4 Hidden Messages in Fairy Tales That Tell Us Waiting For Prince Charming is Not a Good Idea



1. Prince Charming May Not Love You For Who You Are  

Over half (59%) of fairy tale women marry a prince or king only because of their appearance.  When her beauty inevitably fades with time, will the Prince still be so interested in her?  Did he really care deeply in the first place?


2. Happiness With Prince Charming is Complicated

Cinderella and other fairy take characters marry up when they marry their prince. They bring good looks and a kind heart to the marriage whereas the prince brings status, power, and wealth.  This imbalance complicates the relationship and limits a woman’s choices. Just look at Melania Trump.
3. Smart, Successful Women Need Not Apply
If Prince Charming is more successful, wealthier or higher in status than his bride, where does that leave women who are at the very top of the educational and success pyramid?

4. Princes Don’t Marry Women With Agency: They Save Damsels in Distress

Women in fairy tales who marry their prince often suffer terribly and must be saved by him. These women have an utter lack of power. The woman who ends up marrying her prince is often locked away in a tower such as Rapunzel, or is abused terribly by a stepmother as in Snow White. When Meghan Markle discovered the truth about this lack of agency in her marriage to a Prince, she opted out of the Kingdom.




Anne E. Beall, PhD is the CEO and Founder of Beall Research, Inc, a consulting firm that uses data and research to discover trends and create solutions for Fortune 500 companies. Author of Cinderella Did Not Live Happily Ever After and 7 other books on fairy tales, gender dynamics, human-animal relations, and market research, Anne previously worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). She received her MS, MPhil, and PhD from Yale University. A lover of cats, storytelling, and walking, Anne lives in Chicago.


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