My childhood was centered around one thing. Fairy tales. I remember the late nights where my mother would read simple stories about princesses,evil queens,fairies,and frogs. Even now, that lasting impact has never left me. I’m still obsessed with fairy tales, even more than I was a kid. So of course, when ABC decided to began producing the show, Once Upon a Time, my initial reaction was this:
So, just what makes fairy tales so popular among adults and children alike? Why do these stories still stick around in our modern society and why are they dominant? In the diverse world of fantasies, you find much more than simply “princesses in distress” or “the heartless villain”. Here’s why.
1. Fairy tales are the truth.
While the magical aspect of fantasies do not occur in real life, fairy tales contain the feelings and emotions that all human beings experience. Common ideas and lessons are shared with the reader and the character such as loss, fear of the unknown, and feeling mistreated. We see the problems we face each day being produced in other character’s lives. Through fairy tales, we can relate to our own anxieties,concerns, and insecurities.
2. Fairy tale characters= Ourselves
In fantasies, we see ourselves or others in the characters the stories portray. Wise kings, witty outlaws, kind princesses, loving mothers, and courageous soldiers- all of these are examples of typical human beings and their personalities. We model ourselves after fairy tale characters.
3. Happy Endings
At times, the real world seems unfair. Fairy tales, however, usually deliver justice to the villains of the story and end with a “happily ever after” for the main character. Because people in our society don’t usually meet their deserved ends, its nice that fantasies do their justice. Our unconscious mind has that glimmer of hope that good will overcome evil in the end.
4. Lessons about Love
At the center of fairy tales is the concept of true love. Of course, there are many layers to love. Love isn’t just the romantic feeling between a man and a woman, but could also be a loyal friendship or a strong family connection. Fairy tales portray these connections and bonds between humans in a way like no other. While “true love” may be a myth, fantasies reassure us that love is something that should never be taken for granted.
I think our lives are somewhat like fairy tales. Sure we may not always get the happy ending, but the little miracles in life make up for it. Don’t be the villain. Be the hero.