When Cinderella doesn’t lose her shoe

Stories help a young child make sense of the world around them. The fairy tale genre is mostly a favourite for them. They provide ways for children to receive important messages. One may argue that the themes are unrealistic, but, overall the effects are positive. Over the years these stories have been an integral part of the growing age. And I was no exception. I devoured those stories and thoroughly enjoyed them. However, after years when I revisited few stories, some felt almost problematic or rather outdated.

The stories, written mostly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries aimed to teach girls and young women how to become domesticated, respectable, and in a typical way culminate with a grand celebration of matrimony. Today the same values do not hold similar meaning.

Also, these tales gave unnecessary emphasis on the looks and beauty of the heroines who are always possessing ‘porcelain skin’ and ‘inexplicably glossy hair‘, thus creating an unrealistic idea about beauty.

And almost all the stories follow an archaic stereotype where women are portrayed as passive damsels who can only be saved by men. Consent had little or no say in most of the tales (Like kissing a sleeping girl in Sleeping Beauty) and unnatural sacrifice was glorified for no reason. (Read the Little mermaid giving up her voice for the prince whom she had only seen once!)

The list can go on and on. But, at the end of the day fairytales are important as tools as well as entertainment for the kids. They can be used for anything from teaching children problem solving to counseling the battered mind. They are brilliant for inspiring imaginative discussions and the present the worldly matters to them in a simpler manner. We need more fairy tales that are inclusive of the changes in the society and get rid of the archaic stereotypes.
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With the above thoughts in mind I tried to recreate the ball room scene of Cinderella and presenting my little attempt.

               Behind the Scene

Lady Tremaine – “Hope the illuminated firmament hasn’t dazzled your vision. Remember, this dance party decides the next Queen. Just get the Prince to dance with you. Mesmerize him with your grace.”

Anastasia and Drizella together – “But, the prince isn’t even looking at us. Why don’t we enjoy the party instead?”

Lady Tremaine – “Shut up. The incumbency of you two is making me feel wabbit. What did you expect? The Prince will just fall at your feet and ask you to dance? You have to make an effort. Don’t just stand here. Move those lazy legs.
Wait, where are you looking at? The Prince is on that side. Are you even listening?”

Anastasia – “Oh, mother, turn around. Just look at the aura of the new girl. The whole ballroom is now fixated on her. Who will care to dance with us?”

Lady Tremaine – “Of course, all eyes are watching her, dimwits. Everyone is wondering how the shameless lass has arrived without a guardian. Stop gaping at a stray girl. Focus on the Prince.”

Drizella – “What’s bad in coming alone, Mother? Wait a second. Doesn’t she look familiar to you?”

Anastasia – “You are right. Too familiar. Actually, if our little servant, Cinderella take a good bath, put on some makeup and a designer dress, she will look somewhat like this new entrant. But, this can’t be her?”

Drizella – “Obviously this isn’t her. But, the similarity is uncanny.”

Anastasia – “Why don’t we find out more about that?”

Lady Tremaine – “Ha-ha. You two hallucinated buffoons. You have better things to do than stalking some random girl. Wait, where are you two going?

Oh, God, just give me a machete. Let me kill these two and hang myself.”

*******
Anastasia – “Hi, have we met before?”

Cinderella – “I don’t think so. I am visiting this town for the first time.”

Drizella – “Even your voice sounds familiar.”

Cinderella – “Everyone says so. My voice is too common. Please, excuse me. I need to use the loo.”
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Prince – “Are you looking for something?”

Cinderella – “Ah, yes. A place to hide.”

Prince – “You want to hide away from this happening dance party?”

Cinderella – “Dance party! This is a living matrimonial site. I just wanted a night to unwind myself. And now I’m trying to avoid all those suitors in this uncomfortable glass shoe.”

Prince – “Too many creeps around, right?”

Cinderella – “Yes. Already dodged two marriage proposals. They don’t even know my name and dreaming to marry me. Who decides a life partner in one dance?”

Prince – “It’s an age-old ritual. After all, if a girl looks good and dances well, what more you need?”

Cinderella – “Compatibility and the girl’s consent, perhaps.”

Prince – “Compatibility? Consent? What’s that?
By the way, I saw even a few girls were flocking around you. Some girls have weird choice these days. Beware.”

Cinderella – “Oh, don’t worry about that. Choices are never weird, judgmental people are. By the way, that was a separate issue altogether. Can’t explain.”
“Oh, no that weird blonde fellow is coming this way. Hide me fast.

Prince – “Only if you agree to my quid pro quo deal.”

Cinderella – “And what exactly would that be?”

Prince – “A dance with me in private.”

Cinderella – “Boys!”
—x—

Note: This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon and CauseAChatter

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Comments

  1. Nice way to put the sarcasm forward……:)…..well, life is full of it’s twists and turns, surprises and everything else……Cinderella is smarter than many ….:)

  2. You’re right. Most of the fairy tales we enjoyed reading have major issues. This was a superb recreation. I loved how you added in the gender stereotyping. Would be great to read both the original and your story to kids to help them understand.

  3. Good one. I get what you were trying to convey. I recently read and reviewed a book on this very same topic – the lessons from fairy tales.

  4. Fairy tales are way too stereotypical. Consent, choices, compatibility are all unheard of! You have brought about it so beautifully in your tale. I loved it! Great re-spin of the classic tale! I have written a few re-tellings too.

  5. this one had me chuckling, would it be too presumptous of me to ask you to re-write the full Cinderella in a similar vein, I would love to give it to my boys to read!

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