Tuesday, November 15, 2016

What are children learning from fairy-tales?

We have been using fairy tales like Snow White and Cinderella, to encourage healthy reading habits among children. These stories are effective as a means to ignite imagination and build language skills. But when children read them, their impact on them is not merely restricted to the expansion of vocabulary.

For a moment, let's think about what these stories ingrain in young impressionable minds. Typically, a woman is turned into a beautiful or ugly being by a 'good' angel or an 'evil' witch as the case might be. The implication of being ugly is that the woman has bad luck, while that of being beautiful is that a charming prince will enter her life and she will be happy ever after. Beauty is only in reference to physical beauty in such stories.

What impact are such fairy tales having on children? Are they not reinforcing regressive ideas of outer beauty? Does this not negatively affect those young children who are perceived to be lacking in certain physical features that society considers 'beautiful'? Perhaps this also forces children who read these stories, especially girls, to pursue a false ideal of beauty at all costs, even if it requires the use of fairness creams!

We are so disconnected by what ails our education system, that we do not realise how little children are indoctrinated with the idea that physical beauty translates into better fortunes.

As children grow up, they are exposed to market forces that further exploit these vulnerabilities, whether it is in the form of advertising that glorifies fair skin or otherwise.


  1. Good point sir
    U r doing really great
    Keep it up sir

  2. This is from the colonial mindset where european standards were deemed to be superior. sad to see this persists even in this day and age, even among educated and relatively progressive circles. while it is true that looks like brains are an asset, one must be taught to look beyond and rely on one's strengths, after all personality is not only about looks but character and confidence too