Kristen Bell has spoken out about why she believes the story of Snow White sends the wrong message to young children.
In case anyone’s forgotten the plot of the fairy tale, Snow White follows the story of a Princess who hides from her murderous stepmother in a house with seven dwarfs.
The evil queen persists and brings a poisoned apple to Snow White, who falls into a death-like sleep that can be broken only by a kiss from the prince.
Of course, the Prince doesn’t ask for consent from the sleeping Princess – and it’s for this reason, among others, Frozen star Bell has issues with the tale, which she raised after reading the book to her two young children.
Bell spoke to Parents about how she makes her children understand the Prince should have had asked for consent from Snow White.
She asks five-year-old Lincoln and three-year-old Delta:
Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission?
Because you can not kiss someone if they’re sleeping.
The Veronica Mars star also pointed out how Snow White shouldn’t have taken the apple from the mysterious stranger in the story.
Every time we close Snow White I look at my girls and ask, ‘Don’t you think it’s weird that Snow White didn’t ask the old witch why she needed to eat the apple? Or where she got that apple?’
I say, ‘I would never take food from a stranger, would you?’ And my kids are like, ‘No!’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m doing something right.’
Bell’s comments were met with some criticisms on social media, with one person writing:
Wow misinterpreted fairy tale. Wasn’t it The Prince was the saviour of Snow White kissing her without malicious intent? @IMKristenBell must’ve lost track of the story. [sic]
It’s wasn’t a stolen or molested kiss. Is this another attack on the men? Everything offends everyone.
Wow misinterpreted fairy tale. Wasn't it The Prince was the saviour of Snow White kissing her without malicious intent? @IMKristenBell must've lost track of the story. It's wasn't a stolen or molested kiss🙄 Is this another attack on the men? Everything offends everyone. #Disney
— Chris Smith (@ChrisSm69270451) October 17, 2018
Her views come after it was revealed Keira Knightley has banned her three-year-old daughter from watching certain Disney films.
The actor appeared on the chat show Ellen to talk about her upcoming Disney movie, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, but digressed into talking about her young daughter, Edie.
The pair discussed Keira’s daughter’s ambitions in life, when the Love Actually star revealed Edie wanted to become a lion when she was older.
Watch her interview here:
Although her career choice might need some work, Keira is doing everything in her power to make sure Edie doesn’t become passive and reliant as she gets older, and the actor has a particular way of achieving this goal – banning certain Disney movies.
Keira stood by her decision as she explained why some of the children’s movies didn’t portray the best lifestyle choices for her young daughter.
Explaining what movies are off limits, she said:
Cinderella – banned. Because, you know, she waits around for a rich guy to rescue her – don’t. Rescue yourself, obviously.
The actor was met with an applause from the audience before she continued, saying:
And this is the one that I’m quite annoyed about, because I really like the film, but The Little Mermaid. I mean, the songs are great, but do not give your voice up for a man.
Although some female film characters have been banned from the Knightley household, Keira assured Ellen her own animated character, the forgetful fish from Finding Dory, was always welcome.
She continued to list the acceptable movies with a pattern of characters who are strong, determined and adventurous heroines.
Dory is a big favourite in our house, Frozen is huge, Moana is totally fine.
I’m sure Keira’s Pirates of the Caribbean character, Elizabeth Swann, would be given the green light too, given her sword-fight-filled journey to becoming a pirate.
I’m sure Keira’s daughter won’t turn out to be dependent on a man like the women in some Disney movies – although if she fulfils her dream of becoming a lion, she might not have to worry about it anyway!
Some social media users said they can understand the actors’ choices but hoped people would understand the stories don’t have to be true of real life.
One person tweeted:
I get what Keira Knightley and Kristen Bell are saying about Disney princesses, but to be fair I grew up watching Snow White and Cinderella and whatever, and I NEVER thought that I needed a man to save me. [sic]
I think that most kids are smart enough to understand that these are just movies. Maybe it’s just me, even though I doubt it, but I always enjoyed those movie because it was a love story and as a 5-year-old, that’s what I liked [sic]
are just movies. Maybe it’s just me, even though I doubt it, but I always enjoyed those movie because it was a love story and as a 5-year-old, that’s what I liked. I also wanted a unicorn, so should my parents also have told me that it doesn’t exist and ruin everything?+
— alexa ｡･:*:･ﾟ (@AlexaJCH) October 17, 2018
It’s certainly an interesting topic of discussion!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.