The recent release of Maleficent, staring Angelina Jolie is a remake of Sleeping Beauty, from the perspective of the evil fairy, who took her vengeance on the king and queen by casting a spell on their daughter Aurora after not being invited to the christening of the newly born princess.
I liked this new twist by Walt Disney, reinventing the traditional version of Sleeping Beauty. In many ways, it reminded me of a similar dark fantasy, Snow White and the Huntsmen, which was on the big screen in Australia in 2012. Here again, the fairy tale story looks more deeply at the character of the conflicted villain, the evil queen played by Charlize Theron. I think both of these flicks are worth a lazy Sunday afternoon look, as the re-imagining of these classics into a darker, and more sinister story feels more in line with the fairy tale publishers’ traditional style.
Prolific and magical storytellers, the Brothers Grimm collected German folk and fairy tales and in 1812, published their first book Children’s and Household Tales. Previously only passed down from parent to children by word of mouth, the book of stories was instantly popular. In their lifetime, the Grimm Brothers continued to gather and publish these now famous fairy tales across more than six book editions, totalling over 200 stories!
Common to all of these classic tales is the use of the central figure to tell a moral story; the difference between right and wrong or jealousy and the age-old quest for eternal beauty.
With beauty obviously being a topic close to my heart, I thought further about the collection of the Grimm Brother’s stories. Interestingly, some of their most loved folktales consistently feature a central female character who is the fairest or the most beautiful in the land; a girl as pure as white snow or one with long golden hair. These famous brothers have brought us some of the best-known femme fatales - including Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel. In each tale the beauty is punished for their striking good looks by a wicked and evil figure, only to be rescued by a handsome prince.
While we may be short on witches and evil fairies these days, for many of us the hunt for our handsome prince and the quest for eternal beauty still ring true. And, although we can’t conjure up a knight in shining armour, at least we make great skincare within easy reach. Try our Youth Shield Range, it just may lead to your very own fairy-tale ending!
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Checkout the full list of the Grimm Brother’s stories and tell us your favourite fairy tale in comments below to go in the draw to win our organic Red Currant Rapid Infusion Masque from the Youth Shield Collection.
*Entries close Monday 23rd June at 5pm, the winner will be drawn at random and notified directly by email.