We took the girls to the movies on the weekend. They’ve been playing all the classic Disney films at reduced prices. I’d never seen the original movie of Cinderella and the kids needed to get out of the house so off we set.
Well, I had a shock I tell you. I’d read the story as a kid of course, and always sensed there was something a little off about the whole glass slipper fits=true love scenario, but at a young age I couldn’t really put my finger on what was wrong with it. Seeing this story retold as an adult woman and a mother who’s trying to teach her kids to be independent, smart individuals, I was caught between hysterical laughter and concern over the messages this movie inflicts on young minds:
- If a handsome prince gets to be in his twenties and has shown so little interest in women that his father organises aball to push the women in the kingdom onto him, it’s because he hasn’t met the right girl. Not because he’s secretly gay or anything.
- If life – or an evil stepmother – beats you down, you must remain sweet and kind at all times, doing nothing to get yourself out of the bad situation. Just sit on your ass and believe that your fairy Godmother will show up and fix it all for you.
- When said FG shows up and proves to be capable of the most amazing magic, you should use it on a pretty dress, a carriage and a trip to a dance. Not to take you out of town and away from your bitch of a stepmother. That doesn’t make any sense.
- Magic powerful enough to turn a pumpkin into a carriage and mice into horses, is not powerful enough to last beyond the stroke of midnight. You must never question this.
- The only way out of a bad family situation is to marry the first guy who kisses you. Within 24 hours of meeting him. Even if the guy has so little memory of your face from the night before that he needs a shoe-fit comparison to know you’re the girl he’s looking for. Even if this knowledge and interest in shoes seems to be conclusive proof that he is secretly gay, after all.
Yeah, those are the messages I want my girls to takeaway from their moving going experience. Not.
I think the tale of Cinderella is in serious need of an overhaul. Surely we can build a better path to HEA than this.