Have you ever read the Brothers’ Grimm version of fairy tales?
They are a far cry from the Disney
So if these characters aren’t merely props in someone else’s story, why are they « evil »? After all, people don’t exist in a vacuum. For better and for worse, we are all a product of our societies. Our stories are woven by our experiences and perceptions of life.
With that understanding, I’ve recently been fascinated by the Little Snow White (also known as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves) story. Not because the story itself is that great. Frankly I’m not really keen on the highest standard of beauty being alabaster skin, ebony hair and
Her character is largely a mystery; one of the shortcomings of the Grimm stories (I didn’t say they were perfect). She is stripped of her back story and is only introduced as this evil
In my version, she’d ask: “Magic mirror on the wall. Who’s the fairest of them all? » Not because she’s vain but rather because she feels inadequate. Because, she spent her adolescent years highlighting every perceived imperfection. She would ask because she spent hours repeating her shortcomings like a mantra until they created a cloak perceived mediocrity. She would ask because she’d conflated an impossible standard of perfection and beauty with worthiness. She would ask because she needed external reassurance, not because of vanity, but as validation of her existence.
And in my version the mirror would respond: « Though you doubt it, your beauty is incomparable. The ideal of beauty that you seek walks in your midst. Your eyes, the color of roasted chestnuts, hide a mischievous gleam. Your hair, wild and unruly, is a crown that defies the laws of gravity (because the Queen is obviously Black in my version). Your skin is as decadent as chocolate (or cafe con [lots of] leche! We’re inclusive of all pigments of Brown skin in this version). Your smile rivals the Mona Lisa.
Now you may be thinking, « hum…that’s cool I guess, but definitely a little weird. I’m not sure where you’re going with this. Also, woah, use metaphors much?! » Here’s where I’m going with this:
But more importantly:
2) The truest mirrors aren’t the reflective glass ones that adorn our walls. No, the truest mirrors are the eyes of those who see our deepest selves. For years I thought that my eyes were the wrong shade of Brown, that my ears were too small… [And the list goes on]. Until, I realized that my eyes were the same shade as those of the woman whose eyes beamed with pride at my graduation. The curve of my smile was the same as hers; a smile that seemed to hint that she knew the secrets of the Universe, but was keeping them to herself. My ears heard her voice and « very
So the next time you have the audacity to doubt your own beauty, remember that your features are etched from those of the exquisite creature who brought you into this world. Her face is the blueprint, passed down from Amina to Cleopatra to Nefertiti, from which you are molded. Each curve is carved precisely to create a harmonious dance between biology and indescribable love. And because of that, your mirror should only respond, “My dear, you are breathtaking!”