For the third episode of Things Men Ruined, Emily and Natalie look at fairytales and the everlasting effect they’ve had on the public imagination — for better or for worse. By tracing the stories of Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid from their origins in ancient and early modern myth to present day, we see how the stories have changed and evolved over the course of many centuries. Yet despite time, the messages and tropes in each movie remained same: tragic heroine, oppressed daughter, evil step-mother. In the last ten years authors and animators have challenged these tropes and have started bringing us strong women who don’t have to be blonde and don’t have to be weak, trading them for women of color, who can be gay, and women who can, above all else, be strong.
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Things Men Ruined is researched and produced in conjunction with Julia Moss and Miriam Francisco, both Daily Arts Writers, and Em Yang, acting audio engineer for this podcast. Special thanks goes to Olive Scott and Avery Friedman.