Modern Princess

We don’t have happy endings anymore. Just a lot of endings

Opinion | Ana Tajder | December 2008 / January 2009

Every now and then, a little trip back to childhood can be eye-opening. This is what Disney DVDs are just perfect for: One and a half hours of magic and innocence. That is, if the grown-up inside will allow it.  There is a serious danger that the grown-up grew too cynical and will try everything possible to ruin the back-in-the-childhood journey. And the best way to ruin a fairy tale is trying to imagine how the oh-so-magical story, let’s take Snow White, would look in real life. Or even better – in today’s real life.

Let’s start with the guy whom the Queen sent to kill Snow White. Today, he would try to make a deal and would offer to spare her life if she paid him off. So, the poor creature would have to quickly find some money. But as she is too young and has no work experience, the only way to make quick money would be to steal, become a high-class prostitute, or find a job as a waitress. But come on, she is a princess, so she wouldn’t want to work as a waitress. Somehow, she would get the money, pay the guy, and enrol in business school.

Next, Snow White goes running through the woods and comes upon the dwarfs’ empty house. Today, no self-respecting woman would ever just go into that little house and clean it for fun or cook dinner! She would wait in the garden and catch some sun while making plans as to what to do next.

Now, the dwarfs arrive. And her first question would be: "So, what is it that you do for a living?" (She never asks that question in the movie, and they never tell her.) When she discovers they are diamond miners… he he he! Her eyes would brighten and she would immediately offer to go into business together – they mine the diamonds, and she, using her looks and connections, would sell the stuff. Which, would mean, of course, that she would have to wear the biggest and most beautiful diamonds on her ears, neck, and fingers.

Now, having a job, she would make the dwarfs help with the housekeeping on evenings and weekends. And with everybody working and doing the housekeeping, they would be too tired and frustrated to party. Forget the cute dancing/singing/yodelling scene.

In today’s reality, the dwarfs would soon try to take advantage of the situation and force Snow White to have sex with them. After all, she’s a very pretty princess, and they are only men. Never mind how small. If she said "No," they would try to get rid of her, making room for some other young princess who would say "Yes." But this exercise is not about today’s dwarfs but about today’s Snow White, so let’s say they stay cool, treat her with respect, and give her a chance to establish herself in the business.

Now, comes the Queen, masked as an old witch. And yes, although Snow White is a very rational princess, she would take a bite of the apple because she would never, ever miss a chance to make a wish. She would wish to get out of these dark woods and this small business, become the spokesperson for De Beers, and for Prince Charming to hurry up and find her so she can move into the castle. And maybe even for bigger breasts (yet fewer kilos) and longer legs. And for 2,4 perfect kids and a golden retriever - sometime in the future, when her career as Diamond Princess was already well established.

So, having bitten the apple and died, today’s dwarfs would immediately bury her and find a new Snow White, prettier and younger, perhaps from Anatolia or Thailand, who would just love to stay at home and take care of the household while they delivered the diamonds. But, as said, this is not about updating the dwarfs, so let’s say they just put her in the glass coffin.

Today, the question is if any modern Prince Charming would really search far and wide to find her again, because, in today’s society, he would have a Facebook/Myspace/SmallWorld profile where he could find millions of Snow Whites to choose from. Everyone’s replaceable. Or perhaps he is too busy with his career. Or already has a wife. And kids. Or he is "not sure if he wants a relationship at this stage of his life."

But as the same rule applies to him as it does for the dwarfs, let’s assume he is the genuine, old-fashioned Prince Charming and wants only her, and he really will turn the world upside down to find her, no matter what project he is currently working on. So, he finds her, gives her "the love’s first kiss," and she wakes up.

Back in the land of the living, today’s Snow White would throw a tantrum because the poisoning had caused her to miss so much work. And in the meantime, the dwarfs would have surely found a new PR/marketing lady as her skin, having suffered from toxic shock, is no longer porcelain, to say the least. But she would realize, eventually, that it was Prince Charming who kissed her back to life, so she would calm down and let him take her to his castle.

If she liked the castle, she would surely have a problem with Prince Charming’s character, or his job, or his friends, or something else. This is why she would leave him and go back to the woods to wait for the perfect prince with the perfect character, perfect job, perfect friends, while she continued working on her sparkling career.

One day, she would awaken with the grim realization that she was getting too old – this is when she would take just any old prince. Or maybe she would marry Prince Charming after all…. But in this case, forget the "happily ever after" part. Because then, she would have kids, who would make it hard to think in terms of having an untroubled life, and so she would be left with two choices: Either try to keep her career and always be tired and frustrated with a guilty conscience from trying to "have it all," or she would quit her job to dedicate herself to her royal family. And then be frustrated because she had sacrificed everything.

Come on, in today’s world we would get "Snow White The Movie – Part II". We already know the plot: Remember the "Wars of the Roses" with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner? That may just be the greatest divorce movie of all time.

We don’t have happy endings in real life anymore. Just a lot of endings.

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