- 8/21/2007 1:27 AM ET
Humorous stuff that makes pretty good sense...thanks! Fun read.
|Cinderella is a rather depressing children's story, if you think about it. While the overlying theme is about being loved for who you are as a person despite your social standing or station in life, there are ideals at play that contradict these notions.
The first thing that stands out is that, realistically, the only way Cinderella was ever able to meet her true love with through an act of subterfuge, pretending to be someone she wasn't in order to approach him. Granted, this does reflect the self-image problems that many young girls have. Most women in the same position would probably go out of their way to impress the Prince with atypical fashion accessories and assumed wealth and status beyond the norm. Then again, few would have the assistance of a Magic Godmother to allow such a transformation severe enough to actually pass the muster of the socialite snobs who spend a good portion of their lives practicing and exercising the advanced skill of sniffing out those who do not belong.
Beyond that little trifle, however, is the point that even though the young woman is worthy of the Prince's love, it is only through this charade that she gets the chance to meet the man meant for her. Meaning, basically, that being lovely and meant for someone else is not enough, and if you can't gather up enough steam to pretend to be someone you are not, he'll never get a chance to see you for who you are.
Christ, the fact that the love struck bastard can't even recognize the girl of his dreams until she fits into the glass slipper, an obvious symbol of transparent wealth, means that he can't even see beauty if it isn't adorned in something sleek and expensive. Thus, the moral of our story is, no matter how beautiful you are, you won't land the man of your dreams if you can't afford to wear the right shoes.
Of course, you also have to be the right size, yet another example of extreme physical expectations being forced upon women in society. The big, ugly, evil stepsisters don't stand a chance with the Prince. Not because they are big, ugly, and evil. No, he doesn't fall for them because the can't fit into a size four. Do women really need to saddle themselves with a knight in white armor that would gladly run off and marry their mean-spirited relative because she happens to have dainty feet?
Foot fetish fantasies aside, which problem don't belong in fairy tale classics to begin with, one has to wonder why Cinderella is portrayed as so beautiful, yet with such mean and ugly stepsisters. We want Cinderella to live happily ever after despite being poor and destitute, because true love can see beyond such trivialities. But if she happened to be a rather plain Jane on top of that? Well, fantasy can only extend so far, no?
So, the moral of our story? If you truly love a man, lie to him about everything, pretend to be what you are not, and if you are pretty and have the right shoe size, he won't care when he eventually discovers your entire love affair was built on a platform of deceit and untruths.
All of this is bad enough, of course, without the looming specter of the Midnight deadline on the poor girl's false attractiveness, yet another heavy-handed allusion to the ever-present pressure of the 'biological clock' meant to pressure girls to settle for less and marry young, lest they miss their chance to be happy while they are still 'ripe' and turn into fat, lonely pumpkins.
My kids are going to have to read their own bed time stories.
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