Girl Group | Fairy Tales | Wk 1

Once upon a time (last Friday night,) we began our new Fairy Tales series. As we launched into an exploration of traditional narrative and the ways we can re-shape our own stories, we asked the girls to think about the roles of Hero, Villain, Sidekick, and Magical Person. Everyday our relationship to these roles changes. We might, in one moment, feel like a Hero, while in the the next a Sidekick or Villain.

The girls divided themselves into Character Corners and explained why they felt most at home in each role. One girl in the Sidekick Corner admitted, “I don’t want to be in charge.” A self-identified Magical Person said, “Sometimes I want to turn people into frogs.” A girl who’d chosen the role of Hero said, “I always feel like a hero. I love being in charge.” And our Villain said, “I told on someone today.”

We talked about the Fairy Tale convention of defining character in the simplest terms. Happy, Grumpy, Dopey, etc… We asked the girls to come up with multiple descriptors for themselves and each other. The girls came up with “bold, precious, elegant, beautiful, blossoming, mischievous, smart, brave…” Who wouldn’t want to be described like that? We are filled with possibility.

The poem, Amoeba by Gayle Brandeis gave us another avenue to explore identity. As we reflected upon the poem, we explored the idea of being “seen.” One girl said, “I’m a t-Rex because I’m strong and I want to be seen.”

Amoeba Gayle Brandeis

Driving with a clutch of high school friends, one asked: What prehistoric creature would you be? T-Rex, friends shouted, Triceratops, Pterandon, all large creatures with tough muscle. The thought of living in such vicious bodies made me cringe. I would be an amoeba, I said, making my friends laugh, call me a weirdo as we sped down the street. Why do you always want To disappear? they asked – a question I still sometimes ask myself – but a whole lifetime later, I would choose amoeba again, body condensed to a singular gleaming, a pulse of pure movement, workings shining through translucent skin.

Next week we will begin an exploration of the Princess archetype and take a look at the ways these women are strong and capable. We’ll start talking about writing our own stories, shifting the narratives to include a deeper range of emotion and ability.

Be sure to check out our upcoming events!

Happy Spring! Tanya and Wesley

#girlgroup #fairytales #whoami

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