The Warrior Amazon Stereotype on Once Upon A Time
By Alex Cranz
Sometimes updating fairy tale princess to the modern age can feel a little…cliched. Every single one has to be a secret sword fighter who’s excellent at math and warfare and can wear a corset without fainting.
I mean, I do love the updates. Maid Marian the warrior princess.
Maid Marian the…whatever the fuck she was.
Maid Marian the lost boys tamer.
Rapunzel the magical hirsute warrior.
Cinderella the secret spy.
Cinderella the well-educated dilettante with a sword.
These are some pretty awesome ladies, but when I see a new addition to the “I’m a woman hear me roar” cast I still cringe a little. As much as I adore fairy tales and Xena and swordplay not every woman needs to be a kick ass fighter who wisecracks her way through the film.
It gets real boring real quick, not to mention you’re essentially trading one stereotype (the damsel in distress) for another (the amazon who rejects societal norms).
So imagine my surprise at this week’s episode of Once Upon A Time.
Snow White has been updated to a wisecracking warrior thief and I found myself totally okay with the idea.
It’s largely due to Snow White’s background. Of all the women in fairy tales her story is the one that best lends itself to this concept. The woman lives out in the woods with a bunch of petite miners. That’s not exactly a lucrative lifestyle. It would only make sense that while other princesses were busy being princesses or working as slave labor for stepmoms or avoid daddy rape or living it up with flipping FAIRIES that Snow White would become a degenerate criminal.
But the best part of learning her new identity as Snow White Princess of Thieves?
Hopefully Once Upon a Time won’t squander this goodwill by making ALL of the princesses secret badasses. Seeing as next week features Cinderella looking a little simpering, and perpetual effete damsel in distress Emilie de Ravin has just been cast as Belle, I think Snow’s awesomeness and individuality are safe for now.