Once upon a time a queen’s talking mirror tells her that she is less beautiful than her 14-year old step-daughter. Infuriated she decides to have her step-daughter killed (presumably it was because she was PMSing, on another day who knows maybe she would have just ordered to have her face mutilated) because we all know, that is what women do, we are in constant competition with anyone younger or prettier because we have no other grounds on which to compete with one another. Men attack each other over valid, noble reasons but us women, we do it because someone’s nose is straighter than ours and we couldn’t fathom a reason any deeper than that. A man may perform an execution for reasons like power and money, but women only do it out of jealously.
So when Snow White’s dad dies in the most predictable act of plot convenience ever, Snow White (because why give a girl a name that involves more than the colour of her complexion especially since no one is ever going to know more about her than that) is taken into the forest to be killed but the hunters are compassionate and they kill a deer to take her heart back to the queen instead. Among the first traumas suffered by my little heart, was this, a poor little deer. The vivid imagine of ripping a heart out of a chest truly belongs in a children’s tale, as of course does the teaching that orphans are the unloved and the abandoned. Even royal family orphans.
Snow White is left to fend for herself.
So she moves in with seven men and becomes their housekeeper after breaking into their home and finding that they live like animals or “seven orphaned children”. She becomes their wonderful, loving nurturing homemaker. A natural skill for a princess or a prostitute. What is a woman who can’t keep a home, after all? This is exactly why we tell women, you can have a job but you must always remember you also have to keep a home. If it’s too much, just make the home your job. Eventually that’s better for you. Lighten your load. Besides it is better because men (living together) can’t possibly be expected to pick up after themselves or do laundry. They need 14-year old runaway maids to help them survive adulthood.
Ultimately the evil woman hears about the pretty one still being alive (from the mirror) because we all know it is only women that keep women down and why bother to add a deeper realm of information about the times or social circumstances? No, it’s better for girls to believe in evil stepmothers, witches and curses; let them believe that beauty is a curse that makes other women jealous of you. Why the fuck do fairy tales hate step mothers?
Now I remember that, disguised as a witch, the evil stepmother tried to poison Snow White several times but Snow White being paranoid (because you know when everyone in your life dies and then some bitch tries to kill you, you are bound to develop some serious anxiety) resists it once or twice. I think the first attempt is through a comb or a bottle of something. The men are all out during the day, working, and she is home cleaning and cooking when the witch or step-mother or queen (honestly all of these words in fairy tales just mean bitch) finally tricks her into eating an apple that is half poisoned. Which is surprising. A girl who is paranoid about a normal looking comb should have taken pause at an apple that was two different colours.
I guess the witch tricks her by eating the unpoisoned half WHICH WAS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT COLOUR.
Snow White dies.
She is displayed in a glass coffin but this is not so people who loved her can see her one more time. It’s because her beauty is so legendary it must be displayed. Even when she is a corpse. A woman, remember children, is not an object just in life but also after she is dead. To me, this will have always been the most disturbing part of the book.
Until I was I introduced to the prince who falls in love with a dead pretty girl he has never spoken with. Now obviously we know that men are just supposed to be so shallow they only see physical beauty, and so driven by conquest that they will defy death to get what they are owed, and any man who does differently is a coward and just strange. This man he was a true prince; so entitled was he that he felt the love of a dead girl belonged to him simply because he was so very taken. He knew exactly how to revive her too. Because your prince will always be there to save the day and know exactly how to do it too. You’ll never have to text “I’m choking” to him because he won’t take off his headphones and look in your direction.
Then the prince, who appears in the story for a mere five seconds and is somehow still one of the protagonists, leans in to kiss Snow White’s dead body on the mouth. Obviously the realities of decomposition are too gnarly to be mentioned, wouldn’t want to (accurately) portray the prince as a necrophiliac and sully the good intentions of the “kiss of love” which was totally consensual because two can violate consent if one of them is dead.
The Kiss of Love revives Snow White (it either dislodges the apple or breaks a curse, there were several versions I read as a kid) and instead of freaking the fuck out at being kissed and scooped up by a man she has never seen before she decides to live with him happily ever after in a billowy skirt.
All stories must end at happily ever after because in the history of the universe no woman has ever slept with a man for the first time and been like, “oops, that’s a weird penis and the wrong hole. Boy bye.“