Are Disney Princesses really that irredeemable? As a child did I even notice all the bad things adults are now saying they stand for?
There will always be room at the table for more diverse stories about women and girls but I see some value in the stories already told.
Cinderella is definitely no and Snow White (who I covered last week). She is very much the epitome of a hormonal teenager (as is the Prince I may add). She is obedient and will do her chores as is required, but she will react negatively if prodded. You can see this in her interactions with her animal companions, letting them know she will not put up with everything (her moaning about the clock in the morning is #relatable). Also when the invitation comes for the ball, Cinderella defiantly asks her stepmother “why not?” when told she could not attend. You could argue that this is her past life as a spoiled child breaking free every so often, which gives her character some dimension.
A Prince also features in Cinderella and as much as we all love to moan about a woman needing a man to better her situation in these films, looking at it in 2018 surely is eye opening. The opening credits song tells Cinderella not to worry, her dream of finding love will come true. However, Cinderella may not be that obsessed with finding a man. She first mentions her “dream” when woken up by her bird friends but will not tell anyone what that dream was because she would jinx it. When invited to the ball, she never mentions her intent to meet the Prince, and when she has reigned herself to the fact that she can’t go, she guesses that it might be boring anyway.
To top everything off, she spends a wonderful night dancing with the Prince, and even sings a duet about love. The problem is, she does not know who he is. She even talks about how she adored the man she spent the night with but is disappointed he was not the Prince! She then convinces herself that maybe the he isn’t all that and she gets back to her life. Let me tell you though, when she finds out she had been dancing with the Prince, you can almost see that coin flash across her eyes. I understand, in a perfect world, Cinderella would have coin from a dressmaking business but her circumstances do not allow it. I say, you do you Cinderella, at least we know you like the man.
I’m not sure I put Cinderella in a good light here but all I’m saying is that she’s no pushover.