Monday, July 21, 2008

BEAUTY IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

From FOCUS ON THE FAMILY
TODAY Monday July 21, 2008

By Dr James Dobson

Have you ever stopped to consider just how effectively children’s traditional literature teaches children, and especially little girls, that they must be beautiful – or else? It’s just amazing to see how many of the age-old stories centre around physical attractiveness in one form or another.

Take for example The Ugly Duckling. This is a story about an unhappy little bird who was rejected by the betterlooking ducks. Fortunately for him, he had a beautiful swan inside, which surfaced in young adulthood.

Then there’s Sleeping Beauty. Why wasn’t that story entitled “Sleeping Ugly”? Because the prince wouldn’t have awakened her with a gentle kiss, that’s why.

How about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Rudolph had a weird nose which caused his reindeer friends to laugh and call him names. They wouldn’t let poor Rudolph join in the reindeer games. This story has nothing to do with reindeer. It has everything to do with children. This is how they treat those different from them.

Nearly every one of the traditional stories has this emphasis on beauty tucked within them. But what does it do to little girls to tell them, throughout childhood, that they must be gorgeous in order to be worthy? We’ll deal with that question tomorrow.
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