Why I Might Never Tell My Daughter The Cinderella Story
What is it about a poor girl losing her shoe at a ball that’s intrigued us for so many years? Cinderella is hands down the most popular fairy tale of all time. Sorry, super feminists. You can’t change that. Like most fairy tales, I can’t remember a time where I didn’t know the story.
I have a theory that because we’ve read these fairy tales for so long, our children have these tales with them in their brains before they’re even born. Even the kids who didn’t grow up with Disney knows the Cinderella fairy tale, and there are a lot of those stories.
Just like my mom did with me, I sat down to read the Disney story with my almost- 3 year old one day.
And while I read it, I found some problematic areas. Some things that I probably didn’t want my daughter to carry home based on this fictional piece of melo-drama.
So here is why I would not want to read Cinderella to my daughter again!
- The Helpless Victim!
While I would want to teach my daughter the value of endurance, I would not want to teach her to endure abuse. Sure Cinderella might have felt stuck and had nowhere to turn; but I want to teach my daughter that even if there is no where to turn, she shouldn’t merely fail to make a move. There’s so much within one’s capacity that often doesn’t strike in times of crisis. It is this inner strength that she needs to dig into. So while endurance is fine: abuse isn’t.image via pinterest
- The Always Nice Girl
This definitely is a piece of fiction. Just the other day my daughter got beaten in school. Of course, I will teach her to forgive and move on. But beaten up twice, lady you better get up and get back! how to stand up for herself even though it’s not quite in alignment with the word ‘NICE.’ I definitely would like her to have a positive disposition, be a compassionate and forgiving human being, sweet and polite, but no- I don’t want her to be a doormat. I have known of such people (and I know a lot of them) feel like perpetual doormats and end up feeling like victims. They feel as if someone is taking advantage of them, because most people can never return the level of kindness and care they give out. PERIOD.
- Waiting For Her Knight In Shining Armour
Oh God. This is the 21st century. There’s so much the world has to offer. So much to learn. So much to see. Why would I read stories to my daughter where the protagonist is happy scrubbing floors and waiting for her knight to come and rescue her from her situation?
- The Faltered Body Image
I’ve watched myself all my life wondering how in lord’s name do people get that perfect hourglass figure. I suffered most of my pre-teen and teen life battling braces and specs. Then I had babies and found myself being a little more bountiful than what I would’ve liked to be (Like the Barbie figure is ingrained in my head!) No amount of tummy tuck exercises, corsetry or detox weight loss magical elixirs helped me. This body image that we girls get have a lot to do with what we read and see around us. Cinderella with her teenie-tiny waist and abundant bottom, those perfect pouted lips, sparkling blue eyes and the gorgeous golden hair is a bad example of what real women look like. I really never want my daughter to attribute beauty to physical attributes.
So while I have Cinderella on the book shelf (its part of my childhood) I’m not sure I really want it to be part of my daughter’s childhood.
I have a problem with the portrayal of the step mother. I wouldn’t want that my kids, if they come across a child whose parents have divorced or remarried, to be judgemental about them just because they have heard some fantasy fictional stories where the step mom is always cruel or rude or unloving.
Absolutely. That’s what a lot of these story books do. They paint a ‘wicked’ picture thus fogging our vision of people.