Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood. Most children grow up reading (and watching the Disney versions) of these fairy tales. And somehow, even years after, they still manage to hold a special place in our collective imaginations -- just look at the number of fairy tale-themed movies and TV shows for adults that have cropped up over the past few years ("Snow White and the Huntsman," "Grimm," "Once Upon A Time" and "Mirror, Mirror," just to name a few).
Now Tim Manley, a 27-year-old New York City high school teacher, has reimagined many of these classic stories ... in the voice of a 20-something, Millennial urbanite. The results, published on his Tumblr, "Fairy Tales For 20-Somethings," satirize the mindset of that demographic pretty brilliantly. Snow White dreams of Ryan Gosling, Rumpelstiltskin starts thinking about his reproductive urges, the tortoise meets the hare for a caffeine break, and Chicken Little discovers hot yoga.
"Fairy tales were a big part of the way I made sense of the world as a child, and so it seemed logical to return to them as I try to make sense of it now," Manley told The Huffington Post in an email. "And they're pretty fun to write." Turns out, the struggles and privileges of being in your 20s fit nicely into fable form.
LOOK: 9 Fairy Tales For 20-Somethings
the little mermaid was a human now but sometimes at an upscale party someone would say to her, “that’s a very unusual accent. where are you from?” her past haunted her. she could never escape who she used to be.
one day, rumpelstiltskin started getting a weird feeling. instead of wanting to steal babies he saw with their families, he wanted to raise them. maybe having a baby would finally make me feel whole, he thought. but then a fellow imp said to him, “you’re already whole, rumpelstiltskin. there’s nothing you need that you don’t have already.”
aladdin messed it up with jasmine and she kicked him back onto the street.
after a few months he decided to win her back, show her he’d grown up, he was the man she always wanted him to be now. he wanted to show her how brave he was, how he wasn’t scared of emotions anymore, he could even, one day, be a father to their children.
so he texted her: “hey, what’s up?”
Thumbelina never got much bigger but she did get her own reality TV show, so that’s cool.
Beauty wanted to bring the Beast to meet her friends but she was nervous because they all had these super-hot boyfriends who worked in finance. She loved the Beast for who he was, she really did, but her friends were shallow and judgmental.
“Maybe you should get some new friends,” Siri advised.
The tortoise and the hare met for coffee. They each casually mentioned their recent successes, secretly hoping to appear better than the other. As they walked their separate ways home it hit them at the same time: There never was a race. There is no destination. There is no winner.
Sleeping Beauty was inexplicably depressed and spent the entire day checking her email. But then she somehow ended up watching YouTube videos of regular people covering Mumford & Sons songs, and, okay, that Taylor Swift song “Begin Again,” and something about it was really beautiful and made her feel like she’d connected with someone and someone understood how she felt and she wasn’t alone.
snow white had lost her infatuation with the prince. they only had sex maybe once a week now, and even when they did it was eh. she found herself looking at photos of ryan gosling online, remembering when she felt about the prince how she felt looking at him.
but the prince loves me, she thought. and if i were with ryan gosling he’d be prettier than me and that wouldn’t be cool at all.
chicken little knew she was supposed to be in a good mood while out with her friends, but she just didn’t feel it. she had this certainty that something was wrong even though she couldn’t name what it was. then she started going to therapy and realized all these things about her childhood she’d never thought of in that way. she also started doing hot yoga.
(All of these stories were originally published on fairytalesfor20somethings.tumblr.com Visit the site to see more.)