Not so ‘fair’ fairy tales!


“Fairy tales can be created in the real world but fairy tales cannot create a real world, adapting to reality is the only option and the solution.”

Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel are princesses from fairy tales that Goan children have grown up reading about. They all have a common element, as all the stories end up with a happy ending. But what if there wasn’t a happy ending to these fairy tales?

Dina Goldstein, a name unfamiliar to Goans, has been a photographer for over 20 years. Through her photographic series ‘Fallen Princesses’ she has tried to showcase these fairy tale princesses in contemporary world circumstances.

The inspiration she cites is the phase when her daughter was getting into the princess culture and at the same time her mother was diagnosed with cancer.

“I started to think: what if these princesses had to deal with cancer, or financial discourse, or any of the real-life problems people have to go through?” said Goldstein in a report.

She began to work on the project in 2007. Her work has appeared in many prominent magazines such as Elle, Marie Claire and many Canadian publications. The photographer has depicted a princess from fairy tales in circumstances that were also inspired by her life.

Buxom Belle

Reversing nature’s course

The Belle was known for her beauty. Through the picture the writer is trying to ask whether nature should be allowed to take its course or is it okay to intervene? Belle obviously intervened.


Trapped in a prison

“Here, we have Ariel, who, because she’s so unique and beautiful, has been captured and put on display in an aquarium. We tend to capture beautiful things and use them for our pleasure, and that was really the idea for the shot—the human inclination toward using beautiful creatures for our own entertainment. This project was created with no budget, so I had to do what I had to do to make a picture come together. What I did is I shot the tank separately, photographed Ariel in studio with a green screen, and then we composited the two together.” Goldstein was quoted explaining in a report.


Cinderella hits the bottle

In the original version she meets her prince charming and lives happily ever after but in Goldstein’s version Cinderella isn’t able to conceive. After exhausting all the means Cinderella has hit the bottle to grieve.


She goes to fight on the front

Goldstein was quoted in a report explaining the picture, “She’s a soldier and has gone to defend her country, just like so many other women who are on the front lines today. When I shot it, women were in Iraq fighting, which, to me, is amazing. I grew up in Israel and, while women don’t go into combat there, I’ve always seen women with machine guns on the street because they go into the army at age 18. People will laugh, but for the helicopters and tanks, we just photographed some kids toys and superimposed them. We did what we could with the budget!”


Cats and dog to keep her company!

The photographer has explained her to be an agoraphobic. After her lover left her, she has chosen not to leave the house. She works from home and her only interaction with the outside world is through delivery boys who come to pick her packages. She is shown to posses many cats and a dog.

Princess and the Pea

Highlighting suffering through metaphors

“I wanted to talk about the amount of garbage that we create in this world, so I used the “Princess and the Pea” because so many of our mattresses end up at the dump, and she was thrown away with the mattresses. You’ll find that in a lot of kingdoms—when someone loses their kingdom, they lose their title and are no longer relevant. Today, people dismiss other people so easily.” Goldstein was quoted by a report while elaborating what she tried to highlight in this photo.


The harsh reality

The idea behind this image according to the photographer is to highlight how much importance is given to hair by women. The various meaning attached to hair and the fact that Rapunzel has lost her hair to cancer. Which is a real life situation faced by many women.

Little red riding hood


The writer explains in the fairy tale that Red Riding Hood has dedicated her life to other people. While leaving little or no time for herself. At a point she stops caring and prefers fast food because of its convenience. The photographer further emphasizes that she has tried to highlight the dilemma a poorer section of the society feel when they have to buy cheap, but harmful fast food because healthy food is inconvenient to make and expensive.

Sleeping beauty

To wait or not to wait

The photographer has captured what it would be like if she never woke up? Everyone around her aged while she slept. The Prince who has grown old is now seen sitting next to her.

Snow White

Snow White hit by recession

“They’ve lost their kingdom and they’ve been exiled to suburbia, so they end up in suburbia with no domestic help, and Snow White is again back to working as hard as she was in her childhood—and she hates it. The prince has to deal with the recession and losing his job, and not finding a new one, and that affects his ego, so he’s very depressed. So now, Snow White is trapped in domestic hell.” Goldstein explains in a report.

Goan children have enjoyed these fairy tales as children and continue to do so. The photographer has through her series ‘Falling Princesses’ tried to showcase the real world problem faced by the general public. It may be suffering from diseases or being under difficult circumstances. This series shows the Princesses in a new light to Goans.

Source: Daily Beast