However tempting it might be to view Cinderella’s story as just a fairy tale; Nevertheless, an ideal of womanhood and manhood exists in this society, and that ideal emerges from the messages we receive as children. If that message conveys that women should be submissive, beautiful, and most appealing when they are damsels in distress and that men should possess wealth to be most desirable, is it any wonder that women and men are edged to be and do those things as adults in this society?
Therefore, it is problematic that a story such as Cinderella fortifies a limited range of feminine and masculine behaviours.
Consequently, however alluring it might be to see Cinderella as just a bedtime tale to put children to sleep, it is important to acknowledge the power this fairy tale has had in forming certain staple perceptions in the society.
Henceforth, this blog is purely personal and opinionated, and does not intend to hurt your sentiments you may have formed towards illusions created with stories such as Cinderella and many more.
I hope this letter brings you more beauty and your prince more charm. You have remained immortal and your story has been passed on from generations of grandparents to grandchildren and I don’t see a nearing end to this cycle. However, I believe I must bring into your notice the unintentional nuisances you have caused in our world and the staple perception of beauty, materialism and gender roles your story has engraved.
I understand if you are perplexed of this accusation, for you must have believed for the longest time to have projected one of the most prominent examples in the world of a ‘happily ever after’ and the idea of a ‘perfect life’. I apologize for popping this bubble you have resided in for the longest time, but your idea of a perfect life became the root of problems that need to be addressed.
To begin with, your life became a bedtime story and so I thought your qualities must surely be of brilliance. After all, bedtime stories exist to inspire children before they conclude the day. But let me recall what they said about you: “Once upon a time, there lived, a ‘beautiful’ girl, named Cinderella”. As far as I can recall, you were much more than just beautiful but your appearance was emphasized to an extent that it became the most important quality you ever possessed. Sadly, superficiality arose in our world too and became a prominent factor to assess an individual.
Secondly, I’m sorry that you had to put up with ten odd years of anguish by your wicked stepmother and sisters. But what’s worse is that you exhibited docility, obedience and submissiveness to the evil and normalized the idea of being tolerant towards torture.
Moving on, your story also highlighted and emphasized on materialism to a great degree. You were waved a wand at, and had been embellished with an expensive attire and diamonds so the Prince could pay you attention. However, I wonder what would have happened if you forgot about going home before the clock struck twelve and were thrown off of your fancy disguise and put into your ordinary apparel? Would you still have had a happily ever after?
Adding on, the Prince asked you for your hand and you accepted the proposal without a thought because let’s be blunt here, the Prince’s substantial possessions such as his royal heritage was probably the part of attraction.
Lastly, you represented the trend of women being damsels in distress based on the fact that your decision to marry the Prince without giving it much thought was undoubtedly propelled by a desire to escape a life of servitude under your stepmother and sisters.
Henceforth, you, and many such fellow princesses as you, are to be blamed to have established rigid perceptions about genders and their roles, prominence of superficiality, and emphasis on materialism. I wonder if things were any different in this society had the story begun with emphasis on your talent, your kindness, or your intelligence. Had the fairy god mother never appeared to grant you an escape and you revolted against the wrong, had the prince seen you as ‘you’ and not the fancier version of you, had you not have lost the glass slipper behind or, had you have been self-reliable and not dependent on miracles, coincidences, or a random Prince to give you a happily ever after. I can only wonder but until then, I wish you more beauty and your prince more charm.
Someone who is torn apart between reality and fairytales.