Fairy tales never get old, even if we do.




It is a curious phenomenon that a sometimes jaded woman (yours truly), who relishes the grittiest HBO crime shows, would shed a tear each and every time she watches Disney’s Cinderella, Snow White or Sleeping Beauty. I appreciate any live-action spin-off, no matter how cheesy, but something about those animated images get me.

Every time.



Now how can that be? I am a slick modern being, well-versed in the new tech world of CGI and flashy effects. Still, those iconic frames I remember from my childhood resonate—especially the kiss in Sleeping Beauty. Prince Phillip was always my favorite Disney crush. He had a badass black horse and a red cape. He took charge. The prince in Cinderella had some good moves but he was too much of a pretty boy. Those epaulettes gave me the creeps. Leave Sargent Pepper to Sargent Pepper.

I digress. I am supposed to be addressing the ambiguity of my psyche. There is no great mystery here. Why is it that I can watch violence on TV while maintaining my impressive resting heart rate of 59, but I fall to pieces when I watch any Disney fairy tale? The answer is simple and I stated it before. I first saw those moving pictures as a child, before I came of age and discovered the truth about life: this world is not the make-believe land in a fairy tale, I don’t have a 17 inch waist, and if I fall into a stupor a prince will not appear to smooch me awake. Most likely I will just lie there like an idiot while my unibrow fills in. Worse than that, I won’t have the faculties needed to make a wax appointment.

It took me decades to get over the blow of discovering this truth. Yet, each time I watch one of those classics, I am a child again, innocent once more. More importantly, I am reminded of my own imagination—I can fashion my own personal prince who will arrive whenever I wish him to. I now write my own tales of romance, that others can enjoy.


It delights me to know that even in my steamiest, lust-driven novels, there is the ever present influence of a fairy tale love story. That’s where I learned about romance after all, from those squeaky clean images. And let’s face it, it’s what most of us want. I mean, sometimes we want hot and sweaty sex, and other times we are in the mood for the bad boy. Ah, but then the ever changing desires of women are hard to nail down, aren’t they? I may be generalizing, but I still think most of my lady-friends would agree. A prince kissing a fair maiden awake is the classic that never disappoints. Sort of like a baked potato with butter.

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Tessa Bowen