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23 November 2017, 13:19
A mother has raised concerns about whether the book Sleeping Beauty is appropriate for children.
A princess who is given the kiss of life by a charming prince to end the spell of an evil witch, is probably seen by most as a romantic ending to one of the world's most loved fairytales.
However, one mum claims the familiar ending from Sleeping Beauty actually has dark undertones that won't do our children any good.
According to Sarah Hall, the storyline featured in Disney's classic animation gives an 'inappropriate message' about sexual consent to young children.
She realised while reading the book to her six-year-old son Ben that it teaches children that it is okay to kiss a woman as she sleeps.
While this detail had probably gone unnoticed by most, Sarah points out the tale could have a terrible effect on impressionable children.
She said: "I think it’s a specific issue in the Sleeping Beauty story about sexual behaviour and consent. It’s about saying is this still relevant, is it appropriate?"
Taking action into her own hands, the 40-year-old left a comment in her son’s record book, and contacted the school to ask if books featuring it could be taken out of circulation for younger classes.
She said: "In today’s society, it isn’t appropriate – my son is only six, he absorbs everything he sees, and it isn’t as if I can turn it into a constructive conversation. ‘I don’t think taking Sleeping Beauty books out of circulation completely would be right.
"I actually think it would be a great resource for older children, you could have a conversation around it, you could talk about consent, and how the Princess might feel.
"But I’m really concerned about it for younger children, and would really welcome a conversation about whether this is suitable material."
Given recent headlines with several celebrities speaking out against sexual assault, Sarah says she doesn't want fairytales like Sleeping Beauty to create a culture where consent isn't important.
She said: "These are indicative of how ingrained that kind of behaviour is in society. All these small things build up, and they make a difference."
Do you think Sarah has a point? Or is she over-reacting? Let us know in the comments below.