Why HSBC rewrote fairy tales for girls

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The Background

So simple but so so good! 

Let’s face it, for a long time, fairy-tale stories and Disney classics haven’t represented society in the slightest. From Little Mermaid giving her voice to marry a prince, to Rapunzel waiting for a man to set her free. 

Now that I think about it, the only story I could resonate with was Lion King because everyone has that one dodgy uncle in their family… oh, and a few mates like Timon and Pumbaa to yell Hakuna Matata once in a while. 

However, HSBC has changed these stories for good.

The Big Idea

HSBC took three well-known fairy tales and flipped them on their head… or on their feet where they belong; thus creating: Fairer Tales: Princesses are doing it for themselves

The aim – to teach young girls and boys financial independence because let’s face it, all Cinderella needed was a good shoe not Prince Charming (he was a bonus not a necessity *flicks weave*).

What They Did

HSBC first and foremost conducted research and found (to me) the most horrifying results. 

According to its study, two-thirds of girls say they “don’t understand money”, compared to just half of boys the same age. Even more shockingly, 34% of parents said they avoid discussing money in front of their daughters, compared to 24% who avoided the discussion with their sons. 

It’s clear that the financial gender gap is well in place for children by the age of 10 and, to be frank, it’s scary. To combat this, HSBC collaborated with children’s author Emma Dodd to transform the most subservient princesses into queens that even dragons wouldn’t cross.

Fairer Tales: Princesses are doing it for themselves showcases Cinderella starting her own trainer business, Sleeping Beauty’s savings growing as she sleeps and Rapunzel chopping off her hair to make a ladder for herself before redeveloping the tower with a bank loan – and all without the help of a man.

The Review

It’s hard for us to trust bankers most of the time, but it’s even harder to deny what a great initiative these books are. 

I’m sure there are many young girls in the world nowadays who aspire to push boundaries, to be self-sufficient and become true bosses. 

However, society hinders that through how we raise our daughters to understand money. It’s very much like the conversation we all have when we leave school, “Why the hell did we learn Pythagoras’ theorem – I mean learning about political leanings affects me more?” and “Who gives a monkey’s if it’s an isosceles or a equilateral triangle? I wish I learnt about credit and how to get a mortgage”. 

It’s the same with our girls and our boys. Why teach them to be independent and go-getters, when we aren’t equipping them with the knowledge of how to be financially independent and successful doing so? It’s a lesson I for sure wish I learnt a long time ago.

In Hindsight

I can only wish this campaign continues to grow into more stories and spreads further and wider. I think every young child needs to grow up to know how money works and the best ways to make money work for you, regardless of gender. 

These princesses are slaying it all the way to the bank and I hope my future princesses (and princes) follow suit. 

I give it a high five!

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Kim Allain

Kim Allain

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