Cinderella is not considered to be a feminist story- au contraire- some people might even say that it has a very conservative narrative: poor girl being subjected to hard unjust house labor by her evil step mother, who has nothing on her little mind except parties and catching noble husbands for her daughters. the miserable young woman has one outstanding character: she is very smart! no that’s not it at all. we have no clue as to young cinderella’s cognitive abilities- all we know about her are 3 key features:
1.She is very young (obviously- what prince in his right mind would want to save an old bag ike moi?).
2. She is (again, obviously) very beautiful. by the way in all children’s books she is also very thin. (again-how obvious).
3. She needs saving, she is in distress, she needs a man to come and save her from the horrible situation life has intended for her, since (did I say obviously?) she has absolutely no power to even try to get herself out of that situation on her own. but then again- she is young and beautiful- why would she know how to get herself out of trouble? this is a man’s job! and here we have the ultimate man- young -rich-handsome- and even a prince! again in children’s book – surprisingly no discrimination- the prince is thin as well.
*Yes I do remember the fairy– it is, after all a fairy tale- but her intervention is very short and focused on “the make -over”. get things done in 90 minutes and as soon as the show is over- the magic evaporates . the quick magical transform from a poor miserable girl to a beautiful high society lady dancing with the prince got me thinking about transformations that are probably superficial but tis discussion will not be held right now).
Fine- I guess I haven’t excited any of you- this is the narrative we all grew on- and surprisingly enough we can still- in global free minded equal 2019- see this narrative thriving in books, movies and tv shows.
In the 90’s it was a rich and powerful businessman saving a poor young girl from working the streets of hollywood (a close look provided signs of rebellion there- I remind you of the end where the buisnessman climbs up the fire escape stairs he is so scared of and asks the girl what happens after the prince saves the princess -and she quickly responses -“she saves him right back”-which is an interesting twist in the cinderella original plot) .
In 2015 we could go to see movies where- again- young handsome rich and powerful entrepreneurs save young -clueless-but beautiful girl from living a very expected and simple life, when introducing her to life on the jet-set.
I am asking myself- Is the equation in 2019 still: “young+beautifull+clueless woman=handsome rich husband= happy life?
And if so- what is my problem? am I jealous ? of them girls being young+beautiful + clueless? of them landing a rich powerful husband? of the beautiful relationship they must have (for eternity)?
I think I am probably jealous.
*In the past I have found that whenever I became righteously angry- deep down I was actually envious of the person/trend I was so zealously condemning.
And maybe- I am privately jealous, and collectively right?
Maybe society is made of all sizes, shapes, ages and personal capital, (aka money), and we -normal people- not extremely young-beautiful- and certainly not clueless- have a chance of having a nice life, even without a prince charming? or maybe with one- but not that handsome, not powerful, and many times- not rich, and that is an understatement.
The “helpless-clueless gal rewards” always makes me double snap. again- perhaps I am simply jealous, since I never had the privilege of being helpless.
I grew up knowing that I have to take care of every thing- or I simply won’t have anything.
I had to study, work, learn to cook-clean-maintain a decent home, and relying on someone to come pick me on the back of his white horse /porche- wasn’t an option- and I never believed in wasting time day dreaming about fairy tales.
So what is the possible hidden feminist message behind the cinderella tale?
Well It suddenly dawned upon me that maybe you can dare say that cinderella didn’t “accidentally” forget her glass high-heeled slipper behind when fleeting away from the ball at midnight.
Maybe, just maybe, cinderella didn’t like the whole act she had to put on to catch a rich and powerful man, and just kicked off those tight uncomfortable shoes she wasn’t used to wearing (lucky her, she never had to be subjected to tight shoes, corsets and high heels, make up and dying your hair- she was wearing rags all day and feeding her animal friends- while singing happily, which makes you truly wonder if the perfect life of a princess that has no access to mice and free rabbits would have been that joyous for her).
Maybe- just maybe- she didn’t expect to be so overwhelmed by the palace and it’s inhabitants, and she thought of her simple- yet hard life- and decided she prefered being free of high heels and corsets, feeding her animal friends.
Maybe she had a plan how to retire early from her evil stepmother’s house to a small house of her own.
Maybe the prince coming to get her with his fancy entourage wasn’t exactly what she wished for, and maybe, when he came to the house- she agreed to try on the shoe- but a second later she took it off- and asked the prince politely to close the door- because they neede to have a serious conversation.
Maybe- just maybe- she challenged him in that conversation to see where she would fit in the fancy palace life, and they talked and talked- perhaps they found a true and meaningful connection , perhaps they didn’t, who knows?
I once read that high-heeled shoes were designed so that women would have to stick out their behind and chest in order to maintain balance- since learning to walk on these shoes is not a simple task at all. the subjected position would naturally be welcomed by men. bingo.
The high-heeled shoes became a sign of female success- connected with wealth, power , youth and beauty. the ability to turn mens heads when you walk past them was the goal of so many women through the years.
Doctors have warned but to no avail, I, as many other women- felt that wearing high-heeled shoe gives the illusion that I are taller and slimmer- definitely more sophisticated.
Power shoes .
Whenever I had something I needed a boost of confidence for- I took out the high heels.
I never actually learned how to walk the walk 100% – I’ve seen women wear high heels and stumbling all the way-that wasn’t me- but I wasn’t confident on these shoes. I certainly wasn’t comfortable.
As soon as I got to my car-I would kick off these shoes in disgust and swear I would never wear them again. but time and again- I couldn’t resist the confidence quick fix, and wore them again.
The final breakup between me and my power shoes happened about 6-7 years ago, when I trained for half marathons and did a lot of running.
The excessive running was hard enough ion my lower back, and adding the pain I felt after walking all day in those shoes (and probably because I did not walk properly which caused bad posture)- was intolerable.
So I quit. “cold turkey” so to speak.
I gave away my carefully collected high-heeled shoes- beautiful by the way, and have never regretted it since.
I have a small but comfortable shoe collection now, all vegan, of course, and most of them are so comfortable that when in trouble- I can simply run away in them.
No risk of one of my slippers “accidentally” falling off in the palace and having to be “saved” by someone who I have no idea what he believes in and if I want to spend the day with- let alone live with him “happily ever after”.
Adios- the cooliflower.