I came across this on Pinterest. The person who pinned it obviously thinks of it as a reference to a fun Disney movie, nothing more. I love Sleeping Beauty, so please don't think of what I'm about to say as a criticism of the film. But please DO think of what I'm about to say as a strong criticism of the message.
Look at those words again... "One day you'll awaken to love's first kiss. Until then, sleeping beauty, sleep on..."
This is frustrating to me on so many levels.
I think the idea of love's first kiss is beautiful, and is certainly something to look forward to. But it should not be the main thing that characterizes a person's life.
"But Grace," you say. "That's from the original fairy tale. That's why it's called Sleeping Beauty, because she pricks her finger and sleeps for years and years until the prince fights his way into the castle and wakes her with a kiss. This is old news."
Yes, I say to you in reply. This is old news. But consider: in the fairy tale, this lengthy sleep that befalls our heroine is a tragedy. It's the result of a malevolent being actively working to harm her. It's a sad and bad thing that she would avoid if at all possible, but since she can't - phew! - it's a good thing the prince manages to come along and save the day.
The original fairy tale has its flaws, yes, but that first sentence in the image up above isn't what bothers me. It's the second part: "Till then, sleeping beauty, sleep on."
You know what that entire image is trying to do? It's trying to compare girls who haven't yet found their "one true love" to this princess in a fairy tale who sleeps until she's awakened by a kiss. "Just keep waiting, girls," it's saying. "It will happen for you someday. One day your prince will come and you can finally wake up, but TILL THEN, SLEEP ON."
Um, fuck that.
I'm sorry for the language, but no I'm not: this calls for it. I am so enraged and offended at that notion that no other milder words will do. Seriously, what kind of moronic, backwards-thinking, downright TERRIBLE advice is that!?!?
Listen, girls. No - actually, scratch that. Listen up, EVERYONE:
DO NOT LIVE YOUR LIFE FAST ASLEEP.
DO NOT WAIT AROUND FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO GIVE YOUR LIFE MEANING.
YOUR LIFE HAS MEANING ALREADY. YOU ARE WONDERFUL AND MAGNIFICENT AND SO MUCH MORE COMPLEX AND INTRICATE AND ASTONISHING THAN ANY OF US COULD EVEN IMAGINE. SO LIVE LIKE IT.
If someone comes along one day who recognizes that and wants to sweep you off your feet, then HURRAY! Let them. Let that person give you the fairy tale kiss, or kiss them if you'd rather make the first move. But know this: they did not save you. One person does not save another person in this godforsaken life. WE SAVE EACH OTHER. Every single day. That's what a relationship is.
So there it is. I entirely reject the notion in that image up above. We need to stop reinforcing these horrible, harmful ideas.
Live your life. Be brave and kind and true. Wake up and see the light.