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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Reality or Fantasy?

Today a coworker and I hit Best Buy at lunch. I wanted to pick up the remastered version of "Cinderella" for Madison. It's what we do, right? Buy Disney movies and enjoy them with our children. Then I thought about it. Hollywood (Disney included) feeds us so much crap about romance, love and relationships - I realize this is the movies and fantasy, I'm perfectly capable of discerning fantasy from reality. But - these are the paradigms we are fed from a VERY early age. Let's take Cinderella, for example. This poor girl is completely ostracized, abused and taken advantage of by her family. She is saved by the handsome prince and lives happily ever after. That never happens! Just one example of a countless number. I spent most of my dating life expecting to see some kind of neon sign above "the one". I'd just know, and he'd just know and there we'd go, riding off into the sunset. WHAT?! It doesn't happen that way? I was so bummed when reality finally set in, way too late if you ask me.

So here's my point. Am I knowingly feeding her a bunch of crap? I think it would be cruel to deny her experiences like "Cinderella". I remember reading a story where parents were saying Harry Potter was the work of the devil and a bad influence. That's just crazy. So I take the stance that I'm going to give her reality from the beginning? Do I dash any of that "happily ever after" or does she need to figure it out on her own, even if she gets her heart broken somewhere along the way?

13 comments:

An80sNut said...

Actually, I'd like to second your opinion there on the male side. I think that most of my life, I've always tried to be the shining knight which has led me to some women that were really down on themselves. But, instead of seeing that person as a knight, they see it as step out of where they were and begin looking for that knight. So, being fed fantasy as a child hurts both men and women in different ways and I think the Cinderellas and Snow Whites need to be tempered with a few Lifetime Original Movies.

Fred said...

No, you're not knowingly feeding her a bunch of crap. You're being a good mother who wants her child to enjoy fantasies.

The trick is to keep her grounded as she grows up so she can clearly separate fantasy from reality.

Enjoy the movie together.

Vavoom said...

What Fred said.

Layla said...

I agree with both these comments.

It is true that media messes with our reality sometimes, but that's what parents are for - to teach our kids with what is true and what is BS.

Bar Bar A said...

just added you to my links, hope that's ok

LoraLoo said...

Martin: I agree, it does hurt both men and women in different ways.

Fred, Vavoom and Layla: Thanks for the valued input!

Well Woman (Layla - you are the same person, right?): You bet it's okay. I added a link to yours too. I've bookmarked your music sites, I'm looking forward to checking them out!

RT said...

Layla and Well Woman are the same person? That would mean she has, like, 4 blogs. Dang! And I can barely keep up with one!

Oh I like this one, Loraloo. For as much complaining as I do about the media, I never really took a close look at Disney movies.

You make a good point. I wonder how much that would screw up a kid. Maybe it would be better not to let them watch any TV? I mean, with all cool stuff in this big ol' world, TV and movies seem kind of lame when you think about it...

Jas... said...

Absolutely agree with you! I say kids should be given the old Grimm's Brothers fairy tales instead, where the witch dies in the oven and bad things actually happen! That's more like it, not this Disney "happily ever after, the princess always falls in love" junk!

Teri said...

I think we need a good ole dose of fantasy to help get through reality. I think that is why I love Disney so much. I have so many good memories of watching happily ever after movies with my family.

LoraLoo said...

rt: I'm new to your blog, but I'm noticing your dislike for the media. :) I really don't think much TV is good for kids. They need to play and be creative on their own... so monitoring what they watch is probably just the best idea.

Jas: A little witch-dying-in-the-oven never hurt anyone!

Teri: In the same tone, a little fantasy never hurt anyone either. Just as long as she doesn't get to be a teenager thinking "happily-ever-after" is reality.

Ken said...

You aren't wrong to expose Madison to these sorts of things. It's OK to provide a little fantasy because it's OK to believe in a "happily ever after." However, as she gets older, as long as you start providing her with reality I think that will be fine.

This being said, I'm not sure there is any age where it is OK to expose a person to a Lifetime Original Movie. Just my thought...

New White Keds said...

I think that reality will be there to welcome Madison with open arms no matter what you do. Giving her some fantasy, delight and frivolity is a wonderful gift. There are some women who will always be a damsel in distress, just as there will be men with White Knight Syndrome. Offer her the fantasy but allow her to see reality and she is going to be just fine.

And whereas you never, ever want to see her heart broken... if yours hadn't been broken a time or two, would you have the reasoning to understand how lucky you are to haev the love you share with Karl? You would not want to deprive her of those lessons either.

JayneSays said...

I loved fairy tales growing up, and still love them. Now, there are lots of alternatives for girls (books like the Serpent Slayer) where the girl is the strong hero. I believe if you show her lots of options of ways to be in the world as a girl, and include the powerful female options to balance out the victim stories, she'll be just fine! But I'm just an armchair parent, only furry kids for me : )