18 Jun Rewriting Cinderella
Once upon a time there were a bunch of real life heroines that decided they simply wanted to live up to their own expectations. To make up their own rules…
I was recently on an online shoe shopping spree for a pair of black gladiator heels for an event I had to attend, and I got carried away looking at all kinds of dreamy shoes, the kind of shoes that naughtily wink at you, glass slippers for postmodern wanderers. And it got me thinking. It got me thinking about the whole Cinderella thing and how we got it all wrong. Maybe it’s time to rewrite the story.
There was a girl, pretty and all, upon losing her mother she made a promise to be a good girl no matter what. Her father remarries and not only she ends up with an evil stepmother but she also gets two awful step sisters who are very successful at making her life a living hell. Three in one, what a bargain. Four if you count the stepmom’s cat whose name is Lucifer, go figure. While she runs all kinds of errands to stay humble while pleasing the evil ones, we find out that there’s a ball. And not any old random ball, a royal one because nobility matters. And after putting up a royal fight to attend the ball, enlisting the help of all sorts of very realistic elements, such as awesome rodents and fairy godmothers, pumpkins that turn into carriages instead of desserts (I’d rather have my pumpkin pie and eat it too, thank you very much indeed) we madly fall in love with prince so-called charming who says we are the love of his life, then forgets what we look like and has to put a shoe on every girl in the kingdom. But we are so desperately looking to be saved that we get past the fact and move on to our happily ever after.
Maybe we are not looking to be saved. Maybe we don’t feel the need to have a full make-over to be made pretty for a guy or a girl. Maybe we put on makeup simply because it’s fun and glitter looks good to us and compliments our gold gladiator heels.
Maybe we leave when things don’t work out instead of waiting around for a miracle.
And most of all maybe we believe in sisterhood
(and brotherhood for that matter).
I am struck by the vision of inequality that we teach our kids through fairy tales. The pretty ones and the ugly evil ones. The pushovers and the obtrusive ones. The hidden message is that you get to have an unvarying personality. As if people are whether good or bad. But the truth is personalities are multifaceted we all got both good and bad elements and frankly I don’t see why we cannot all join forces and be on the same team instead of putting each other down. Sisterhood. Brotherhood. Humanhood.
So maybe Cinderella and her step sisters were best friends. We may or may not believe in love at first dance and we can definitely be equally happy either way. Maybe we should rewrite the fairy tales and focus on how real queens fix each other’s crowns. How real kings help a brother out.
I finally found the prefect pair of gladiator heels, and I made it to the event. I came home early and watched the original Cinderella movie, because the thoughts kept coming back to me. And they still do.
This post was created in collaboration with FSJ Shoes while I was indeed looking for a pair of heels and started thinking about glass slippers and fairy tales. They offer a customization service, meaning you actually get to design your own pair of shoes, they hand-make it and have it delivered to your door – now if that’s not the ultimate form of new-age romance I don’t know what is… and I thought ‘hey, maybe we can customize our version of the fairy tales too’
Don’t you think we owe it to ourselves?