this great article in The New Yorker, which is both a review of "Snow White and the Huntsman" and an exploration of a theme I've overlooked - the fear of aging. I like to think that I'm a fairly smart person and that I'm pretty good at picking up on the themes in books and stories but, boy, did I miss this one. You may remember me talking about how many fairy tales include wicked stepmothers. I've long wondered why and I'm sure there are a number of reasons, including a need to sanitize the stories even hundreds of years ago, replacing mothers in the story with stepmothers.
Hundreds of years after the tale of Snow White was first recorded by the Brothers Grimm (and even longer since the first versions of the story were told) it seems we haven't learned much. We are, if anything, more obsessed with youth and beauty than ever - the cosmetic surgery business alone is a billion dollar industry and whole stores are devoted to cosmetic sales. Entertainment Weekly devotes an issue every year to the up-and-coming actors and actresses but I've never seen them do an issue on the actors and actresses who are making bank in their golden years.
Why do you suppose we haven't learned anything about appreciating people as they age? Perhaps Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are to blame. After all, didn't we grow up watching the beautiful Snow White triumph over her older rival?