19 Fairy Tales People Say Should No Longer Be ‘Exposed’ to Kids

Once upon a time, these fairy tales were deemed kid-friendly, but times have moved on. These days, new perspectives are constantly challenging traditional narratives. Let’s examine why these 19 stories have raised eyebrows in today’s progressive era.

Little Red Riding Hood

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This dark tale is viewed as problematic due to its underlying message about stranger danger and the portrayal of the “Big Bad Wolf” as a predator. Both instilling unnecessary fear in young minds and demonizing an endangered wild animal are now seen as concerning.

Cinderella

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Cinderella has sparked controversy due to perpetuating gender stereotypes and promoting the notion that women require saving by men. The story’s portrayal of Cinderella as a passive character awaiting rescue doesn’t promote female empowerment. Additionally, the idea of falling in love within a few hours may set unrealistic expectations, potentially leading to relationship issues.

Snow White

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Snow White has faced criticism for promoting unrealistic beauty standards, jealousy, and the notion that a woman’s worth is solely tied to her appearance and diminishes with age. Moreover, the term ‘dwarves’ is considered politically incorrect today. The non-consensual kiss situation also occurs, making us question the princes’ understanding of personal boundaries.

The Little Mermaid

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This classic love story suggests that women should relinquish their voice and identity for love. However, encouraging silence for the sake of a man’s affection is not a good message. Ariel’s quick decision to abandon her family and life for a slim chance of being with Prince Eric also sends a troubling message about staying true to oneself.

Sleeping Beauty

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Critics argue that Sleeping Beauty normalizes non-consensual acts, as the prince kisses Aurora while she’s asleep. In the current climate of “me too,” this aspect raises valid concerns. The theme of female passivity and reliance on a man for rescue also poses issues similar to those in Cinderella.

Rapunzel

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Rapunzel reinforces the idea of a passive woman awaiting rescue, using her long hair as a saving tool. This can perpetuate harmful beauty standards and negatively impact readers who lack confidence in their appearance. The theme of women needing saving by men is once again prominent.

Hansel and Gretel

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Some parents argue that the story is too violent and frightening for children, with themes of child abandonment, abuse, and cannibalism. Such darker elements may be overwhelming and upsetting for young listeners.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

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This well-known tale has been criticized for glorifying trespassing, theft, and property destruction. Goldilocks’ criminal actions carry no negative consequences, presenting a problematic message to young readers.

The Pied Piper

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This less-known tale features a mysterious stranger who lures rats away from a town using a magical pipe but then does the same with children. The theme of child snatching is inappropriate for a children’s story.

The Three Little Pigs

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The Three Little Pigs has faced criticism for promoting harmful stereotypes about wolves, portraying them as inherently dangerous and violent. Such negative depictions can lead to misunderstandings and mistreatment of real-life wolves.

Beauty and the Beast

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This beloved story has been challenged for its portrayal of an abusive relationship and the romanticization of an unhealthy power balance. The notion of Stockholm syndrome raises concerns, arguably presenting unhealthy relationship dynamics.

The Frog Prince

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The Frog Prince features a non-consensual act, as the princess kisses the frog without his permission. It also conveys the message that physical appearance determines happiness and acceptance, which is not a positive life lesson.

Jack and the Beanstalk

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Some find this tale inappropriate due to Jack’s behavior, including stealing from the unsuspecting giant and being deceitful. The story teaches children that taking what isn’t theirs can be heroic and without consequences.

Rumpelstiltskin

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This tale has been criticized for themes of deception, manipulation, and coercion, featuring an innocent baby as a bargaining chip. The narrative is not suitable for young children.

The Ugly Duckling

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While promoting self-acceptance, The Ugly Duckling perpetuates harmful beauty standards and implies ridicule for those who don’t fit conventional beauty norms.

Puss in Boots

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Puss in Boots is portrayed as the ‘good guy’ but uses trickery and deceit for personal gain. Such actions, presented as acceptable and rewarded, may send questionable messages to children.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

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Though highlighting the importance of thinking for oneself, the tale’s focus on public humiliation may be inappropriate for young audiences.

Bluebeard

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This tale is an undeniably dark and gruesome story featuring themes of violence, betrayal, and murder, making it highly unsuitable for children.

The Little Match Girl

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This poignant and heartbreaking story may be emotionally distressing for young readers due to its tragic ending. It teaches valuable lessons about empathy and compassion but is not very suitable for very young children.

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