When examined closely, the vast majority of fairytales contain at least one element of truth in them (and often much more). Yes, fairytales do tend to follow character type but there is a lot of truth in those. What does the wicked witch represent? Those who are prepared to use the power they've got to control others or who are prepared to do anything to gain power. Who does the good fairy represent? Those who use their powers for the good of others. And that's just to name two examples. We can all think of real life people who can fit into those categories so fairytales do reflect humanity as we know it.
Hans Christen Andersen showed that fairytales do not always have happy ever after endings. (While it surprised me the first time I read his The Little Mermaid here, I have a greater appreciation now of the truthfulness of his characterisation and the way the story does end). Fairytales can sometimes get across a certain amount of social commentary (again see Hans Christen Andersen's The Little Match Girl here).
So I do wish some people would stop being dismissive of fairytales. There is a lot more to them than may at first be apparent.