This is a funny (as in a little skewed and strange) thing that people have latched onto: that a certain tale belongs in a certain cultural context only. As such, people get very territorial when it comes to certain tales. To me, it's means they're missing one of the best things about fairy tales - that they belong to everyone. Fairy tales show us our differences and our similarities across the world and I think it's one of the reasons they're so important for children to learn when they're young. People everywhere - in every place, culture and society - are just like you, but also unique.
As fairy tale people, you're very likely aware that there are, for example, versions of Cinderella in almost every culture in the world, meaning that the tale type is - by and large - the same, but the context and details are different. Cinderella doesn't "belong" to any ones place or peoples. only the versions of them do (and that could be debated as well, considering how those tales came to be).
Let There Be Doodles. While I like imagining what the stories would be like set in a different cultural context, it was the questions and responses that followed the posting of these illustrations that caught my attention.
And I was delighted to find SurLaLune being linked to as a resource for the many versions of different stories as well (Heidi - your work is so very, VERY important and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. xx)
People really are concerned and curious and I'm grateful that this exchange, at least, was done with respect and courtesy! (I left all typos and phrasing intact to keep the original spirit of the exchange):
Anonymous asked: So I want to appologise before I ask if this sounds mean spirited, I'm trying really hard not to be. But WHY would you do race bent disney characters? Like, I get wanting more POCs and that's hella. I'm all for it. But fairy tales don't make since out of their cultural context(i.e. Meg as an Egyptian, Cinderella as a Geisha, even Jasmine as African instead of Middle Eastern). So why that change? Sorry again if this sounds mean, I'm just really confused here.
(( No, you’re fine, no worries! :)
Before anything else, I’d like to point something out. Fairy tales are constantly being taken out of their cultural context. Most of the fairy tales that we know now were taken out of their original cultural context and altered. Aladdin was originally set in China. The Frog Prince was Latin, and was altered over and over again in several countries. The stories have been and can be altered in many ways. *shrugs*
Anyway, I’m not necessarily trying to alter an entire story (although it would be fun) I’m just working with character design. I create racebent characters simply for fun and because I’d love to see more diversity in our media. :) ))
There are actually many variations of the Cinderella story.
The Little Mermaid is a story by Hans Christian Andersen, but there are a fewvariations on that theme as well (though not nearly as many as the previous two, but I’m sure there are more.)
There’s like a bunch of them for Snow White.
I’m not gonna touch Hercules (or, as he’s more properly called since the movie takes place in Greece, Heracles) or any of the Hans Christian Andersen based stories like The Snow Queen/Frozen (except, of course, for The Little Mermaid.)
Fairy tales don’t have to make sense. It’s all about the story, or the message contained within it (like with Aesop’s Fables.)