Cinderella, fairytales to be censored by 'sensitivity readers'

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Ladybird Books, a division of Penguin, is considering new censorship of many of their children’s books based on fairytales, such as Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, after hiring sensitivity readers to review their catalog which they deemed contained “problematic” material, such as “Handsome princes – and beautiful princesses” falling in love at first sight “due to the privilege given to physical attractiveness and heteronormative romance.”

According to the Telegraph, “Outdated or harmful elements in fairy tales, according to publishing insiders, may also include characters presuming each other’s pronouns or social class, and a lack of diversity among blonde-haired and blue-eyed protagonists.”

Other problems that happen “at first sight” in the fairytales, according to the sensitivity readers, are the “presumption of gender pronouns.” Sensitivity readers recommend “gender-neutral language,” such as when a princess first looks upon a prince and not to assume the prince is a man.

The status of princes and princesses themselves were deemed problematic, such as in Snow White, because it “may suggest to children that what is important about these characters is their social rank.”

The sensitivity readers also said the fairytales were ageist for often depicting the villains as elderly and that their lack of diversity was a problem, as many princesses were described as “white, and with golden hair and blue eyes.”

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