Most of us will agree that at one point or another in our childhood, distant or not so distant, we sat and listened to a fairy tale or two. From ‘airy fairy’ ones like Snow White and to the more Afrocentric ones featuring the cunning hare and his dumb friends like the baboon and maybe not so dumb but slow turtle.
While pondering upon the plots to some of these fairy tales I realized that some of them if not many, have quite graphic details that any film and publications board would be very quick to put an age restriction stamp to. Though the motive behind these tales is to encourage a child’s development and experience of the world we live in, I shudder to think that a story about some poor wolf stomaching a WHOLE grandma and a woodcutter dissecting him right in front of a little girl will do much to help develop a well rounded being. Poor Little Red Riding Hood! Imagine having to witness an overly constipated wolf being dismembered and then having to comfort a distraught slimy grandma who has just been extracted from the stomach of the wild creature?
Another funny thing that came to mind is, we often deter children from watching horror movies with zombies and werewolves yet in fairytales, corpses were displayed in glass coffins and some gallivanting princes exhumed their bodies because of LOVE. Nowadays it is abuse for a child to lift a finger, yet a girl cooked, washed and cleaned for seven dwarfs without ever complaining.
Although I am no advocate for bad commercials, it interesting to note that some adverts are banned for being anti-family while books for children are published containing the notion that step mothers and step siblings are evil. Criminal activity can be legal too. As long as you steal from the rich and give to the poor, bless that man Robin. And let us not forget what might be fueling the emigration debacle, mean ducks bullying a duckling into leaving his home in pursuit of happiness. On one hand we teach children to stand up for themselves and appreciate their inner beauty, yet “Ducky” seems to turn out a mighty fine looking swan running away from home to live with a strange woman who owns a mean cat among many other strange sorts.
Talk about sending mixed signals!