The tale of Snow White and her helpful friends the seven dwarves has been a children’s story book favourite for hundreds of years. Read by parents and grandparents alike, the fairytale, along with others including Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and The Little Mermaid, it has delighted little girls across the world, as they dream of growing up to be a princess.
However, actress Kristen Bell, who is the voice behind beloved Frozen character Anna, has expressed concerns that Snow White and other fairytales set the wrong expectations for young children.
Speaking to Parents magazine, Bell said while she loves reading with her daughters Lincoln, five, and Delta, three, she makes sure to discuss the fairytale in greater detail – especially the part in Snow White where she accepts an apple from a complete stranger.
“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 apply? 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,” she explained.
The 38-year-old went on to say she also questions her children about the part where the prince kisses Snow White. “Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission?” she said she asks her daughters. “Because you can not kiss someone if they’re sleeping!”
Bell isn’t the only Hollywood star to place some boundaries around fairytales. Fellow actress Keira Knightley recently sparked debate after revealing she has banned her three-year-old daughter from reading Cinderella and The Little Mermaid.
Appearing on television show Ellen, the Pride & Prejudice star claimed the stories send the wrong message to young girls, as they suggest females need a prince to save them.
“Cinderella,” she told host Ellen when asked which movies are a no-go for her child. “Banned because she waits around for a rich guy to rescue her. Rescue yourself, obviously.”
The mother added that sadly one of her favourite fairytales is also banned. “And this is the one that I’m quite annoyed about because I really like the film, but Little Mermaid,” she said. “I mean, the songs are great, but do not give your voice up for a man. Hello.”