10 Real Lessons Women Can Learn from Fairy Tales

Fairy tales usually have a bad reputation for teaching women to be helpless and wait for a man to save them. On the surface, that seems true, but try looking a little deeper and you’ll see numerous lessons from fairy tales that apply to real women. They actually teach the exact opposite of the damsel in distress. So why aren’t the lessons more obvious? Well, admit it – it’s kind of hot thinking of a guy risking everything just for you. Plus, the princess dresses are kind of awesome (not that we really admit that to anyone).

  1. Women can easily be the heroes. Think of all the female heroines who end up saving the kingdom, or at the very least keeping it running. They do it just as well as any man. In fact, they usually do it better. The king or prince relies upon the princess for all the big decisions and hard work. Want to really see this in action? Check out Mulan sometime. This lesson isn’t immediately obvious in many fairy tales, but Mulan showcases it perfectly.
  2. Friends are your most important asset. Every lead heroine has one thing in common: several good friends. They boost her when she’s down and help her make the right choices. They guide her every step of the way. They’re usually far more useful than prince charming. No matter what else is going on in your life, friends make it better.
  3. Not all guys are jerks. Okay, so this may sound more fantasy than reality, but it’s true. Despite all the bad guys in fairy tale land, the hero has morals and acts like a gentleman. He proves real women want a good guy after all. You never hear happily ever after when the princess marries the deadbeat who treats her like crap. Happily ever after is reserved for the good guys in the world.
  4. Persistence really does pay off. Every heroine usually has some type of ultimate goal in life. She’s always thwarted along the way. It wouldn’t really be a good story if she just got what she wanted from the start. She has to keep working hard to get it. She has to stay strong and persist no matter how many times she fails. In the end, persistence pays off and she wins.
  5. Never sign contracts without reading them. Does Rumpelstiltskin ring a bell? He’s a master antagonist that doesn’t really do anything wrong other than make deals with people. It’s not his fault they didn’t bother to read the fine print. I don’t care what the contract is for. Read every single word to make sure you’re not getting screwed over in the end.
  6. Smart is sexy. I love Beauty and the Beast for one reason: the princess is smart. She’s a bookworm. She proves being a nerd doesn’t mean you should lock yourself away so the prissy cheerleaders have all the fun. Smart is sexy as hell and most guys have no problem admitting it, either.
  7. Work hard for what you want. Nothing ever comes easy in a fairy tale – it’s one struggle after another. Nothing is ever just handed to characters unless it comes with a price. Even the villains don’t get anything for nothing. Everyone has to work their ass off to get what they want. Work hard and good things will happen. Unless of course, you’re evil and then well, you still end up losing.
  8. Fight for your beliefs. Bad guys would love it if the heroes could just get off their high horses and give in. Instead, they stick to their beliefs. They never waver from what they feel is right. It’s their belief in good and right that helps them win. Don’t let anyone take away what you believe in. It’s part of your strength and while others might hate it, do what’s right for you.
  9. Don’t judge on looks. Sure, the little old lady in Snow White seems harmless enough. Okay, so in the Disney movie, she didn’t look harmless at all. Still, the point is, looks can be deceiving. In many tales, the hero has some serious competition from a major hottie. Too bad the hottie just wants to use the heroine to rule a kingdom. In others, the hero has been turned into something ugly, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. I know, old cliche, but sometimes it’s true.
  10. Narcissism pisses people off. So you think you’re so beautiful the world should bow down to you? Not happening. Some of the heroes and heroines are so busy being pretty that end up screwing over the bad guy in some way. If they could’ve looked away from a mirror for a second, they would’ve realized what was going on before it was too late. Narcissism is bad. It pisses people off and you end up alone if you don’t learn your lesson. Of course, the good guys always learn in the end and all turns out well.
Crystal Crowder is a freelance writer and blogger. She's a tech geek at heart, but loves telling it like it is when it comes to love, beauty and style. She's enjoys writing music, poetry and fiction and curling up with a great book. You can find her on Twitter @ccrowderwrites or check out her other writing on Medium.