From a 4th Grader: Fearless Girls Matter
*Editor's Note: This essay from Hayden Leigh Dorney-MacDonald of Horace Mann Elementary School is shared with her permission. She so powerfully argues for better books to inspire fearless girls to follow their dreams. Hayden, we hear you! Check out Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and Bravery Magazine to start...
Name: Hayden Leigh Dorney-MacDonald (4th grade)
Audience: Children’s book author
We should have more fairy tales with strong independent fearless girls. First, when you write a fairy tale with pathetic girls it gives kids a false idea of life. Some things that fairy tales claim to be true don't happen to everybody, like marriage. We all know “happily ever after” doesn’t happen to everybody. For example, my very own mother, Brenna Hope Dorney, raised me on her own for nine years. Never in my entire life have I seen a fairy tale like my life and I think we need more.
Another reason you should start writing books with strong independent fearless girls is because it can make real strong independent fearless girls feel like they can follow their dreams. Their fates are not staying at home making dinner for a husband and child and doing princess waves. When young girls hear fairy tales with girls getting saved by boys it makes them feel like they can't follow their dreams.
One more reason we should have fairy tales with strong independent fearless girls is every girl needs a role model, someone to show them even their wildest dreams are possible. Katherine Coleman Johnson is my role model. An African-American mathematician, she worked for NASA and her calculations were responsible for the success of the Apollo 11 flight to the moon. Some girls out there still need role models and we don't want their role models to be girls that bow down to men.
In conclusion, we should have more fairy tales with strong independent fearless girls because they can make girls feel like they can follow their dreams. Give a girl a role model and you won't plant false ideas into children’s heads. Do you want to help redefine the fairy tale?