Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After: The Hidden Messages in Fairy Tales

When did you first begin to suspect? Maybe the moment you saw that interview with Charles and Diana, and they were asked “Are you in love?” If we’d had the advantage of reading Anne Beall’s work sooner, we might all have entered adulthood with a better understanding of what was coming for us. Read on to learn more about her intriguing and enlightening new book. There’s also a short interview with the author PLUS a chance to win a signed copy of her book.

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Did Cinderella live happily ever after? You might think so until you look more closely at the hidden messages in beloved fairy tales. In this book, fairy tales are analyzed in terms of the underlying messages about marriage, agency, power, suffering, and good versus evil, with a focus on how male and female characters differ in each of these areas. The analysis is a data-driven approach that provides clear evidence for the hidden messages in these beloved tales. The end conclusion is not whether fairy tales are good or bad but rather what messages they deliver about life, even if unintentionally.

Three Questions:

Can you give us a sneak peek at your next project?

My next project is a book called Only Prince Charming Gets to Break the Rules: Gender and Rule Violation in Fairy Tales and Life.  It’s an analysis of fairy tales and folktales from around the world. I found that male and female characters are treated differently when they break rules in stories around the globe. Men are often rewarded or unpunished, whereas women are punished very severely. In fact, one-third of them are executed! I draw parallels with modern life where I found that men and women are treated differently when they break rules. For example, men and women in the legal, financial, and medical fields are given very different punishments for the exact same transgressions.

What’s the most interesting / flattering / peculiar thing a reader has ever said to you?

I’ve had readers tell me they view their lives differently after reading Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After. I’ve always suspected that many women identified with Cinderella at a young age and hoped they would meet their prince charming one day who would save them and make their lives easier. It’s a great idea, but pure fantasy. A reader once told me that she thinks the way she viewed men and women had likely been shaped by fairy tales, which she realized after reading the book. One of the more peculiar things that’s been said to me is that I must have written this book because I don’t like men and can’t have a romantic relationship with a man. My male fiancée and my sons found that interesting.

How should new writers invest their time and money in order to be successful?

The best thing a writer can do is just sit down and write and write and write. Don’t listen to that voice in your head that says you can’t do it, that writing is hard, and that you just don’t have what it takes. Don’t listen to that! Just write. Then review and edit. And when you feel good about your work, have someone else review it and give you honest feedback. Take the feedback that you know is great and leave the rest behind. This is your work, and you should stay true to yourself. Your story absolutely needs to be told. That’s the best advice I have for any writer.

Meet the Author

Anne E Beall

A leader in the field of market research and one of the few female CEOs in the industry, Anne E. Beall is the author of 10 books in business, gender studies, and mindfulness, including Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After: The Hidden Messages in Fairy Tales and The Psychology of Gender. Her book Heartfelt Connections was named one of the top 100 Notable Indie books in 2016 by Shelf Unbound, and she has published nearly a dozen business articles in noted journals. Her books have been featured in People Magazine, Toronto Sun, Hers Magazine, and Ms. Career Girl, and she has been interviewed by NBC, NPR, and WGN. Having received her PhD in social psychology from Yale University, Anne resides in Evanston, Illinois and is the founder of the market consultancy company Beall Research.

connect with the author:  website ~ facebook ~ twitter ~ goodreads


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