Remember the delicious and riveting days of reading fairytales? Cinderella. Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs. Hansel & Gretel. The Wizard of Oz. These are all fairytales that have all shaped our roles and crafted views of standards in society. As kids, we lived for those stories. The stories created our dreams. The characters in the tales became our role models. I remember soaking up the words on the pages in the books and dreaming away. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized how much women especially are influenced by the fairytale symbolisms.

Let’s look at Cinderella and Snow White. They were both rescued by men from their dire circumstances and lived happily ever after. Doesn’t every little girl dream of the knight in shining armor who is “the guy” who comes to make her day and creates true happiness in her life?
Then how about those mean witches in Hansel & Gretel and The Wizard of Oz? These tales represent the portrayal of women who are jealous of “good girls”. The witches are out to destroy those who are virtuous through their evil ways. Everybody hates the witch and nobody wants to be like her. Therefore, you have to make sure that you’re always the good girl.

And then there’s the perception of the evil stepmother. Fairytales would have you believe that every stepmother is evil. She alienates the father from his kids. She also is shown as a witch. Now this is one that I’ve personally battled against as someone who is married to a man who has 2 children from a prior marriage. Anything you do, you worry that you might be perceived as the evil stepmother.

While there are many beautiful memories and messages to glean from fairytales, they also have put a burden on women to behave in ways that only make sense in fairytales. We can’t rely on the knight in shining armor. We can’t always be the good girl. We can’t worry about how we might be perceived. Let’s be honest, the ruby slippers, the glass shoe, or that special kiss just won’t get us what we truly want in life. So, toss those ruby slippers! Here’s what the fairytales won’t tell you how to get what you want:
• Become your own BFF and take care of your needs by putting a priority on them. Nothing or nobody outside of you can get you what you want. Don’t put the burden on others to make you happy. You accept yourself – no matter what – be it those extra pounds, the procrastination or fearful holding back – and know that only you have the strength and fierceness in your heart to make yourself happy.
• Get disciplined about going after what you want. This means that you take consistent actions toward your dreams and self-care. Your dreams shouldn’t be prone to new toy love, meaning you play with them for a few weeks every day and then lose interest. Off goes the toy into the corner then. No, you stick with your dream and follow through.
• Ditch all expectations, obligations and societal standards to the curb. They’re just like that funky old couch your folks have in their basement. Rank with mold. You need a brand couch that feels totally comfy to you and smells good. So, on a daily basis, figure out what you can do to break out of your stuck patterns. Hop on the new couch and bounce around just to show that you’re having fun with ditching what you think you “should” be doing or who you “should” be.
• Take on the star role in your own tale. Wanting to escape your life is an easy way out from everything that has happened to you or is going on right now in your life. It’s nice to try to recreate a fairytale in your head at times, but it will keep you stuck in pain if you use it to deflect from embracing your own ability to create your very own life’s story. You’re the star, the writer and producer all in one. So, let your story shine up on that big screen.

Fairytales can be wonderful tools for kids to learn history and to spark creativity. That’s not the part you’re encouraged to toss the ruby slippers for. It’s the part of the story that has created myths and outdated symbolism that keeps you stuck in chasing after needs that no longer serve you.

Author's Bio: 

Marion Chamberlain helps women that are always "desperately seeking" something learn what it is and how to claim it. Visit her website for more information on her spiritual coaching program that allows you to experience freedom, connection, and independence.