What’s your daughter thinking when she’s reading those fairy tales?

My older sister, Kim, a voracious reader and great artist even as a tiny kid, made this Make-a-Plate when she was about ten years old. Kim was obsessed with fairy tales. She owned every color of Andrew Lang’s fairy books and also the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. I wasn’t as big a fan– the middle of three sisters, it pissed me off that all the exciting adventures usually happened to the youngest or oldest girl. Though regardless of birth order, most female characters don’t fare too well is this genre. A girl in a fairy tale is likely to end up one of two ways: married off or murdered. Sometimes both.

I think this particular plate– one of a series– was inspired by Blue Beard. It’s fascinating to me how much care Kim took to represent ethnic diversity in these women. Also, their faces are so animated, even though they’re dead.

I was impressed but grossed out and disturbed when Kim drew this. She wanted to know which one I thought was the prettiest.