Thursday, March 25, 2010

What We Can Learn From Cinderella

There are many versions of the story of Cinderella out there. My daughter is currently fixated on the Disney animated version, and after watching it many, many times these last few weeks, I've gleaned some understanding of the character of Cinderella. In today's modern world, these older Disney princess movies are not applauded due to the old-fashioned idea of a young woman wanting love and marriage as her dream life. I've read many a blog post and forum post about how "my daughter isn't allowed to watch Disney princesses because then she will grow up thinking life is a fairy tale and a prince will someday come and rescue her." Instead we look to characters like Mulan and Belle and now Tiana, who have to do everything themselves without the help of a man. That's all fine and those other characteristics are good to emulate--courageous, selfless, hard-working. However, Cinderella also has characteristics that we can learn from.

In the story of Cinderella, we find a young woman who, through unfortunate circumstances (the deaths of both her parents), was left to live with a cruel stepmother and two stepsisters who hated her and treated her terribly. Yet Cinderella still finds joy in life and every day living. She goes about her duties and chores, probably many of them deplorable, in grace and poise, never complaining. She keeps a positive attitude and remains cheerful through it all.

I think it is for this reason, remaining so happy and cheerful through her circumstances, that her fairy godmother even comes. Do you think her fairy godmother would have come if she had lashed out at her wicked stepmother and stepsisters? Or if she spent every day during every chore griping and complaining about her situation? I doubt it.

We can learn that we need to live above our circumstances, live cheerfully despite whatever situation we are facing. I think that is a more powerful message than having her prince come and rescue her--that she lived so cheerfully and beautifully despite the wickedness that surrounded her.


Katy B. said...

I found you via MMB's...

Loved your post! Cinderella was always my favorite Disney princess movie at a little girl.

You know, in Sunday School today we were going over the story of Joseph being sold into Egypt by is brothers in the Old Testament. And as I was reading your post I thought to myself, "These two people have a lot in common, Cinderella and Joseph." Yes, one is real and one is fictional, but both had amazing attitudes despite the trials that were put in their paths.:)

Saimi said...

Well said! Raising boys, I never gave the "princess theory" a thought, but what a great message it sends, if you have the right perspective.

Hope you don't mind me popping in on your blog, I found you on MMB.

Royalbird said...

Love the comments! I had always just heard negative things about the Disney princesses, especially the older ones (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White) who seemed to only have one focus, which was marry a prince. But after listening to this movie played over and over the last couple months, I finally realized that maybe it does have something more to teach.

Cheeseboy said...

Interesting take. Perhaps I should get my two boys into the princess scene to teach them a thing or two. They just want to watch Spiderman and I've been having a hard time finding many teachable moments while he is beating the snot out of bad guys.

Sorry to post on your blog. I just happened upon it and found this post interesting.

Devin & Ruthann said...

I've never really thought about these themes...interesting.

Nancy said...

Came over from mmb. Great post. Been thinking about this type of thing a lot lately. Thanks.


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