issue seven : folklore & fairytales
The human species thinks in metaphors and learns through stories.Mary Catherine Bateson
Ameera, the star of our beauty editorial Blue, Holi, You shares three of her illustrations and a short story with us for our folklore and fairytale issue. These artworks will be available for purchase at the Tactile Minds exhibition, in support of the charity Mind. 50% of Ameera’s profits from the exhibition will go to Mind and The Mill House charity.
So what does mental health and stories have in common? Well, they are indeed very intertwined. Unbeknown to most of us, fairytales have been used for many generations as a tool for us (especially children) to give us a sense of relatable understanding on how to navigate the cruel and crazy world by empowering us with the subconscious insights of the different lessons good and evil characters play in throughout our lives. Fairytales have been used by psychoanalysts as a powerful medium to help children through therapy.
In today’s crazy world, truth is certainly stranger than fiction. Today, our lessons don’t come from folklore or fairy tales but rather from too many storytellers with nothing more to say than “look at me living my best life”. We no longer learn about the importance of enchantment as a way to navigate this crazy maze called ‘life.’ Instead, ‘stories’ are streamed on electronic boxes. Great power, with rudimentary responsibility, is given to anyone who has the time and capacity to engage their audience and keep them captivated – even if these stories have no moral or social grounding.
Voyeurism is the modern fairytale. A look into the lives of others – without enough context to see the full picture, we are often left filling in the blanks and looking at other people’s lives as these romanticised fantasy lives, all too often forgetting that the ‘stories’ we see now, are merely snippets of lives. A place where a breastfeeding mother is deemed crude and yet other women can pose with unspeakable provocativeness without any recourse. A place where everyone now looks like carbon copies of each other and individuality is left to the palace jokers. We are “learning” that our lives are not enough and this is an ever so dangerous state of affairs. There have been a number of studies done about the impact these modern day story telling broadcasters (a.k.a social media) has on our emotional and mental wellbeing. There is a direct correlation to between the use of social media and increased rates of anxiety and depression in children, adolescents and adults alike.
Of course, this is not entirely a new conversation. Fashion magazines have been blamed for the falsifying of facts and the implications on body image for years.
We need to remember this simple truth. They are not kings and queens, princes or princesses. They are, like you and I, human. With good and bad turns on their own perilous journeys. Warts and all.
So, without further ado, take a step out of everyday stories and journey into The Garden of Girls by Ameera Mian. A world of make-believe and enchantment. A place where hairy legs, boobs and even the forbidden nipple feature proudly and prominently.
A gentle reminder of womanhood.
She jumped down past fig leaves as huge as herself. Falling, falling past beds of safety. Gravitating decisions landed her where she wants.
Her salty hair adorned with steady shoulders as the shafts of lemony light glowed behind her parasol plant.
These spirits were born dreaming.
If you would like to purchase some new art and help raise funds and awareness for mental health, why not head down to the Tactile Mind exhibition. These illustrations will be on sale for £15 for A5 and £30 for A4.