Who’s the fairest of them all?”
Fast-forward ahead 200 years and a Queen might ask “Facebook, Instagram on my screen, who’s the fairest of them all?” Normally a villian, like the Queen in Snow White, is this far-removed, distant, bottom-feeder creature that we love to hate. But after seeing “Snow White & the Huntsman,” in my opinion, the Queen appeared to have more in common with the audience than some of us might ever admit. We might not all be clutching and sucking the life out of every young, beautiful thing that walks by (though it’s frightening how some women can convey just that through one look,) but we feed this cultural, unquenchable desire to be viewed as “the fairest.”
When the Grimm Brother’s told fairy tales, they weren’t planning on using them as cute bedtime stories to share with the kiddies. Tales like Snow White, and it’s struggles of vanity and jealously, were horrific tales told to convey the consequences of current issues. Charlize Theron and Kristin Stewart’s film was finally the fairy tale made for adults; a more gritty and raw version than Disney’s, who’s evil Queen even leaves a confectionate taste in our mouths. Actually, compared to the Grimm’s version, where the Queen consumes a boar’s liver, guts and intestines sautéed with onions, that the Huntsman presents as belonging to Snow White, “Snow White & The Huntsman” is a rather tame account. But watching the depiction of the Queen, was a freakish and familiar reflection of our current society. Only now our desire to be viewed as the thinnest, prettiest and “the fairest of them all” can be reassured through sources such as Facebook.
Social networking has become an additional, if not daily, means for us women (and men alike) to praise our vain-selves. And while our technology and genius innovations progressed, it in turn may be aiding in destructing our self-consumed priorities and slightly narcissistic behaviors to be viewed as more attractive, if not just to be viewed at all. I admit, I myself am a daily reader of personal fashion blogs or my Instagram’s daily newsfeed. So I don’t credit the web as our source of vanity, but as the mirror that we visit for the daily self-assurance, when we can’t seem find it elsewhere.
So what’s wrong with looking good or be noticed? Nothing. There’s nothing wrong with the simple pleasure of being called beautiful or grinning to yourself after 8 “likes” pop up to your profile picture within a minute of uploading. But when a desire to be called the prettiest, the hottest or the “the fairest ” are what drive us to utlilize social networks on a daily basis, our idea of beauty begins to wither. We cater and feed our self-aware, self-consumed, visually obsessive nation as a highly shared value. And we show for it. The misconstrued social norms that Snow White was addressing to a culture far-removed from today, has escalated somewhat since the nineteenth century. A Queen may forever struggle with this self-destructing pursuit to be forever young and beautiful, asking “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” And if Facebook and Instagram can’t daily reaffirm her self-worth, what could be the end to this obsession before it consumes her?