I loved reading books ever since i was a child. My mother would buy me short stories of talking animals, mostly moral stories of how we reap results from our actions.
In the early days of my childhood, i loved these books, but, in a few years, i stopped them altogether. I felt silly reading about talking animals. The haughty disdain that those are for young children and not for me took over.
That is how i slowly channeled my energy towards fairy tales. I loved them and was engrossed by the magical world of beautiful princesses being wronged for no reason, looking out for the prince who is going to rescue her from all perils. I continued to read these, watch cartoons and movies and never did i realise the prejudice that was quietly being injected into these until the day i felt the plates change.
One fine day, i realised that no prince is coming to rescue me. I felt cheated, reduced to something less than a princess.
But with some more of time, I realised that even if one comes, i no longer want to be the damsel in distress. I want to be responsible for the rights and wrongs in my life. I dont want to look up to another to fix my life, it is solely mine. That idea is so much more beautiful, when you can create something on your own rather than wait for someone to crown you queen.
The idea of developing imagination in the young is good, but, it shouldn’t be at the expense of sowing seeds of stereotype. How long will we hide that the world is not just black and white, there are shades of greys in the good and bad. To accept bad things happening to good people, one needn’t create horrible stepmothers. Its not the physical beauty that makes you beautiful, its your kindness and there is not a girl more beautiful than the one who can take care of herself.
I think we should stop feeding such stereotypes into young minds. Reading about how you earn what you sow is so much better than reading beautifully wrapped stories of narcissism. No, the world doesnt revolve around you, my little child and that doesnt make you any less a princess.
My intention was never to dissect a childhood memory, i just wish we could take out such weeds of confusions from the little minds.