The Cinderella Struggle

I love the Cinderella story. I mean, what kid hasn’t heard the story of Cinderella? The rags to not necessarily riches, but the finding her prince story tugs at the heart of many generations. She had her fairy godmother to wave her magic wand and for a spell was able to live out a dream.

As a story, it’s awesome. Unfortunately, the reality is that many people don’t always get the fairy godmother in their lives. We are all held accountable for the actions we do in our lives and as such, are forced to deal with the consequences of our decisions whether they are good or bad.

Many kids have had to deal with the loss of a parent that they loved. I wish that no child ever had to endure that kind of emotion. As a child, it can be extremely traumatic and if the surviving parent does remarry, then the child is raised by a step-parent. In the story the stepmother and step siblings are portrayed as evil. Yes, there are evil step-parents in the world. There are also incredible folks who step up and treat their step-kids as if they were one of their own. I have several friends who have step parents and they love them dearly. In that respect, strike one to the step-parent theory.

Cinderella was kind to everything including mice. This is a lesson we could all use. Birds and other animals loved her. In today’s world, we seem to be nicer to animals than we are to each other. There’s a lot to be said for this. Kindness goes a long way and it appears to be diminishing the more the years pass by. This is one lesson I wish didn’t get ignored.

When Cinderella got to the ball, she was mesmorized. I think the same can be said anytime we all experience something new that’s out of our element. There’s a sense of wonder and amazement. There’s also an element of showing what we’re made of. We have to put on our ball mask anytime we deal with the public. First impressions are everything and in Cinderella’s case, she definitely made an impression with her entrance. This can also translate into the working world. When we are doing any type of presentation or first impression, we want that amazement factor. We want to be what everyone is talking about in a really good way. We don’t want the hair out of place reactions. If it isn’t perfect, then it’s not a discussion.

When she met the prince, she was shy but in awe. I think most people can relate to this. It doesn’t matter who you are. There will more than likely be someone in your life who makes you feel this way. This could be someone that you don’t think it’s possible to be with. It could be someone that you’ve known for years or it could be someone you have just met or even yet to meet. When you meet the right person, you’ll know.

There were obstacles at every turn for her. She didn’t want the prince to see her in her rags. You know what that says to me? She didn’t want to expose her true self. She was afraid that she would be rebuked for who she was. What people fail to understand most of the time is that we all have been in rags at one point. Some of us may not have been physically but emotionally there were things we didn’t want someone to see or to know. We have held our true identities close to the vest at times because we were scared of the outcome. If someone really loves you, they will accept you for who you are. If they can’t do this, then it isn’t love.

I love the movie. There’s been many different versions and adaptations of it and I think as a whole, the movie itself is charming. In modern day, there’s so many parallels that can be drawn with the story. We can always nitpick and analyze the movie but we have to remember the story was made in a day and time where life may or may not have been simpler, but the stories were filled with imagination, hope, wonder and curiosity. Maybe that’s why, even today, the Cinderella struggle is still a very real commodity.

The Cinderella Struggle is a very real problem in modern society.  We are so engrossed in looks, weight, and image that we forget the whole person underneath.
It doesn’t matter how old we get, we are never too old to experience the Cinderella story. Life can present as many struggles as she experienced in the story. What matters is how we live.

There will always be rags to riches stories that are true. There will always be a hope that we can have a better life. At some point, we have to learn lessons from those stories. We don’t have to wait for the “prince” in our lives to find happiness. That comes from within our selves. If we find that special person to share our time with, that’s even better. We can control more of our destiny if we allow ourselves to believe that we are worth it. We are all capable of change. We just have to make plans and set goals. Then we have to turn those plans and goals into action.

We have to be comfortable with who we are. If we wait for a fairy godmother, we might be waiting a lifetime. That isn’t to say a makeover might not be a bad idea. Sometimes we need to see what’s been hiding all along in order to show the world that we are beautiful people. Cinderella was discovered through her glass slipper. I have a feeling that we all leave a glass slipper behind. It may not be a physical slipper but we do leave our footprints on things we’ve done. We leave traces of our work behind. If someone can be found, technology today has a very good chance of finding that person.

The thing I’ve always hated about the Cinderella story is that it always ends with the wedding of Cinderella and the Prince. All you ever really hear is that they “lived happily ever after.” Well, I for one like adventure, intrigue, mystery, etc. Happily ever after may mean have a family and grow old together and that’s great for the vast majority of folks. I tend to think most folks want a full life. They want adventure, they crave the romance and the spirituality that helps them live fuller lives. They have to keep growing and learning. We don’t have to live in a Cinderella bubble all the time. Sometimes, even the pumpkins can have interesting tales. We just have to allow the creativity to take over.

I hope that we all have our Cinderella moments. Those are the moments where we can shine and let the world see that we are beautiful and special. I also hope that the world doesn’t expect women to just be pretty. We are fierce, stubborn, beautiful, athletic, strong, invigorating, exciting, exploratory women who are not afraid to shatter the Cinderella image. Cinderella doesn’t have to be dainty. We all have our own visions of the character. In the modern world, Cinderella would be swept away by the women of today. The sweet story that we all have heard throughout our lives would probably be written differently if it were written today. In fact, it has been with several different versions. The question then becomes, what kinds of things would Cinderella struggle with today?

In truth, I think there’s a lot of factors that she would have struggled with. Technology, for one, would have been something that she would have been completely uncomfortable with. The fact that she would have options to change her situation would be another thing that I think she would have struggled with. She seemed to be more subservient in the story. In today’s world, I think once she realized she didn’t have to settle she would have been out the door and slammed it in her step family’s face.

That’s what makes the fairy tales great. They allow us to transform into a simpler time and learn from hidden messages. These stories were done in a time where people needed an escape. They needed hope just as much as we do today. The difference is in the past, we only saw things pretty much one way. We didn’t have the rose colored glasses off. Now we do. And if we don’t, they are slowly being pulled off. We can enjoy the stories for what they represent. A time in the past where the future can learn from it’s struggles. We’ve learned much about women’s rights since this fairy tale was written. Some lessons are worth remembering. In the meantime, read and watch the story with a new set of eyes and perceptions. Think about how the story makes you feel and why. And most importantly, enjoy the story. It’s meant to make you feel good. After all, Cinderella transformed into a beautiful woman. That’s exactly what we all are. Beautiful.

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