Thursday, September 18, 2008

In Defense of Cinderella

Okay, so this has absolutely nothing to do with anything of substance, but I've been thinking, lately, about Cinderella. The old one of Disney fame, not the newer versions.

When I was a girl, I loved this movie. As I got older, I still loved this movie, but felt like I shouldn't because Cinderella really was just a dork who was waiting to be rescued by a man.

Now that I've given it more thought, I've decided that the Cinderella of Walt Disney's creation was quite ahead of her time. Ok, so she didn't have the wherewithal to leave her nasty stepmother on her own to find gainful employment as a governess or ladies' maid somewhere, but she did the brave thing by going to the ball at all, even after she'd been totally roughed up by the stepsisters.

When my daughter was young, I let her watch Snow White, but every time that scene came on where she sings (in that horrible shotgun vibrato!) "I'm dreaming for the one I love, to find" I'd snap under my breath that she ought to be dreaming of a scholarship instead. But really, much as I hate to admit it because I think Snow White is ugly, she did the brave thing too, by running into the woods, away from the knife-wielding henchman and facing all the scary forest creatures. (Who really turned out to be cute and cuddly and most helpful). And then she set up shop in a house full of men and totally took charge.

So, as much as I took the feminist high road about a decade ago, I've come around to the belief that, although not optimal choices given today's world, those princesses did pretty well for themselves.

Plus, I really still want a Cinderella dress-up dress. (And a tiara).


Jennie said...

Nancy, I think most grown-up women have their Cinderella and Snow White princess yearning days when we'd like to be beautiful, romantic, and have some good-looking prince charge to our rescue. There's no fault for dreaming even while we face the reality of toddlers with runny noses, car pools, missing the bus, no ink in the printer, and what shall I fix for dinner.

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

That's so true, Jennie. And Cinderella and Snow White never had to deal with the runny noses and car pools. Or at least, we never saw that. ;-)