Occasional Epiphanies

Prince Charming Is Kind Of A Jerk

Men Mar 28, 2012 27 Comments

I love fairy tales. I always have. I am a bit of a romantic and I love seeing the girl get swept off her feet. And ride off in a horse drawn carriage by horses that never poop. Yes, I know it’s not realistic. But the prince should try.

This TV season has been good to me with two fairy tale-ish shows on, Once Upon A Time and Grimm. I love both of them for different reasons.

If you haven’t ever seen Once Upon A Time, you really should. It is basically about what happens to all the fairy tale characters when the Evil Queen from Snow White puts a spell on all of them to bring them into the real world. No one remembers who they really are and they just live ordinary lives in a small town called Story Brook.

A lot has been going through the season, but two main characters are at the heart of it all: Snow White and Prince Charming. The show goes back and forth between present day time in the real world and the past in the fairy tales. In the fairy tale flashes Snow White is strong, brave, and loyal. She fights for herself and the people (including dwarves) that she loves. She doesn’t whine about much of anything. Instead, she takes action.

Prince Charming is the same. He fights monsters, rescues damsels, and saves kingdoms, all while being a partner to Snow White. They actually fight together and they have a great chemistry that shows they are both smart and strong in their own right.

But then it gets to the real world. Snow White is lonely and kind of pathetic, living for her job as a teacher. She falls in love with Prince Charming, who is married to a woman he doesn’t remember loving. But he can’t make up his mind and refuses to make a decision.

In real life Prince Charming is indecisive, weak, and pretty pathetic. And when Snow White needs him the most, he doesn’t believe her or stand by her side. He says he loves her, but he doesn’t have the balls to leave his wife.

It made me think about the romantic ideals we have about men and how they play out in real life.

In fairy tales the prince is rich, brave, and handsome. His job is to run the kingdom and fight the dragon. And of course to rescue the princess. But how do those qualities transfer to real life?

Prince Charming lives in a world with dragons and rival kingdoms. He can save the princess and still respect her. He knows that she’ll save his life the next time.

Sometimes we think we want the White Knight to ride into our lives and save us. Sure it is nice to have someone pay for dinner and pull out the chair. But do we really need to be saved?

The monsters in real life aren’t dragons to be slain. They are struggles that we have to go through to learn the lessons that make us stronger. We don’t have to go through them alone, but no one can do it for us.

I used to think I couldn’t buy a home on my own. And then I did. The feelings of pride, strength, and capability are something I would never trade away. Those are the feelings we earn when we do things ourselves rather than having someone hand it to us.

In real life the man who thinks he has to save us doesn’t think we can do it ourselves.

In real life, Prince Charming is a jerk.

What do you think about being saved by someone else? How does it feel to save yourself? Have you watched Once Upon A Time?


27 Responses to “Prince Charming Is Kind Of A Jerk”

  1. Reply Natalie Hartford says:

    FAB post darlin’!
    I couldn’t agree more. Let’s leave the fairytales for the books and let’s leave real life to real life. As much as I love Prince Charming, there’s nothing worse than a man who is constantly trying to “save” you. Seriously. How helpless and weak do you think I am. I mean, I am all for opening the door or picking up the check once and awhile but my dreams, my life – my responsibility. I gotta know how to take care of myself because…Mr. Prince Charming may not always be there and/or may not be so charming….
    Girls gotta be strong, empowered and self reliant! Yes, it’s ok to ask for help etc but when push comes to shove, we gotta be able to handle life and all it throws at us.

  2. Reply Karla Robinson says:

    I have not watched that show, gonna have to check it out. Prince charming sounds charming but for some reason they are always indecisive. I never wanted to have a saviour, i thought Jesus was the saviour. I believe you should live your life and be happy being alone and getting to know and love you. What happened to me is that someone came along that just liked me for me, and I realized i never had that before, not really. I still love fairy tales and believe in a happy ending, but it’s never an ending but just the beginning.

    • Reply Emma Burcart says:

      I think you are right about not being saved, and about getting to know and love yourself. And you can’t wait for someone to come and save you or solve your problems. Just like you said, he has to like you for you.

  3. Reply Prudence MacLeod says:

    Yep, Natalie said it all. A girl’s got to be able to function on her own. Loved the post.

  4. Reply Jennifer Jensen (@jenjensen2) says:

    I started out loving Once Upon a Time for the back and forth between the real world and the fairytale world. I still love seeing everyone’s “other” story, and I hadn’t thought about the difference between Charming/Snow’s actions between the two worlds. Good point! But the whole what-happened-to-his-wife thing is too over the top soap opera to me and I wish it would stop. They’re going to lose me if they don’t keep the enchantment (pun intended).

    • Reply Emma Burcart says:

      You are right. It is a little bit novella-ish. I just couldn’t stand how weak he was in the “real” world. In fairy tale land, he was awesome. And I can’t believe Regina really killed Kathryn and cut out her heart. I keep thinking it must be fake and she is really off in Boston at law school. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  5. Reply Marcy Kennedy says:

    I can’t stand Prince Charming’s character in the Story Brook real world. He’s so spineless, and it makes me sad because I can’t help but wonder if they’ll ever get back what they had before Regina took it all away. It feels like that relationship has been damaged beyond repair. I certainly won’t respect Snow White if she takes him back without him showing some remorse and back bone :)

    When I’m feeling particularly tired and discouraged the idea of being saved by someone else sounds nice, but to be honest, I’ve always been fairly independent and I like the feeling of accomplishment I get from doing things for myself. And thankfully I’m happily married to a man who loves that I’m strong and don’t need to always be rescued. Sometimes he does rescue me, but sometimes I rescue him as well ;)

    • Reply Emma Burcart says:

      I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks that about Prince Charming. When I’m yelling at the TV, I can’t tell if I’m alone in my beliefs. :) I think you are right on with being able to rescue him sometimes, too. That is about being equal. Partners. We’re not damsels in distress. I think there’s a Paula Cole song about it…

  6. Reply CC MacKenzie says:

    Gosh. I haven’t seen this since I live in the the UK. But, a metaphorical Prince Charming needs to be one with a backbone of solid steel, who stands up for the underdog and who lays down his life for his ‘the one’. Okay, he can be weak and stupid and confused and idiotic. But at the end of the day he needs to stand up and be a man and pay a high price if he wimps out!!! Just a thought!

  7. Reply Angela Orlowski-Peart says:

    I have not seen this show. I have to admit, I don’t watch much T.V :-) But from what you said in your post, Emma and from all the comments I assume it would not be too much fun to watch. Anyway, a modern woman doesn’t need a Prince Charming to save her. But what’s most important is this: “And when Snow White needs him the most, he doesn’t believe her or stand by her side.” That does it for me. Kick him to the curb.

    • Reply Emma Burcart says:

      I actually like the show, but maybe that’s because the hero’s name is Emma! Heehee. I just don’t like Prince Charming in the real world scenes. But in Fairy Tale Land, where he is supposed to be, he is a great guy! I think it is worth a watch, if you are a fairy tale lover.

  8. Reply Coleen Patrick says:

    I like knowing someone has my back–but it definitely feels better to save myself :)

  9. Reply August McLaughlin says:

    Great post, Emma. It reminds me of some of Gaven DeBecker’s tips in The Gift of Fear. Charming can be a means of manipulating. When I met my hubby, he was so darn respectful, I didn’t know he like me. lol Great lessons for us here. Thanks!

  10. Reply Jessica O'Neal says:

    Thank you! You just helped me figure out what my problem with the Snow White/Charming relationship is – the difference between their characters in the two worlds. It is crazy how different they are and it has been annoying me to no end, I just didn’t understand why until now. Thank you!

    As to the points you are making, yes, yes, and YES! It is all about being equals. Everything you said and Natalie and so many of the other commenters have said is spot on, so I will just add my whole-hearted agreement. :)

    • Reply Emma Burcart says:

      Glad I could help. :) It gives me hope that once they remember who they are and the curse is lifted, they will go back to being their strong fairy tale selves. Otherwise, I hope Snow dumps Prince Charmless.

  11. Reply Debra Kristi says:

    I haven’t seen the show, but I’m glad you said it. I was thinking it the whole time I was reading it and cheered when you finally declared Prince Charming a jerk! LOL I don’t mind a little saving if it’s truly needed once, maybe twice. But I like a girl that stands up for herself and can save herself. I respect the man who will stand by her side and let her do the saving. Enough said. Great post!

    • Reply Emma Burcart says:

      So true. Equals stand by each others sides and support each other. It’s like what Marcy said, we can rescue each other from time to time as long as we know it goes both ways.

  12. Reply Debra Eve says:

    Haven’t seen the show, but keep hearing about it. I love fairytales and this sounds like a savvy update on them. I’ve found most men who need to save women have fragile egos. They need a woman to be constantly beholden to them. Insightful post, Eileen!

    • Reply Emma Burcart says:

      Fragile egos. That is true! They need to save someone to make themselves feel better. So, it’s not even really about the damsel, it’s about them. I definitely don’t want that in a man! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Reply Debra Eve says:

    Sorry, EMMA! Was just talking to my friend Eileen and my brain misfired.

  14. Reply Shannyn Schroeder | Author says:

    [...] And Emma Burcart wrote this week about how Prince Charming is “kind of a jerk.” [...]

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