Keira Knightley is either stupid or doesn’t understand how stories work.
Why Keira Knightley?
You’re wondering why am I picking on a rich white lady for saying something stupid, as they’re prone to do.
Watch from the 2:30 mark.
She said that she doesn’t let her kid watch certain Disney films. In particular Cinderella and the Little Mermaid. The reason seems to be because they aren’t empowering enough for girls.
This kind of nonsense annoys me on several levels.
First of all, Keira is taking these fairy tales literally which is stupid.
Second, she is depriving her child of some of the magic of her early years.
Third, she’s an actress, she should know a bit about stories and how they work.
Also, Kristen Bell said something stupid about either Snow White or Sleeping Beauty. I’m going to talk about that too.
Now I’m not saying all rich white ladies are idiots just these two, in this particular case, are idiots.
Keira’s selective autism
If you’ve been reading me for a while, you may have read my article on selective autism.
In case you don’t have time to read it, let me break it down for you.
Selective autism is when you apply a literal interpretation to something you don’t agree with to dislike it further. I’m guilty of doing it, you’re guilty of doing it, and here, Keira Knightly is guilty.
You know of all the elements of these tales that she could take issue with why is it the message?
Doesn’t she think that the Little Mermaid promotes being half fish? Is she not worried about Cinderella normalising mice wearing shirts with no trousers?
You mean to tell me that it was the moral that outraged her?
I’ll be real disappointed if Keira Knightly allows her kids to watch Pocahontas. (The Disney film, not Elizabeth Warren pressers)
The moral is
Have you read my post on adding a moral to a story to give it a bit more of an ending?
Morals in stories are funny in that you can make it be whatever you want. The better the story, the more morals you can read into them.
Keira has made up her own mind on the morals of Cinderella and the Little Mermaid.
Keira picks a bastardised version of the moral and is applauded for disagreeing with it. She says of Cinderella “Don’t wait for a rich man to save you” and of The Little Mermaid “Don’t give up your voice for a man”. These oversimplifications that are amusing but they’re oversimplifications none the less.
You can do it with any story. Let me have a go.
Let’s do stupid morals to stories.
Cinderella: Don’t climb into a pumpkin after midnight.
The Little Mermaid: If a giant squid lady offers you legs say no.
Let’s do some Pixar movies:
Up: You can only start having adventures when your wife dies
Finding Nemo: You can only have a meaningful relationship with your son once your wife is dead.
My favourite movies.
Robocop: The only good cop is a dead cop
Ghostbusters: The end of the world will come about if a woman can’t access the fridge
Look it’s easy to do.
You can do it too. What’s your favourite movie? Can you twist the moral of it into something amusing? I bet that you can.
Don’t take Fairy Tales literally.
Fairy Tales have endured for a long time not because they’re literally true, but they speak to our subconscious.
I’m going to recommend The Uses of Enchantment to you. If you want to understand why Fairy Tales work and are great for children, then you have to read this book. If you’re going to become a better writer, you need this book.
Fairy Tales are weird dark, violent folktales that we tell each other. Part of the reason for their lasting appeal is the appeal to the subconscious.
To be brief let’s look at Sleeping Beauty.
A very quick Freudian Analysis of Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty is about the dangers of being an overprotective parent. It’s an Oedipal story. The tale deals with the relationship between parent and child.
The parents don’t want their child to face any struggle as most parents do. As well-meaning, as this intention is, it does more harm than good. You smother the child you don’t let them develop.
In many ways, you keep them in a comatose state.
Sleeping Beauty is about a child who has been coddled and shuts down when they face any form of trouble.
Let’s look at the imagery of Sleeping Beauty. Sleeping beauty/Rose ascends a narrow tower (phallic) via a spiral staircase. (spiral staircases in Freudian symbolism represent sexual acts. In fact, going upstairs represents this, keep an eye out for it in old movies, you can’t unsee it).
Rose pricks her finger, drawing blood. This blood is what sends her into a catatonic state. You could argue that first blood is metaphorical of her period or breaking the hymen. Either way, it is representative of a child not being mentally ready to enter the adult world. The dormant feminine is only roused through the masculine principle. Rose is able to join the adult world through the compassion of the kiss.
Or hey, maybe I’m reading too much into things. Sometimes the prick of a spinning wheel is just a prick.
Here’s Jordan Peterson’s reading into the same tale.
The point I’m trying to make, rather hamfistedly is that fairy tales and Disney movies have many readings. You can take them at face value if you wish. Know that if you Do but you’re missing out, and by extension, your daughter is missing out on some great stories.
There’s also this air of snobbery about the whole thing. You know the older kids ruined Santa for you when you were a kid? They no longer believed in the magic, it wasn’t enough that it was ruined for them they had to ruin it for you too.
I’m not religious but I wouldn’t consider my atheist because I hate atheists, “Emm, you know the Bible isn’t a history book”. There’s a real attitude of “I, who have only been around for a short time know so much more than these institutions that have been around for a few thousand years”. If you can’t get anything out of it maybe don’t ruin it for others.
That’s what this whole thing smacks off. “Well, I know magic doesn’t exist, better ruin it for my daughter”.
Kristen Bell using Snow White to teach about consent?
She not only married Dax Shepard she procreated with him too.
She might be an idiot.
You know what, she’s an idiot.
A telling detail
You know what? Keira understands the more profound significance of fairy tales and Disney movies. In the clip above she admits that she loves the Little Mermaid. This film speaks to her on some level, maybe at a level that she doesn’t consciously realise.
It’s sad that she is depriving herself from sharing something she loves with her daughter.
But hey who cares, she’s rich.