"...and they lived happily ever after."
Remember when Snow White's Prince Charming came to rescue her, kissed her while she was asleep and broke the witch's spell?
Fast forward to today's time – The fairy tale gets a twist.
In an upcoming Korean movie, Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs, which is a parody of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the main characters are no longer how we knew them to be. So, what happened to them?
The poster of the movie, shown at the Cannes Film Festival, says "what if Snow White was no longer beautiful, and the 7 Dwarfs not so short", along with a picture of two women, one fat and one thin.
What? Are they saying that fat is ugly? No, not exactly. After it created a rage on social media, the producers took down the poster and apologised.
So what exactly happens to the princess and the dwarfs?
Let's take a look at the trailer of the movie:
Hello Stereotypes and Social Conditioning
The movie deals with a range of stereotypes that we encounter on a regular basis (probably to shatter them to pieces).
The princess is shown as fat who has magical red shoes that makes her thin as soon as she wears them.
The trailer works on some classic stereotypes that all of us are conditioned to.
Red shoes, skimpy clothes, thin body are all considered sexy and acceptable, whereas being fat, burping, eating are considered ugly and unacceptable – something that can only happen behind closed doors.
The True Self
'A princess who doesn't fit in' – that's how the the movie description describes Snow White. When the need to 'fit in' is so strong that you start torturing yourself, you know something is wrong.
When the society forces you to believe that you can breathe and 'be yourself' only behind closed doors, you realise that you are not in control of yourself.
Society, You're a Crazy Breed
Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs shows the brutal reality of the society that we live in. The princess cannot be herself because she 'does not fit into the celebrity world of Princess – or their dress size'. But since the Fairy Land (read society) is all about looks, she is forced to be someone that she is not.
The pressure to look like a 'princess' is so much that it makes her forget who she really is. When the need to fit into the stereotypes that the society has set gets overpowering, you either become a part of the system or set an example for others.
So, will she shun the rules of the society and embrace her true self? Probably yes, which makes it the parody that the Disney movies need and the ‘Wonder Woman’ that we need.
The Social Pressure to Be a 'Princess'
Why are Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White considered princesses? Why do all the princesses and fairy tales have similar characteristics? Why does anything that goes beyond the norms of these characteristics becomes unacceptable?
The conditioning does not come out of the blue, it starts at a very young age. It is only after Cinderella gets a ‘makeover’ that she is treated as a princess, but was she any less of a princess when she was fighting daily with her evil stepmother and stepsisters?
The Voyeuristic Dwarfs
The dwarfs in the upcoming movie are not really dwarfs, but cursed princes who are on a quest to break the curse by getting a kiss from the most beautiful princess. When the dwarfs magically appear into the princess' room, they secretly look at her while she is changing her clothes.
The two dwarfs that are in her room seem to be visibly disturbed as she undresses, removes her red heels and becomes who she is.
Why does this unacceptable behaviour seem acceptable? Is it a way to blur the lines between normal and abnormal? Or is it just a true reflection of how society is?
Dwarfs or Princes?
There is no Prince in the story. The dwarfs are the Prince, but what role do they really have in the movie?
Remember how Snow White used to clean the dwarf’s house, cook for them and be the 'ideal girl' that she was? What will be their role in this parody?
Will they help her accept her real self?
Will she break their curse even though she is not 'thin', but because she is beautiful?
We will have to wait till next year to see how exactly the story turns out to be.
Hopefully, it will break the stereotypes that the Disney movies have set. Hopefully, she will be the real role model and a ‘Wonder Woman’.
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