In this blog, I look at the Role Fairytales have Played in my Life and Who I became because of the Characters I created in my mind based on them.
“you wanted Rapunzel waiting in a tower
braids of hair like ropes
stairs that only you could climb
my hair would never grow long enough
you wanted a lady sleeping in a garden
no rings on her fingers
never been kissed
other princes had made it through my forest
so you tried revisionist tale-telling
and turned them into dwarves –
you wanted happy ever after
I forgot to water the roses round the door
I piled up mattresses to cushion you
but you tossed and turned
bruised by that one small nub
the part of me that is no fairy tale
you brought me a crystal slipper
on a heart-shaped pillow
pretty but slightly passé
my foot was too big to fit into it
you might have been the one true prince
but on mature consideration
I declined with thanks the honour
of cutting off my toe”
From “puce fairy book” by Alice Major
I was recently speaking with another Destonian about marriage and the point many women face of accepting ourselves as dependent upon men and how and why that plays out. So I have been looking at this point sort of ‘out of the corner of my eye’ now for a while and then recently opened a point up in a Mind-Construct I have been working on through walking the Desteni I Process (DIP) Course. Here I saw that I had created a fantasy towards a ‘prince’ that I dreamt would come and save me from myself, my family and my experience of my life-situation, when I was around 11 years old. As I started to open up this ‘prince’ within and as me, I could see how I had been influenced by fairytales that I had heard as a child, but also through watching primarily Disney movies. What I realized is that in the fairytale, the story is always centered around a ‘fragile’, ‘petite’, ‘beautiful’, ‘feminine’ and somewhat ‘weak’ princess who often because of her ‘gullibility’ and ‘good nature’ or simply within being the ‘innocent victim’ of circumstances beyond her control, like an evil stepmother or a troll capturing her is in need of rescuing, finding herself in a position of entrapment, either emotionally or physically or both. She is often placid, complacent and completely unable to direct herself. Her main purpose in life is to be beautiful and good hearted. The other main character in the fairytale is a prince who is the total opposite to the princess, except for the good heart. He is strong, tall, muscular and very independent. He is often free of family ties and is expected to go and conquer other kingdoms or otherwise prove his ‘manhood’ and more often than not he is free to move around and explore the world. Somehow he gets news of the princess ‘situation’ and sets out to rescue her. Either because he already loves her, or as a challenge to prove his manhood or as a quest to get ‘the princess and the half kingdom’ (that’s a common expression in the Danish translations of fairytales). Either way – he saves her, she loves him and they live happily ever after. Examples of such fairytales are Rapunzel, Cinderella and Snow white that I heard as a child. The main objective of these fairytales is for the man and the woman to end up together and ‘live happily ever after’.
But what I realized when I saw the memory of me fantasizing about a ‘boy’ that would come and save me, is that I had deliberately placed myself in a position of weakness and inability to move myself through placing myself in this fantasy character of the princess. And I was deliberately projecting features of ‘strength’, ‘assertiveness’, ‘freedom’, ‘independence’, ‘saving’, ‘hero’ onto a ‘boy’ representing the prince in the fairytale. So without being even remotely aware of it, I had interpreted my entire experience of myself, my life-situation, my family and my hope for the future into such a fairytale scenario. It was not in particular because I believed that real life was like the fairytales. In fact I did not have much of a distinction within me. Stories and reality was melted together and fantasies became my ‘escape’ from what I was experiencing in my life and how I perceived myself as being in an ‘impossible’ situation that I could not get out of without ‘being saved’ by a ‘boy’/man/prince.
Through these fantasies that I build upon fairytales resonantly stored in my memory, I started participating more and more in a male/female relationship in my mind, where I perceived and accepted myself as being inferior to boys/males. And I even wanted that position. I wanted to be fragile and petite and in need of help. Because otherwise I could not place myself into the ‘role’ of the princess and then I would obviously not get the prince. Bear in mind that the prince in Cindarella did deliberately NOT pick the stepsisters who were otherwise totally into him and very vocal about what they wanted. No, he wanted poor little Cinderella, whom he only recognized once she was dolled up in a fancy dress. Another interesting point is that the prince was literally Cinderella’s meal ticket (just like Julia Roberts was ‘Cinde-Fucking-Rella’ in Pretty woman when she finally met Richard Gere who saved her from a miserable life as a prostitute turning tricks on Sunset boulevard to a respectable lady). Cinderella was poor and the prince was rich. That is the basic story. So the undercurrent of my experience as a child was also an understanding of myself as a female being economically dependent upon a man – of which marriage was of particular value, as though marriage ‘seals the deal’ and then the man is ‘caught’ forever – just like the marriage is the culmination of the fairytales where they party for three days and then live happily ever after without ever being heard from again.
So I see how I had installed these fairytales into me, because I heard them over and over as a child, even as a small child eager to learn about the world and its functions. At the age of five, all I drew was princesses over and over and over again. I was, like many young girls, obsessed with princesses. And as mentioned, the attributes of a princess that makes her a desirable ‘role model’ is primarily her looks. That is the most important. Natural beauty, good clothes and then finally ‘a good heart’ which means that she is ‘gentle’, ‘feminine’, ‘kind to animals’ and a generous person. But she is also ‘weak’ and dependent upon a man, and she can expect herself to be caught in a situation of abuse and violence and more often than not be locked up, isolated and cut off from the world.
Have we not heard this story before? Ah yes, the millions of women and girls trafficked in the sex trade industry every year, the wives of abusive husbands, the girls abused by their parents, children being married off to old men in faraway countries. It has all happened before and will happen again.
And thousands of women around the world have as their highest desire to be beautiful, so much so that they will abuse their physical bodies to the utmost extend to get that ‘princess look’ of fragility. (It’s not called size zero for nothing). And they will lay themselves readily before the men who asks them to, because they are the princess and he is the prince, no matter the situation or circumstances. How the hell is it that the stories we tell our children, over and over and over again, are perpetuating such fantasies and screwed up ideas about life? How the hell is it that for most human beings ‘building a family’ is the single most accomplishment of their lives that they strive towards incessantly from when they are young children?
And how have I bought into with all my mind, body and self? Because it was the information that was available to me at the time of the development of myself as characters. The fairytales literally served like an instruction manual and script for ‘who’ I was ‘supposed to be’ – even though it was entirely impossible and unrealistic to ever become the princess.
Because who wants to hear a story about a single mother working three jobs day in and day out to feed her children? Who wants to hear a story about a father that is laid off at work and gets depressed and sad and starts drinking because he can’t fulfill his role as ‘the prince’? Who wants to hear the story about the girl who got obese and was teased in school and lived the rest of her life alone with ten cats? Who wants to hear the story about the couple who fought their entire marriage and literally hated each other, until they simply grew cold and bitter and died? NO ONE. The fairytales serves the purpose of keeping us motivated to run the hamster wheel.
Could it be that these fairytales are deliberately indoctrinating us into specific roles and characters of position? Could it be that we, through these characters are merely re-creating the same story over and over? Could it be that that which we learn as children and that we are shown and taught is valuable, the words we hear and the images we see, is directly programmed into us, shaping all of us as ‘who’ we become as adults? Could it be that the purpose is not for us to in fact live happily ever after, but so that we are ‘ever so gently’ guided into the hamster wheel of consumption and an endless search for ‘the ONE’ and ‘True Happiness’? It is The Ever After that never comes.
(To be continued…)
“I forgive myself that I haven’t accepted and allowed myself to see/realise/understand how – with me developing my sex/sexuality characters from childhood, throughout my life into adulthood – through and as the pictures, images, advertisements, pornography, film and conversations; that I manifested into and as my mind-physical relationship as memories that stored/accumulated and manifested into and as my Unconscious, Subconscious and Conscious Mind; where every moment I created me in relationship to a picture, image, porn video/magazine, movie, conversation in desiring to experience/become what is portrayed within such external views of sex/sexuality: I immediately created/manifested a character within myself in my relationship to sex/sexuality – where I essentially said: “I want to be/experience that person in the image / picture / porn video/magazine / film”. And so immediately manifested me as the ‘star’/ ‘main character’ of that image/picture/porn video/magazine/film; and would – dependent on the alignment of that image/picture/porn video/magazine/film to reality: either live it out in my Mind in Fantasies only and/or actually attempt/try to materialize/manifest it in actual physical reality. And so, throughout life – we accumulate memories/manifestations of images/pictures/porn videos/magazines/films; which we manifest within ourselves, create a relationship to, making us the primary character/star within our own Minds and then attempt/try to satisfy/fulfil that character in our Minds / Physical-Reality.” – Sunette Spies
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