Please, no fairytale endings – Anna Spargo-Ryan

Please, no fairytale endings

Please, no fairytale endings

There are two types of men in the world: those who are grown-ups and form their own opinions about relationships through years of experience and insight; and those who learned everything they know about women from an issue of Dolly they read twenty years ago.

Run-on sentences aside, maybe you’re lucky enough to have one of the former. For those of us who aren’t, let’s talk about this old chestnut:

“Women just want a fairytale ending.”

What these enlightened men mean is that we think life is a Katherine Heigl movie. We are sure that if we take off our glasses and shake out our ponytail, a handsome Ryan Gosling-shaped prince will come and sweep us off our feet. Then we will have an enormous wardrobe just for shoes and our problems will be solved.

My question to them is – have you ever read a fairytale?


Take Rapunzel, for example. This is a girl who really stepped up after being raised by criminals. She made the best of a bad situation. Her tower became her castle. Time after time she let down her hair for the enchantress, and as far as I can tell they then had tea and cake and listened to Duran Duran.

Then, against her wishes, a handsome prince came along, stalked her, fell in some bushes and then demanded that she love him. She cured his blindness! What did he ever do for her? She probably spent the rest of her life listening to him whine about the bramble scars on his retina.

Red Riding Hood

This kind of “fairytale ending” isn’t limited to beautiful adult women. See Exhibit B – Little Red Riding Hood. Sure, one could argue that she was forced into a forest for her own good. We all did orienteering at school, right?

Unfortunately for Red, her adventure ended with her grandmother inside a wolf. I don’t know about you, but I prefer grandmothers to be inside armchairs and warm kitchens. Then, as her mother never bothered to walk the mile or so to find her daughter, the young girl presumably lived with the wolf into her old age.

“Red, come to bed!” “My, wolf, what a small…” You get the idea.


Spare a thought for the women behind these men. The story goes that an “impish man” helped a young woman out by spinning the king’s yarn into gold. Day and night he worked, spinning that gold, all the while neglecting poor Missus Rumpelstilskin. Imagine her in her imp house, dutifully laying out his dinner every night, for nought.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, when he finally did abandon his pursuit of the queen’s first born child, he came home in a body bag. In two pieces, because he tore himself apart like the selfish workaholic that he is.

The Little Mermaid

This wouldn’t be writing on the internet if it wasn’t for some token gender balance, so let’s show a little sympathy for dear Prince Eric. Here’s a man in his prime – a prince with great piles of money and washboard abs and all the women in the land.

He didn’t asked to be saved by a mermaid. He didn’t ask for that mermaid to give up her one true joy in life and literally become another species for the sole purpose of stalking him. And you can be certain he didn’t ask for six moderately deranged sisters-in-law, each one slightly less desirable than the next and with her own theme music.

Of course, he’s stuck now. A girl gives up her genus for you, you ain’t never divorcing her.

No, men. I’m sure I speak for women everywhere when I say it isn’t a fairytale ending we want. The ending where we occasionally get to eat biscuits on the couch in a Snuggie will be just fine.


Princess Anna.

  • Deb @ Bright and Precious

    June 26, 2012 at 12:22 am Reply

    Excellent points. I especially like the Duran Duran moment… yes that’s exactly what they would have done.

  • Carli

    June 26, 2012 at 11:28 pm Reply

    I really need to read Rumpelstiltskin again, you make very valid points.

  • Katherine

    June 27, 2012 at 7:32 pm Reply

    The Sara Bareilles song “Fairy Tales” sums up these sentiments beautifully.

  • katepickle

    June 29, 2012 at 10:34 am Reply

    Oh I am so with you on the Rapunzel thing… even the new version sees her tricked into loving a criminal… I mean seriously I want more for my children than a father who’s a petty thief! :)

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