Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cinderella’s Legacy

Why is it that the story of Cinderella, the scullery maid who became a princess, remains one of the most popular and beloved of all times? Is it because she stands up to her wicked stepmother?  No.  Because she’s brave and confidant?  Definitely not.  In those respects, Cinderella’s story proves nothing but a disappointment.  She never tells off her scheming step family or fights for her dreams. She meekly accepts her dreary existence and never makes a move to change her lot in life.

Even the end falls short of perfect.  Prince charming doesn’t come to her house, look past the dirt smudges and peasant rags to recognize Cinderella as the beautiful maiden he fell in love with at the ball.  Oh no. He marries her because her foot fits into a tiny glass shoe. Theoretically, he might have ridden off into the sunset with the wrong girl entirely, and the real “love of his life” is someone else with the same size feet wondering what in the hell’s taking her prince so long. 

It pains me to write this, as Cinderella was always my favorite Disney movie, but this ‘love story’ is nothing but a nightmare. It gives little girls (and let’s face it, a lot of lonely adults) the false belief that if they wait around long enough, a fairy godmother will come along to sort out their love life. Totally ridiculous. And waiting for prince charming to show up with a sparkly shoe in the right size – any shoe salesman can do that.  I mean, honestly, anyone who stayed in on a Saturday night waiting for a fairy godmother intervention might as well get used to scrubbing floors and singing into their soap-bubble reflection. Alone.


  1. Um, this is a horribly depressing post.... especially considering Cinderella was (and is, don't judge!) my favorite princess!!

    But... okay... I'll admit it. You have a valid point. Or, pointS.

    And I have to admit, as a young girl, I DID wonder about that shoe fitting thing... don't lots of girls have the same sized foot?!

    Way to crush my childhood dreams, Lauren. Thanks.

  2. Actually, Cinderella (despite my post) remains my favorite Disney movie...tied with the Little Mermaid. Gotta love talking mice and crustaceans. But I when I really thought about it - it occurred to me that the story might not be as picture perfect as it always seemed to be. Believe me, I was as crushed as you Julie!

  3. Do you think the fairy godmother would have let Prince Charming go home with the wrong princess?

    The reason that the story works, as with most Disney movies, is because of magic. If you're going to deduct points from Disney movies for involving magic, I'd like you to start with a critique of the pumpkin to carriage convention used prior to the prince going in search of the perfect foot.

    I think the real message of the movie is that if you keep your nose to the grindstone, or floorboards as it were, someone will notice and reward you for it.

    The ones who were out there trying to make their own luck were the two ugly stepsisters. They knew they didn't have looks on their side, but they put themselves out there and tried to secure a better life for themselves. Basically, Cinderella had the foresight to know that people who try to fake their way into success are doomed to failure.

    Maybe if Wall Street had paid more attention to Cinderella, they wouldn't have gotten into so much trouble with junk bonds.

    So my question to you, since you are anti-Cinderella, is why are you in favor of the recession?

  4. Okay, first of all, I wasn't denying the usefulness of a fairy godmother OR magic. Of COURSE they keep the story on track and allow for unusual events (like pumpkin carriages, etc).

    I agree that Cinderella is the poster child for hard work paying off - however, I disagree with your analysis of the wicked step-sisters. They didn't make their own luck. They sat around and waited for Cinderella to do everything for them (which she did). They didn't deserve to prosper.

    And I am NOT anti-Cinderella. Jeez Andy. Pay attention. As my previous comment states, Cinderella is STILL my favorite. I just think it's a little suspect when the prince can't recognize her by her face or personality and requires footwear to identify the "love of his life"!!

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