But there’s no fairy tale. No girl met boy, no wicked step-mother to be defeated, no happily ever after. Only, once upon a time.For every Cinderella rescued by the prince, there’s a not-so-wicked step-sister. Maybe she didn’t start out so bad, but it’s not her story and every story is better with a good villain. Maybe she wanted to love her step-sister but circumstance and story-telling won’t let her. Maybe the heroine always had those talking mice casting a spell around her that made everyone else look worse in comparison. There’s no way to know the true story, too much time has passed since once upon a time, and the story looks away before the end.
For every happily ever after, there’s more to the story. Maybe Prince Charming isn’t really charming. Maybe he charms for a moment but gets easily distracted. He’s a prince after all; he can have anything, why focus on what he already has? Maybe happily ever after doesn’t really mean happy. Or ever.Once upon a time there was a girl wandering through life alone, buffeted along the way by the stresses of life, seeking shelter from the storm. But this girl isn’t protected by a fairy god-mother. Nature itself doesn’t bow down to her beauty. So she wanders on, alone. Surrounded by friends, yet all alone.
Fairy tales poison little girls’ minds. We grow up expecting that someday the magic will just touch us. That if we’re good enough, pretty enough, sweet enough, our life will erupt in song, everything will fall in place, and we’ll get our happily ever after. But what happens to the girls who aren’t good enough, pretty enough, sweet enough? What happens to the girls who bite back when life grows teeth?Fuck you Aurora, and Belle, and Cinderella. Fuck you, you stupid princess trying to sleep on twenty mattresses, tossing and turning because of some damn pea. For all the things you teach us to expect, and the lessons you don’t know to teach. For all the little girls out there alone in the dangerous world, thinking there’s a prince in white waiting, who don’t know about the prince all in black.
Once upon a time there was a girl wandering through life alone, buffeted along the way by the stresses of life, seeking shelter from the storm. She wandered through the vicious woods every fairy tale girl has to brave at some point. But when she got to the other side she was still alone. Pricked by thorns along the way, her clothes ragged and her hair styled by the wind and the rain and the journey. She’s not so perfect as she’d been on the other side, and there are no birds fluttering around her head, fixing and cheering until she picks up her head and sweeps aside her hardship like so much dust on her hem. But she’s stronger for her hardships. She won’t bow down, won’t break just because it’s hard. This would-be princess is too firm to be a pampered girl now.Once upon a time there was a girl set in her ways and knowing that she would have to be her own rescue and hope. She couldn’t sit down and wait for magic to interfere in her life. She wouldn't. She knew if she wanted things done, she would have to do them herself. So she relied on herself. She protected herself as best as a girl in the world can. She stopped wandering, she walked with purpose towards her goals. She set her shoulders, got her hands dirty, and made her own life.