The real world is suffused by lies and deceit. There is a variety of false advertising, counterfeit goods, invalid permission, fake tagline, fake smile and fake nice. The society always affirms political correctness, but who is going to believe in the adult world? Even the beautiful fairy tale of childhood has the other edition. Each fairy tale has an initial story behind it, which is bloody and darkness. Numerous fairy tales and the legends behind them are actually watered-down versions of uncomfortable historical events.
RUMOUR is a branding project for a graduate studio class at ArtCenter College of Design. It is an artistic dolls pop-up store where sells fairy tale dolls to people. It recreated the characters from classic fairy tales by using the initial story as inspiration. The label of dolls will tell the true story behind the fairy tales. It will make people aware that what you see is not what you get. We need to be skeptical about anything and anyone.
First of all, in the original 1812 Grimm version of this tale, the evil Queen is Snow White’s actual mother, not her stepmother. We don’t know, but that makes it a lot more terrifying to us. The Disney version also left out the fact that the Queen sends the huntsman out to bring back Snow White’s liver and lungs, which she then means to eat. And the fact that she’s actually not in a deep sleep when the prince finds her — she’s dead, and he’s carting off her dead body to play with when his servant trips, jostles the coffin, and dislodges the poison apple from SW’s throat.
We all know the story of the little mermaid: she sells her voice for a pair of legs, flops around for a bit, then wins her prince’s heart, right? Well, not exactly. In Hans Christian Andersen’s original tale, she trades tongue for legs all right, but part of the deal is that every step will be nearly unbearable, like walking on sharp swords, and the day after the prince marries someone else, she’ll die and turn into sea foam. Hoping to win the prince’s heart, she dances for him, even though it is agony. He claps along, but eventually decides to marry another. The mermaid’s sisters sell their hair to bring her a dagger and urge her to kill the prince and let his blood drip onto her feet, which will then become fins again. She sneaks up on him, but can’t bring herself to do it. So she dies, and dissolves into foam.
Rapunzel, let down your hair. Well, in the Grimm version, she does, a little too often, to a prince, and winds up pregnant, innocently remarking to her jailer witch that her clothes feel too tight. The witch, not to have any competition, chops off Rapunzel’s hair and magically transports her far away, where she lives as a beggar with no money, no home, and after a few months, two hungry mouths to feed.
In Charles Perrault’s version, included in his 1697 collection Stories or Fairy Tales from Past Times: Tales of Mother Goose, there is no intrepid huntsman. Little Red simply strips naked, gets in bed, and then dies, eaten up by the big bad wolf, with no miraculous relief. Instead, Perrault gives us a little rhyming verse reminding us that not all wolves are wild beasts — some seduce with gentleness, sneak into our beds, and get us there. The sexual undertones are not lost on us — after all, the contemporary French idiom for a girl having lost her virginity was elle avoit vû le loup — she has seen the wolf.
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