September 9, 2009

Snow white

“Mirror, mirror on the wall; Who is the fairest of them all?”

I remember these lines from the play performed in our school’s annual function when I was in 6th grade. I didn’t make the cast owing to my skin tone. Two of the fairest girls in our school were chosen to be the the Step mother and Snow white. That was the first time I questioned the story of Snow White. What is the moral of the story? When I first heard the story, I was told the moral of story as “Beauty is not skin deep” apart from the usual “Good triumphs evil”.

As I watched the rehearsals and finally the play (I was, like any 11 year old girl, fascinated by the fairy tale princesses), I realized that they never refer to ‘beauty’. They snowwhite_03_1024don’t ask who is the prettiest of all, instead they ask who is the fairest of all. Is fair a synonym of beauty? How the moral of story can be “Beauty is not skin deep” when all they consider is fairness of skin?

The moral “Beauty is not skin deep” would have made sense if Snow white wasn’t the fairest maiden in the land but still was more popular (as she was kind and nice) than her Step mother. This in turn could have made the Step mother jealous and hence the rest of the story.

But then I have a personal issues against the story and hence wants it changed.


  1. This author too thinks some what similar to ur post
    interesting one have a look

  2. Interesting and thoughtful post...

    White has been touted the colour of purity for centuries now and Snow White is in line with those claims. You are right in that how can a person ever be judged by colour of their skin. If all that crap is true why are there crimes happening in the Western world and how dare there exists community charities in Africa !

    Or maybe those who wrote such fairy tales never meant it for audience like us...

  3. @ Sunny_raju: Thanks Sunny for pointing out the link. Seems the entire world wants to be the fairest of them all.

    @G3: Thanks G3.

    You are right. I guess that's why I stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago. They were never meant for audience like us...

  4. I love your last line! And I think in all cultures, beauty is ONLY skin deep. Was seeing "the devil wears prada" for the 10th time yesterday- and Nigel's comment to the newbie Anne was
    "Yes, that is what this miltimillion dollar industry (he was talking about the fashioon industry) is all about: Inner beauty!!"


  5. @ Rachna: Ha! Inner beauty. Sounds like an oxymoron to me. And don't get me started with the fashion industry...