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Alternate Endings to Princess Stories

Prior to having children, I swore I’d be one of those moms who didn’t let her daughter play princess or wear princess costumes. I didn’t want to pigeonhole any of my children into classic gender roles and figured limiting the princess exposure would ensure my daughter grow up to be a strong, take-no-prisoners future CEO or maybe even the first female President of the United States kind of girl.

Boy was I wrong.

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From the minute she knew what a princess was, my daughter was obsessed. No, I have never actually bought her anything princess related, but princess love seems to be hard-wired in a lot of little girls.

As a mom, I still can’t make peace with what princess stories are really all about. Take “Cinderella” for instance. Cinderella dances with the prince one time and then he wants to marry her. Isn’t that a little soon? What happened to casually dating before becoming the queen of an entire kingdom?

And who says the Prince is really all that? I mean how many times have you danced with a guy, thought he was a real prince only to find out he leaves his fingernail clippings in the sink or doesn’t flush? Just because a guy seems like he’s a real catch, doesn’t mean he is once reality sets in. And who says every princess needs a prince? Maybe some princesses are fine to play the field in the kingdom and see what life has to offer.

Just because you kiss a prince doesn’t mean you have to marry him.

So since classic princess stories never really address what life is like once you start dating the guy you thought was a prince, I thought I’d suggest some alternate endings to princess stories that might help our girls have a more realistic portrayal of life in the castle. And maybe they’ll realize there’s a lot more to life than getting picked by a knight in shining armor.


Photograph by Disney

How It Really Ends: After searching the entire kingdom for the princess to whom the missing glass slipper belongs, the prince realizes the slipper fits commoner Cinderella and the two immediately marry.

How I’d End It: The Prince puts the glass slipper on Cinderella’s foot and suggests the two marry, but Cinderella says she’d prefer to date. After all, it’s weird to marry someone you don’t know, even if he is a Prince.

“Snow White”

How It Really Ends: After the evil Queen tricks Snow White into letting her in, the Queen gives Snow White a poison apple to eat. The dwarves find Snow White and can’t revive her so they chase the evil Queen into the forest where she is killed. The Prince arrives to revive Snow White with his kiss. The two live happily ever after.

How I’d End It: Sure Snow White just ate a poison apple, but she carries her own Epi-Pen so it’s no big deal. After all, a real princess knows how to rescue herself!


Photograph by Disney

How It Really Ends: After the Prince is blinded by Dame Gothel, he wanders through the countryside looking for Rapunzel, who now lives there with her twins. When the Prince hears Rapunzel signing, her recognizes her voice and the two are reunited. Her tears mend his blindness and the two live happily ever after.

How I’d End It: The Prince and Rapunzel are reunited after he hears her sing. He asks her to live happily ever after, but she declines. If her voice can heal blindness, she can probably win “American Idol.” So she wants to give it a shot. Who can blame her?

“Sleeping Beauty”

Photograph by Disney

How It Really Ends: After Prince Phillip kills the evil Maleficent, he saves Aurora from imminent death by kissing her. The two live happily ever after.

How I’d End It: Aurora is grateful to Prince Phillip for saving her from dying, but realizes that doesn’t mean she should marry him. Just because you kiss a prince doesn’t mean you have to marry him. She says she’ll text him, but never does.

RELATED: Accepting My Pink, Sparkly Princess of a Daughter

“Beauty And The Beast"

Photograph by Disney

How It Really Ends: Belle befriends the Beast, who imprisons her father, causing the Beast to fall in love with her. Belle eventually falls in love with the Beast just in time for the spell that turned him into a beast to be broken. Suddenly, he’s a handsome prince!

How I’d End It: Sure, the Beast turns into a good-looking stud but Belle can’t forget he’s the same guy who put her dad in jail. She’d prefer to date a nicer guy even if he’s not as cute, so the two break up. Belle changes her Facebook status to “single” immediately and reactivates her Tinder account. She swipes right on the nicest guy she sees!

Image via The Artifice

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