Kristen Bell calls people complaining about her Snow White critique ‘annoying’

Last week, Kristen Bell said in an interview that she uses fairy tales to help start discussions with her daughters about consent, women’s agency and more. Keira Knightley had just revealed that she doesn’t let her three-year-old daughter watch Disney movies like Cinderella or The Little Mermaid because they show women being rescued by men essentially. Kristen said that she does read those stories to her five and three-year-old daughters (it was unclear if she was responding to Keira or if it was just timely) but that she makes sure they talk about the issues raised, like a lack of consent to a kiss when the prince wakes up Snow White by kissing her or taking food from strangers when Snow White is coerced into eating the witch’s apple.

Well people came for Kristen because it’s the internet and the mommy wars are real. She had some thoughts for them.

She took outlets to task for misrepresenting her interview:

There were also cases where people wished ill on her and she talked to them too.

Kristen is responding to people who are open deplorables. Once in a while I’ll comment on those tweets, I’m not going to lie it’s hard to resist and I did it just a few days ago, but my general strategy is to block or mute trolls. All you need to do is look at the person’s account for 10 seconds to see if it’s worth responding to them. I get why she’s defensive though. She made a very good point about the media we’re letting our kids consume and how you can turn it into a lesson. Then a bunch of people twisted it and yelled at her for explaining a rather sensible parenting strategy. Kristen can be annoying and she’s an oversharer but I’m with her on this one. Oh and she understands she shouldn’t respond to everyone. I thought this was cute:




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24 Responses to “Kristen Bell calls people complaining about her Snow White critique ‘annoying’”

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  1. Betsy says:

    She’s not wrong, but she could just remind them that they’re fairy tales and what they do in stories isn’t how we do it in real life. I don’t frequently cavort with diamond mining dwarves whose entire personality can be distilled in a single adjective. I think it just irritates me because Kristen Bell kind of irritates me.

    Keira Knightley’s decision not to show her daughter fairy tales seems both more useful and harsher and more naive. I can appreciate her trying to avoid giving her daughter any idea that culturally and historically she has been expected to be rescued rather than her own agent, but she’s missing out on fun stories and also – I think it still bleeds in. It is really, really, REALLY difficult to keep kids from absorbing the kind of gendered expectations a society has.

    • Keaton says:

      ITA with this. I like that she uses the fairytales as an opportunity to bring up issues like consent. But I like framing the discussion the way you suggest: These are fairytales. That’s not how we do it in real life. (Granted I haven’t read the original interview so maybe KB does that.)

      I also wanted to add, I think the example set by parents, caregivers, immediate family, etc (i.e., REAL LIFE figures) is FAR more powerful than images in the media. Anecdotally, I was raised on all those problematic fairytales but I also had a strong, outspoken, confident mother and a father who treated her as his equal. I think that’s a huge reason I never internalized alot of these messages. I really feel like being a good REAL WORLD example to girls and young women (whether it’s your child, your nieces, etc) is important. We are a model to them, whether we realize it or not.

      • Esmom says:

        Absolutely, well said. Real life, every day role models carry far more weight for kiddos than whatever the media serves up.

        Although I should say that might change as the kids get older. My 17 year old son insists on contradicting my POV based on what he and his friends are consuming from the media every chance he gets, sigh.

    • dietcokehead says:

      I didn’t grow up playing with dolls or watching Disney movies (my mom wasn’t a fan of either). I started watching them as an adult, and a lot stands out as wrong and inappropriate. I mean, don’t even get me started on Beauty and the Beast! I definitely have a different viewpoint from my friends who grew up watching these films. One of my friends at 30 is still waiting for a Disney-flick, fairytale, Cinderella kinda love and missing out on a lot of potentially great relationships and experiences. I appreciate that my mom was more discerning with what I watched.

      • Berthiec says:

        + one.
        There’s a lot of stories and fun to be had without these lessons of interiorised sexism.

  2. Slowsnow says:

    Chivalry?! These people are living in the medieval times.

  3. Lightpurple says:

    That right-wing extremists like Ben Shapiro thought it necessary to take Kristen to task for how she is raising her daughters while simultaneously defending Brett Kavanaugh is just another illustration that we are living in a horrible, alternative dimension

  4. I'm With The Band says:

    I can see their point, but I also feel moreover that they need to calm the eff down a little. Most young children don’t have the capacity or abstract thinking to question gender roles, or morals in fairy tales. Let kids revel in the fantasy, but also have those critical conversations with them when they’re older about consent, being self-sufficient, having power and agency, stereotyping etc.

    I tried to jump into a picture of convict Australia when I was about 6 or 7 years old because Mary Frigging Poppins. Yet, I missed the point entirely about women’s rights, the importance of being connected to your children over your career, etc until I was much older. But I loved the movie for what it meant to me as a young child: whimsy and fantasy. Same as I loved Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, without any thought to a man being my saviour one-day. I got it when I was older, but loved it when I was young.

    • Erinn says:

      But at the same time – the younger that you teach kids these things in an age appropriate way – the more likely it will be ingrained into them. A toddler can ABSOLUTELY learn the basics of consent. “If you don’t want to be touched, you don’t have to. And if someone else doesn’t want to be touched – don’t touch them”. That’s all it has to be when they’re that young. And the problem with waiting until they’re “old enough” to understand it fully is often too late. There’s so many people who don’t bother to teach their kids proper anatomy – and when you live in a world where molestation happens at such a scary high level – you NEED to get kids on board with this kind of thing SUPER young. They need to know that they have agency over their own body.

    • Olivia says:

      This is so true IWTB thank you

  5. tw says:

    I finally saw “The Good Place”. Kristen and Ted Danson are great in it!

    • Franklymydear... says:

      It’s brilliant! I don’t know her other work (outside of voicing Anna in Frozen) but she is just delightful and Ted Danson is perfection. Love that show so much!!!

  6. Enormous Coat says:

    Fairy tales were designed to teach children lessons, and children are quite perceptive, despite what some adults may think. Encouraging children to explore their feelings and think more deeply about what they are hearing/reading/seeing is a good thing. The backlash against women questioning traditional narratives they’ve been cast – being framed as ‘oh calm down’ – is part of the problem.

    Challenge the status quo and they really get mad at you.

  7. Esmom says:

    She brought up a point in her one tweet that has alarmed me more and more lately — people do not read articles, only headlines, and comment about things without having the full context. This weekend I saw a thread where people were ripping into Jake Tapper about a story he tweeted and he was like “read the second sentence of the story, it’s all there.” This is what destroyed Hillary and how we ended up with Trump. It’s exhausting and beyond discouraging.

    Anyway, my point is I can see why she’s annoyed with the trolls who don’t even bother to read her full interview before making judgements and ripping her to shreds.

  8. MarcelMarcel says:

    My feminist mother had me believing that Sleeping Beauty ended with her waking up, deciding to go to university and only marrying the Prince after they got to know each other better.

    My favourite film version of the Cinderella story is Ever After.

    I can understand deciding not to expose your children to certain fairytales. I also think that it’s perfectly fine to share stories with children and encourage critical thinking by discuss the flaws in a story.

    Sometimes I think social media outrage targeted against famous women is just a way to exert patriarchal control.

    • ...otaku fairy says:

      “Sometimes I think social media outrage targeted against famous women is just a way to exert patriarchal control.” It absolutely is that in a lot of cases.
      Also, have you noticed that the go-to response for misogynists any time a woman says or does just about anything publicly- including offering up valid criticism- is to call it attention-seeking? So lazy.

      • MarcelMarcel says:

        Totally! It’s very frustrating because we are called attention seeking or overly emotional and then later on are criticised for not speaking up.

  9. Meganbot2000 says:

    I agree with her over this issue, but she would literally gift wrap and sell her child’s bowel movement if it got her a headline.

  10. Cara says:

    Never mind everything else…… what in the world does she have on in these pictures?? She is so darling, but that outfit is really terrible!
    Oh and I think people all of a sudden not having fairytales in their homes and blah, blah, blah is assanine!! This world is just so rediculous these days. It’s make believe people!! Can’t anything just be for fun?

  11. adastraperaspera says:

    Fox and Friends did a segment criticizing her opinions. Of course! The GOP right-wing are in full attack mode on any issue–seeking to divide us. The role of women in fairy tales has been discussed extensively since 1970s consciousness-raising sessions, and there are many books written to explore the theme. The current “controversy” is much ado about nothing. Good for Kristen for speaking her mind and raising her kids how she wants.

  12. Kayzilla says:

    I rewatched all the “classic” Disney movies a few years ago when they were on Netflix. I hadn’t seen them in at least 25 years, and… it isn’t just Snow White- they’re all horrifying! Peter Pan is about an adult man trying to MURDER children and includes a song about “what makes the redman red.” Dumbo- racist crows and drunk clowns. Pinocchio- the whole lost boys/jackass part. Cinderella- child abuse, slavery, etc. When I took dance classes as a child, we danced to “Zip A Dee Doo Dah,” and now Disney [rightfully] does everything it can to prevent Song of the South from ever seeing the light of day again.

  13. Helen Smith says:

    One thing I remember about Grimm’s fairy tales upon which the Disney movies are based is they scared children into moral behavior. Think Hansel and Gretel with the witch wanting to eat them or the real Little Mermaid story doesn’t end with Ariel getting the guy. She turns into sea foam. Any parent can argue with whether or not they want to teach their children this way which is why I’ve avoided commenting on it. Cinderella is about overcoming bullying or about child labor and abuse depending on what you want to emphasize for example. Or maybe you would discuss both. Child labor was a thing in Europe when the original story was written.

  14. bikki says:

    why is she so reactive in her twitter responses? she didn’t say anything bad so I don’t understand why she went full defense. just ignore the troll moms and move on… happier life