In a world where our children are fed on a steady diet of happily ever after fairy stories peopled with Prince Charmings and Snow White Beauties, photographer Dina Goldstein’s is a lone voice of dissension. Her photographs are meant to reveal some of the less than perfect realities of life to children and to teach them that life doesn’t always turn out the way we want it to.
Turing fairy stories on their head
Characters such as Barbie doll the modern ideal of beauty and fairy story characters such as Snow White, Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood and Beauty (from Beauty and the Beast) are shown in very uncharacteristic ways. This is meant to mirror life as it really is, along with its imperfections, rather than as an unreal, plastic world of make believe that children are routinely fed with.
So Rapunzel has lost her lustrous locks to cancer, and Snow White is now stuck with four kids and an out of work husband who is a no-good sloth. The beautiful Barbie walks in on her beloved Ken to get the shock of her life when she finds him in bed with another male doll. And as for Red Riding Hood, carrying unhealthy snacks back and forth has led her to be a fast food junkie and an obese one at that!
Goldstein wants to draw attention away from the saccharine sweet world of happily ever afters to life’s realities and complexities. When her daughter was just 3 she found her being sucked into the world of make believe, beautiful princesses and idealized perfection.
At the same time her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and she was struck by the sharp contrast between the worlds of make believe and the real one, which is what led her to create a hairless Rapunzel. She wanted to get across the message that beauty is not tantamount to happiness and that life doesn’t always give us what we wish for.
Do kids need to be shown life’s bald reality?
While it is a valid view that children don’t always need to live some perfect world where everyone is beautiful and happy, do they need to be exposed to quite so grim a reality?
Shouldn’t children be protected from the grim realities of life, shouldn’t they be permitted their fantasy worlds – at least for a while? Some experts also believe that exposing a child to negativity at an early age could leave a negative impact.
photo credit: (www.fanpop.com)