wouldn’t that mean teaching the children to be shallow as well, but on the other picture of it – also judging people, by how they dress? And what is wrong? Who decides?

On the other side, there are parents, already planting hair extensions on their children’s head, spraying fake tans on their legs, getting them ready for the children beauty pageant. At what extent, does this stop being cute? Or is it wrong to start with, if the parents want their children to be beautiful as how they define it, but at the same time stresses and instill the other good values and principles in life as well?

Who decides what is right or wrong?

I would like to have a perfect stand on this one, but for some reason, I don’t or, can’t. I guess, I am somewhere in the middle.

When I was a child, I had a favourite Disney princess, Belle from Beauty and the beast. She was beautiful, sweet, loved her father, loved books, and wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself, the people she love and for what she believed in.

In my teenage years, I came to watch an altered version of Cinderella, a movie played by Drew Barrymore called Ever After, which became one of my favourite all time movies. She wasn’t the typical helpless, victimised Cinderella. She was a strong, intelligent and pretty Cinderella.

And it wouldn’t hurt to catch a “prince charming” at the end of it, would it?

And to live happily ever after. The end.

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