Friday, April 20, 2012

Fairy Tale Friday: Modern Lens

As far as I can tell, this thing has been kicking around in some form or another since 2009? The original author is unknown, as most fairy tales go, and I'm wondering what that person is thinking now that their story is being picked up and circulated, yet again, for the umpteenth time. Is she smiling? I hope so.

I'm also interested in the range of reactions I've seen, the type of sites and blogs it's been featured on, the pictures that have accompanied it. There's surely something to be said for the time of year it's resurfacing too, eh?

And now I'm interested in what you think. Here's the story -- have you already read it somewhere else? What were your initial thoughts? Did you have a strong reaction to it, or not really? And more importantly -- why?

Tara Lynn: picture from FB, Huffington Post
Mermaid or Whale

A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption was "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:

Dear people,
 
Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.

They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.

They sing incredibly well and are sometimes even on CDs. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

Mermaids do not exist

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?

They would have no sex life and could not bear children. Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad. And, who wants a woman that smells like fish by his side?

Without a doubt, I'd rather be a whale

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.

We women gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn't enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.

We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.

Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: "How amazing am I?! "


Now to tie this back into fairy tales, albeit through a modern lens, Carrie Hughes goes into detail about why fairy tales may be so important to our psychology, though where she says 'children' I would input 'people in general':

"...Fairy tales are an important tool for children learning to navigate reality and survive in a world ruled by adults. The family conflicts and moral education of the protagonists (conveniently often children themselves) could provide models of coping. “Fairy tales are loved by the child…because—despite all the angry, anxious thoughts in his mind to which the fairy tale gives body and specific context—these stories always result in a happy outcome, which the child cannot imagine on his own.”

Does this story create for you a model of coping? Here's one interesting reaction I found, and here's another. But again, I'm really more interested in what you think. What were your reactions?


Moment of Magic today:

 
I'm pretty sure I've never heard whales singing before? Putting it on my wish list for life...

15 comments:

  1. It is an empowering thought, but I think I'm inclined to agree with the first first article you posted. We should love ourselves, but we should also take care of ourselves. However, I also feel like one's diet and exercise are one of those "it's my body" choices that no one should ever have taken away.

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    1. Oh, such a good point -- that it's a choice that shouldn't be taken away. I literally gasped when I read that. How horrible would that be, eh?

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  2. Hehehehe my family really enjoyed this :D I'd rather be a whale than a mermaid, even though I'm not overweight, but I reckon that whales can afford to get fat because they have the the ocean around them to support their weight...

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    1. Haha! Excellent point! I think the whale-thing is about a mentality, that there's more to life than just being thin? Maybe. That's one of the things I got from the story, anyway. If so, it sounds as if you've certainly got a bigger, happier, loving-life-ier outlook.

      I love that you shared it with your fam, and that they enjoyed it. Cute.

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  3. I posted my thoughts on my blog here: http://duckonawire.blogspot.com/2012/04/rhetorical-exchange-rate.html

    I am a whale (for real) but am neither proud nor dis-proud of it. Honestly I don't give it a great deal of thought. Since I have never been thin really it never mattered to me if I was, or wasn't. By the by, whales are amazing creatures. You should definitely go whale watching if you get a chance. I am too scared to go (ask me about it sometime) but my sister went last year and she said it was great.

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    1. I'm openly admitting my awe, here, that you took this post and created your own about it. Your thoughts are open, honest, raw. Thank you for sharing. It makes me think even more deep about this whole subject...maybe I'll do some more blogging about it in the future? I'm very fascinated with women's' identities, how they formed, where, when...?

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  4. I guess most people are always wanting self improvement but it shouldn't be at the expense of loving yourself and being happy. Great post!

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    1. Thanks, Ann. This is a great point -- why improve yourself if you don't love yourself? Happiness is definitely part of the whole process.

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  5. You never fail to make me think on Fridays...not something I am acoustomed to!!! Hence it has taken me till Sunday to gather my thoughts.

    I agree with the story and the comments. I have been of both camps in my life, wishing to be something I will never be. Then spending time being happy as I am, though now I think this was just me placating myself as I didn't feel strong enough to make changes. Now I am stronger and dropping some of the blubber, but I will still be a whale at heart. Beautiful, of this world and with a little magic that makes their song so enchanting.

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    1. Yay for making you think :) I've got to say that the comments have made me think too. I like hearing peoples' individual perspectives.

      You put it perfectly -- being a whale at heart. No matter what you look like, where you are, who you're with...always having that broader outlook and a song in your heart.

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  7. Great site Deb. I don't need to be ultra thin--size 0 is a crazy concept, but I do like to move freely without a lot of extra weight. Whales swim beautifully, so I'm a whale. ~ Peggy (from Kick Back Moments)

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    1. Hey Peggy, thanks for your thoughts. Your post about whales was beautiful, so perfect, and your thoughts here definitely add to what I was trying to get at. Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

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  8. On the one hand, I find stories like this sort of empowering, which I imagine is the point, but on the other, I am saddened by the either/or mentality--by the idea that choosing to be one or the other somehow makes the other choice less valid for someone else. I think people in general, and women in very particular, do entirely too much of that. Thanks for another thought-provoking post.

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    1. You're so right about the either/or mentality. So much of life is lived in the middle, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Excellent point.

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