Snow White Mythos in Pop Culture

Posted on November 15, 2012
Filed Under Magic, pop culture | 2 Comments

I recently saw the movie Mirror Mirror. A little while back I also saw the other snow white movie that came out this year. And of course Once Upon a Time has Snow White as a main character, as well as the wicked Queen. There is a lot of focus on the Snow White Mythos, and when this kind of attention happens its worthwhile to pause and take notice. I find it fascinating how much Snow White has become popular. It shows how a story can endure and go through changes in its appearance that nonetheless still supports the original story.

From a pop culture magic perspective, the snow white mythos is prime estate. Whether its the movies or the show there’s a lot being done with snow white and it’s worth studying. Pop culture is about relevance. Why something is popular is based on how it speaks to the needs of the people at a given time. Snow White has relevance because it speaks to the desire people feel to come out of a bad time, but also the need to find someone who represent the hope they need to feel as they weather that bad time.

Snow White has become more relevant because people identify with the story. The princess is oppressed by the evil queen who fears her power. The princess runs away and tries to get help, while the queen does whatever she can to stop the princess. And so on and so forth. There are variations of the story which the current movies and show are presenting. And those variations are what keeps Snow White relevant. By seeing the myth retold in contemporary culture, explored in context to the demands and needs of the time, the myth is refreshed, rejuvenated, made into something relevant to the times. The myth is reborn and people’s buy in to it is also reborn.

When I look at Snow White mythos right now I see strong female leads who come to the rescue of the Princes who are in love with them. I see allies who can help her, but often require her help as well. I see an evil queen who is much more than evil. I see characters people can relate to, that embody the times we live in. And that’s the beauty of a mythology evolving. It provides us a chance to see the mythology change and be reappropriated by the themes of the times.


Justin Patrick Moore
Justin Patrick Moore

I would also say that pop culture is relevant because it speaks not only to the needs of a culture, but to the shadow of a culture. I'm not a big fan of either zombies or vampires. I love horror novels and horror, just not zombies and vampires. (Caitlin R. Kiernan is more my style though she doesn't consider herself a horror writer.) But zombies and vampires have become so prevalent in today's pop culture psyche it makes me wonder why people identify so much with vampiric behavior and also the walking dead. I'd say those things are part of our collective shadow... the way we thrive by draining other people or countries resources in a collective sense, and also the way so many people are in a state of living death, via medication and being oversaturated with media, following a path that has been set in front of them, rather than striking out and finding their own.