This reflection was first published on Wattpad
Disclaimer: I will mention toxic relationships and abuse, so read at your own caution!
Little Red Riding Hood is probably one of the most famous and iconic short stories ever written. So much so I have read various versions, some of which are more child friendly, while others are rather morbid, disgusting yet interesting to read. This one is a kind of in between. Still has that child-like quality that is common in fairytales, but also has a little sprinkling of details that if you read too much into them, you probably gross yourself out.
For this reflection, I would like to talk about the latter, and how Little Red Riding Hood reminds me of stories about toxic and abusive relationships. It does have that moral of being wary of strangers, perfect for little kids to learn. But for the girl to be so blind that she doesn’t recognize her own grandmother alarms me. I know it is just fiction, but this type of blindness where one refuses to see the truth or takes a blind eye to the dire situation they are in reminds me so much of the problem faced by people who end up in toxic and abusive relationships.
There was a who goes by the name Youtuber Footless Joe, who posted a video where eight years after breaking up with her toxic boyfriend, she finally put on a restraining order. In that video she explained why many people take so long to leave their abusive partners is because of that initial blindness, the refusal to see what is clearly wrong in front of them.
When the girl notices Wolfe’s clear animal characteristics, his ears, hairy limbs, beady eyes and sharp teeth, she doesn’t immediately leave. These were clear red flags. But she does not act upon these realizations and even goes closer to the wolf to the point she is begging to be eaten.
While the Little Red Riding Hood can be a nice moral story for children to be wary of strangers. Adults can also learn from it and act upon noticing those red flags instead of turning a blind eye.