Monday, August 7, 2017

Why I Believe Cinderella is a Good Heroine

 

Once there was a gentleman who married, for his second wife, the proudest and most haughty woman that was ever seen. She had, by a former husband, two daughters of her own, who were, indeed, exactly like her in all things. He had likewise, by another wife, a young daughter, but of unparalleled goodness and sweetness of temper, which she took from her mother, who was the best creature in the world.

-Cinderella (Charles Perrault)


In this day and age of “strong female characters” and “girl power” and “being one of the boys”, characters like Cinderella get a lot of shame and hate.


After all, Cinderella was a pushover. She was weak, cowardly, never stood up for herself. Not someone little girls of this age should ever look up to or strive to be. Right?


I’m about to be a bit controversial. Are you ready? Here we go…


Cinderella is one of my favorite heroines.


“Say what now?” you’re probably exclaiming. “CINDERELLA? That weak little mouse? Why would you look up to her?” I’m glad you asked! *smile, smile* I’m here to tell you allll the reasons why I have, in fact, always saw Cinderella as a wonderful role model. *cracks knuckles*


It’s true, Cinderella is not your usual protagonist. She didn’t stand at the front lines and charge into battle to save a kingdom. She didn’t rescue a planet or bring down a corrupt government or battle a kraken or any of those things most female protagonists do these days. On the surface, it appeared as if all she did was let people push her around and then put on a pretty dress and got married. When you look at the story from that mindset, I can totally understand why people think it’s poison for their little girls.


But the story of Cinderella is SO much more.


So let’s debunk some of these problems people have with our girl Cinderella…


 

PROBLEM #1:
WAS SHE A WEAK PUSHOVER?


At first, Cinderella does seem like a pushover. I mean, she let these three crazy women come into her home and turn her into a scullery maid. But what other choice did she have? The stepmother ruled the house. And what was Cinderella going to do? Leave her home and go live on the streets? Poison her new stepmother and sisters? That certainly wouldn’t be very heroic. (Though I could see that happening with the protagonists we often get now, especially with TV shows…)


Let’s be real, most of us in that situation would be angry and bitter. I know *I* would. I’d be furious. I’d have turned into a bitter raincloud.


But what did Cinderella do? She didn’t stomp around and gripe about those horrible stepsisters and wicked stepmother. She didn’t seek revenge. She didn’t let anger fester and fester into her heart until she became a bitter, harsh woman.


No, sweet Cinderella did as her dying mother told her in Grimm’s version.


“Dear child, remain pious and good.”


Or Disney’s spin on it, if you’d rather.


Cinderella remained good.


Because that’s what Cinderella is. She’s good. Bitterness hardens the heart into something ugly and selfish and cruel. And so many of us could have fallen into that in that situation. But Cinderella chose goodness.


Even after all she had been through, and she married into the royal family and had all the power in the world, she did not seek revenge. In Perrault’s version of the tale, she forgave her stepsisters and showed them kindness.


Cinderella, who was no less good than beautiful, gave her two sisters lodgings in the palace, and that very same day matched them with two great lords of the court.


And Disney nailed it at the end of their live action movie, when Cinderella told her stepmother she forgave her. That was one of the most powerful, poignant scenes I’ve seen in a movie in a long, long time.

 

Chills. It gets me every. single. time.


Cinderella chose to love over hate. And you know what?


That is strength.


Can you imagine the kind of strength it took to choose to love that stepmother and those stepsisters? To forgive them? To refuse to give way to bitterness and harden her heart?


Cinderella is strong. Just because she had a broom in her hand instead of a sword doesn’t mean she’s weak. She is one of the strongest female protagonists I have ever known.


Speaking of brooms…

 

PROBLEM #2:
WASN’T SHE A LITTLE TOO
OBSESSED WITH PRETTY DRESSES?


Cinderella? You mean the girl who slept in ashes every night and wore rags? No, I most certainly do not think she was too obsessed with pretty things.


Cinderella was not afraid to get her hands dirty. And she worked hard. In most of the movies, all the servants were let go, leaving Cinderella to take care of EVERYTHING. By herself. And she did. She kept that household going and didn’t give up when it got too hard. She didn’t whine about a broken nail or getting dirt on her skirts. She did what she had to do. No matter how horrible things became.



Yes, she liked pretty dresses. But who on earth wouldn’t be excited about getting dressed up nice for one night (or three, depending on which version we’re talkin’ here) after being in rags day after day after day?


I love Cinderella’s femininity. I love that she wasn’t afraid to get dirty but also enjoyed pretty things. You should never, ever, ever be ashamed of being girly.


My favorite color is pink. (It wasn’t that long ago that my blog theme was pink. You guys remember that?) And a lot of people would blanch at that. Apparently pink these days is an evil, forbidden color and is destroying girls everywhere???? Yeah, no, I don’t understand it either. God made pink, people. It’s a gorgeous color! And you think I’m going to be shamed in liking it? Do you think it’s wrong to enjoy dressing up pretty and being girly? Noooo. God made females to be feminine. He wants us to embrace that.


And hey, I can wear a frilly pink skirt and watch a Marvel movie at the same time. So there.


And yes, I know I was talking about Cinderella here. I am actually getting to a point! And it is this: People are hating on Cinderella and the whole “princess culture” in general because I guess liking sparkly ball gowns is wrong?


Being feminine is not wrong.


And guess what? Princesses aren’t all about sparkly ball gowns. (In fact, Hayden Wand did a spectacular post on this very subject of the “princess mentality” and you should all go read it.) The majority of Cinderella isn’t centered around the glitz and glamor.  Its true focus is on the grit and grime, the cruelty of humans, and the strength to rise above it and choose goodness.



The stepsisters were too obsessed with pretty gowns and the shallow things in life. Cinderella was not.


Which brings me to…

 

PROBLEM #3:
ALL HER DREAMS CAME
TRUE ‘CAUSE SHE WAS PRETTY?


Is that the message of Cinderella? Because, after all, she arrived at the ball all decked out and beautiful, caught the Prince’s eye, and lived happily ever after. So the message is you only get things you want if you’re gorgeous?



In Grimm’s version, it states the stepsisters were very beautiful girls. But Cinderella got the Prince, not them. Because, sure, Cinderella was beautiful on the outside, but she was even more beautiful because of her beauty within. (I know that’s cliché, but it’s true.)


Now, I’ll be the first to admit, the Prince’s character needed development…a lot. (Another thing Disney fixed so wonderfully in their live action movie. Kit was perfection.) But fairytales aren’t big on details. They’re very short stories after all. But still, I personally believe what really drew the Prince to Cinderella was the goodness shining out of her. She wasn’t like the other girls. She was different. Not focused on the glitz and glamor. Not shallow and conceited.


The very core of the Cinderella story is that true beauty is found through kindness, goodness. Through gentleness, patience, love.


No, Cinderella’s dreams did not come true because she happened to have a pretty face. Think about it, I highly doubt a fairy godmother would have helped a girl who sought to poison her stepfamily. And would the Prince have been drawn to her if she had chosen anger and bitterness, and harshness oozed from her being?


It was because Cinderella chose love over hate that she got her happy ending. The story of Cinderella is much like the Christian walk should be. Where we choose to reflect Christ-like behavior, and though it’s not easy, and there is much suffering through the journey, it’s so worth it. Because, in the end, as Cinderella got her Prince, we receive our Prince of Peace.



I’m not saying the Cinderella story is perfect. The plot holes. Oooh, the plot holes. (Why did the glass slippers not disappear at midnight when everything else did?) And in the Grimm’s version the stepsisters cut off their toes and heels to try to fit the glass slipper on their feet. (I personally like Perrault’s version much better.) Fairytales can be messed up, guys! They’re too short and illogical and seriously morbid a lot of the time. But they also have hidden gems of wisdom within their words. Because that’s the original point of fairytales, to teach children lessons about life. To teach wisdom and truth and good vs. evil.


To me, the character of Cinderella reflects all the qualities we are called to be in Ephesians 4:1-3:


I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.


I have admired Cinderella since I was very, very young. Because I am prone to anger, I can get bitter. I speak my mind during times when I really, really should have just stayed quiet. And I can be horribly selfish and shallow. And so I always looked up to Cinderella’s patience, gentleness, and grace. Because of her I strive to be a better person. And isn’t that what all our heroes and heroines should accomplish?


I was so, so proud of Disney for choosing to keep the gentle essence that has always been Cinderella instead of turning her into this tough girl female protagonist that is typical for modern day media. Her quiet strength is refreshing.


Now, don’t get me wrong, female warriors are perfectly fine. And I love the feisty ones. I literally just a few weeks ago talked about my favorite types of characters and listed the feisty girls as one of my top favorites.


BUT. I really, really don’t like how the sweet, gentle characters are disappearing. How femininity is looked down upon, and how kindness is considered “weak”. Hating someone is easy, but choosing to love…that’s where true strength comes in.


I want more characters like Cinderella. I want characters who inspire me to rise up and live in “gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.”


And that’s why I believe Cinderella is a good heroine.



~ ~ ~


ALL RIGHT, GUYS. This was probably my most opinionated post to date. (I hope you didn’t mind. But Cinderella and this issue has been on mind since I was like…5 or something, so. This post was bound to explode out of me eventually.) Which means I’m now dying to hear YOUR opinion. (I don’t bite, I promise.) What do you think about Cinderella and heroines and this day and age of not having Cinderella-like protagonists anymore? I WANT TO HEAR ALL YOUR THOUGHTS. (Also, important here, who else thought the live action Cinderella movie was complete and utter perfection???)


P.S. If you did actually like this post, back in April I did a post about my thoughts on the Beauty and the Beast story. Who knows? Maybe I’ll turn this into a whole Christine’s-opinions-on-fairytales blog series. Because…I really love fairytales and have a lot of opinions apparently.

79 comments:

  1. YES. I agree with everything you say in this post and can find no wrong in it.

    I thought the same thing when I was watching the new live action Cinderella. It was the most beautiful movie I've seen so far this year, and the characters were the best part of it.

    I love the way Perrault ends his version. The Grimm one is.... so creepy and morbid. O_o

    But yes femininity. So important. And I miss having heroines like that. *pulls out pencil*

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    1. *squeals* That makes me happy to hear!

      Oh my goodness. There are no words to truly express my deep and utter love for that movie. IT. IS. PERFECTION. And the characters! AGH. They were cast so well. Especially Lily James. My goodness. The best Cinderella EVER.

      The Grimm version is so messed up. XD I like it but...I definitely prefer Perrault's. I think most people do. It seems like most Cinderella retellings follow along with Perrault's version much more so than Grimm's. And I can see why. XD

      Indeed! And yes, let's write those precious characters! We need to bring them back! *raises pencil*

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  2. OH MY GOSH CINDERELLA IS MY FAVORITE, TOO, AND YOU MADE SO MANY VALID POINTSSSS!!!!!!!
    *gasps* Thanx a bunch!

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    1. P.s. I LOVED the newest Disney version! I've never watched the original, tho.

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    2. *flails wildly* YOUR COMMENT! :D

      Cinderella is amaziiiiiing!!!! I'm glad you like the points I made. ^_^

      The newest Disney version is pure perfection. IT'S SO GOOD.
      Oooh, you should watch the classic animated one! It's not perfect (the Prince has like...NO personality), but Cinderella in it was my role model as a child. She was so well done!

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    3. XD *squeals*
      I knowwwww!!!!!!!!!!!! (o'-'o) <3
      It is! Ive watched it so many times.... XD
      I really should. XD (teehee)

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  3. THIS POOOOST, CHRISTINE! *hugs it forever*

    I agree to literally everything you said!! Why are all the sweet, gentle female protagonists disappearing? It's atrocious, I tell you.

    AND YES. I got chills too when she said 'I forgive you'. AWK SO AMAZING. I know *I* could never do that...I'd be so bitter and angry. XD

    I'm glad, too, that they fleshed out the Prince's character in the live-action. I remember when I was younger I actually didn't like Prince Charming very much. He didn't interest me at all. But Kit it SO. SWEET. Disney did good. ^_^

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    1. *BEAMS* I'M SO HAPPY YOU LIKED IT.

      I agree, it is SUCH an atrocity that those precious babies are dying out or get hated on. What is wrong with being sweet and gentle, I ask you???

      Oh man, I don't think I could have done it either. I'd probably more be like, "Take THAT, Stepmother! *sticks tongue out*" I...obviously haven't developed Cinderella's attributes as much as I'd like. Ahem.

      I WAS THE SAAAAME. That was one of my TOP favorite Disney movies, but I literally couldn't care less about the Prince. He was like the most cardboard character to ever exist. I think Disney realized it, too, with how they made sure to give Kit a personality. Lol. AND HE'S JUST SO PRECIOUS. <3

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  4. Amen to everything said above. I too am a rather temperamental warrior-queen, which I guess is why I look towards Cinderella's example of dealing with people.

    Honestly, Cinderella is the picture of meekness. A virtue that is sorely lacking in today's society. Since the advent of feminism, the idea of being a meek and humble female is revolting (which is an utter shame, if you ask me). But honestly, I believe that young women are crying for an example of femininity, and Cinderella provides a perfect example of such.

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com
    frugallyfancyfarmlass.blogspot.com

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    1. "Temperamental warrior-queen" LOL. That's such a great way of putting it. And I relate! I can have the worst attitude sometimes, ugh. Which is why we NEED more Cinderella-like characters to look up to!

      YESSSSS. YOU should have written my post for me, because that's PRECISELY what I was trying to get at in my long ramble. Where you just summed it up PERFECTLY. She IS the picture of meekness. But, unfortunately, that is something very frowned upon in today's society, as you said. I love, LOVE your thoughts on women crying for an example of femininity. I don't know if I've ever consciously thought of that, but I think you're right! Lots of girls like to be girly, and it's like we have to HIDE that part of ourselves these day, and it's just so sad.

      Thank you so much for your thoughts!

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    2. Your details were spot on though! And I like your rambles :)

      I get you on the hiding. The fact that we have two opposing ideals - one the crafty, homesteading housewife and the career-busting CEO doesn't exactly help either.

      You're welcome!
      Catherine

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    3. Awww! *blushes* Thank you!

      Right??? The way I see it, just be who God calls you to be. He calls some to be housewives, He calls others to be business women. And it's OKAY either way. We shouldn't stick our noses up at one or the other. We should just accept the fact they we're called to different things and are different people and that's GOOD.

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  5. THIS WAS BEAUTIFUL!!!! Oh my goodness Christine! You just nailed it!

    Actually do you know something?
    Cinderella was also my rolemodel, I did a very weak job of living up to her but I remember a snapshot out of my childhood when I was sent to the corner thinking of Cinderella and how graciously and sweetly she accepted her hardships. (aka my chores and my strict wise mother) xD But anyway point is many times the flashes of humility and grace came to mind and I HAD TOTALLY forgotten until I read this post, and I just remembered! Anyway thank you so much for taking the time to write this all out, it was really touching. :)

    Anna | www.worldthroughherheart.blogspot.com

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    1. MEEP. I'm so glad you thought so! THANK YOU!!!

      Oh wow, I LOVE that! It's so fun how she was both of our role models! I fail so horribly living up to her example, but it's so great having characters we CAN look up to. Instead of ones who are bad influences that is so popular in media today. Cinderella is just the best. ^_^

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  6. Oh Christine, This post is so beautiful and important. I feel like female femininity has been attacked a lot this year. We forget amidst all the kick butt heroines that strength doesn't have to be physical, or a love for beautiful things a sign of weakness. Cinderella has that quiet strength, one that I would prefer over the latter. I have always thought of her as strong even in the animated one, that I watched over and over when I was six.
    Then I found Ever After, which was even better. That one really showed the character in a different light. Then came the live action, and I loved it. There really is a lack of characters like her.

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    1. D'awwww! Thank you so much!!!

      YES, YES, YES! Precisely my feelings! I LOVE how you said it! There's SO much focus on physical strength and being tough, that people forget it's OKAY to love beautiful things, it's OKAY to cry, it's OKAY to be feminine and gentle. It just makes me so sad how our culture looks down on those attributes.

      I watched the animated version probably HUNDREDS of times when I was little. It was one of my TOP favorites! And oooh my goodness, I loooove Ever After! Another I've watched a billion times. Although I do like Disney's portrayal of Cinderella better. The new live action one is just...AGH. It's so perfect!

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  7. "And hey, I can wear a frilly pink skirt and watch a Marvel movie at the same time. So there." << This...

    THIIIIISSSSSS!!!!!

    Oh my word, YES. Not only is that line complete perfection, but also this entire post. I've always heard about how Cinderella is basically one of the most annoying fairytale princesses, or whatever, and I never really thought much about it because I'm rather indifferent to the tale of Cinderella. But this...this really made me think.

    I honestly feel like today, every single female character has to be that feisty, hot-tempered, can probably murder you with a butter knife type of girl, and it's sort of annoying? Characters like Cinderella ARE dying out, and it's so sad! I even do this in my own writing without even realizing it.

    I've never really thought that much into the Cinderella story, but I think I really needed this post... It was absolutely beautiful and amazing, and eek! I really want to watch that Cinderella movie again now!!!! XD

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    1. Hahahaha!!! We can totally be girly AND like other stuff, too. No shame in that!

      That makes me ridiculously happy that this post made you think! ^_^ Cinderella does get so much hate, and it breaks my heart because she's an AMAZING character! I've literally looked up to her my entire life, and her example didn't HARM me, it improved me as a person!

      "I honestly feel like today, every single female character has to be that feisty, hot-tempered, can probably murder you with a butter knife type of girl, and it's sort of annoying?" <---YESSSSS. Literally my EXACT thoughts, and something I rant about...a lot. Heh. I used to be fine with the occasional hot-tempered female character, but now it's ALL we get. It's like all we're ALLOWED to have in fiction and just...ugh. It drives me batty! XD We NEED sweet-spirited characters more than anything these days.

      Thank you sooo much! I'm thrilled this post was helpful to you! (I was worried I was just rambling and no one would care. XD) And oh my goodness, I've been in the mood to watch it for WEEKS now, but after writing this...I'm DYYYING for a rewatch. This must happen. SOON.

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  8. "Cinderella remained good. Because that’s what Cinderella is. She’s good." I love this! Excellent post! I've never been quite either side of the debate (I didn't know there WAS a debate... o.o), and I never thought of her as particularly a favorite OR particularly weak, so this is very interesting with some great thoughts. I love that she's good, and you're absolutely right! :D

    Great points on being beautiful inside, and about getting to dress up nice once after so much time. o.o I never thought about a lot of this! With my heroine post I've been thinking about wanting to be those heroic heroines I like, and I love that you look up to Cinderella as an example of goodness. :)

    I've only seen the new Cinderella movie like... twice? *cough* But now I want to see it again. XD Yes, Kit was great. :P And I loved her blue dress! *being slightly shallow* I did love that she's so sweet and good still. :)

    Hurray for opinions! I enjoyed this post! ^_^ I think it's great when you debunk fairytale things and show an intriguing side to them! And I absolutely agree that heroines who are actually GOOD are totally lacking in this day and age and it's depressing... So we definitely need posts like this! :D

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    1. Thank you so much, Celti! Haha, yeeeah. Cinderella has gotten a lot of hate from the world. Or just characters like her in general. Because apparently if you're a female you're not allowed to be gentle and feminine anymore???? Yeah, that makes sense. >.>

      I NEED a post about heroes/heroines from you!!! Because I LOVE your thoughts on heroes being HEROIC, and agree so much and just YES. You need to write this! :D

      Actually, I haven't seen it many times myself! I just loved it SO much I soaked up every. single. moment. I do that with movies sometimes. If I completely adore it, my brain just soaks it up and even if I've only seen it a couple of times I FEEL like I've seen it a hundred because it's so ingrained in my mind. I don't know, it's weird! XD But yes, my sister and I have been plotting a rewatch of it for a while now. It needs to happen!
      Kit was so wonderful! Muuuch better than the animated version. Haha. And oh my goodness, the blue dress was so gorgeous! And hey, we're allowed to admire the dress and be girly. That's a big point of this post after all. ;D

      I'm so very glad you enjoyed it! I was a little nervous how people would take this post. Eheh. But yes, we need GOOD heroines, and heroes for that matter. It's so important, and it breaks my heart how they're dying off.

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  9. Hi Christine !!!
    OH MY GOSHHHH THIS WAS SOO GOOOODDDDD!!! I always enjoy your posts, girl, but this one simply Blew My Mind. First of all, i really liked getting your point of view on the topic, because it's always interesting to acknowledge these things. There were times when i wanted to contradict you hahah, but you really blew my mind here. It was sooo greaaaat <3 I'd never seen this character this way and, although Cinderella is kind of my weak-type-of-character in my mind, you've changed that. Thanks for this post, girl!!!
    <3 <3 <3
    xox

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    1. Excuse me while I flail because YOUR COMMENT! I'm grinning so hard!

      Hey, you're 100% allowed to contradict me! That's what these discussion posts are for, to get different views of these issues. It's GOOD to see and understand people's different sides of things. But I'm really, really happy you enjoyed this post and everything. Just... *beams* Thank you so much!

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  10. SPOT ON! And yes, please. We need more of Christine's-Thoughts-on-Fairytales. I will order a dozen for now, thankyouverymuch. ;)

    Honestly, I feel like you looked at my heart and just beautifully typed out all of my mushed-up thoughts. Cinderella is a heroine! This post is perfection. Just like the Disney remake. (My only complaint -- I would have loved to have more musical and people singing the original songs, but that's ok...) Lily James was the best Cinderella. Wow.

    But talking about you reading my heart, this is exactly why I wanted to write Hazel Tree. People misunderstand Cinderella, and they give her a hard time, but they don't understand who she really is. I saw soooo much more in her character, and I wanted so badly to bring that out with Celesta's character. SHE IS A HEROINE, PEOPLE! And this world needs more Cinderella heroines. Just sayin'.

    By the way, pink skirts and Marvel movies -- with ya there, m'dear!! Pink's not my favorite color, but I will take a twirly skirt any day. And carry around my Sting replica letter opener at the same time.

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    1. I need you to publish Hazel Tree. Just, FWI. Like, before I go crazy. I need you to publish it 'cause I want to promote it so badly.

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    2. *creeps into conversation* I want to read the Hazel Tree book tooooooooo...!

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    3. Tehehe. Trust me, if I come up with more fairytale thoughts, there will be a post about it! Fairytales are something I could discuss all the day long.

      You're probably going to disown me for saying this but...*whispers*I'm not the biggest fan of musicals.*whispers* o___o Erm. Yeah. I DO like them sometimes, but I was VERY happy Cinderella didn't have any singing. I wasn't super wild about the Beauty and the Beast remake because they chose to make it a musical. For some reason I loved all the songs in the animated version but...singing in live action movies just isn't my favorite thing. I'M SO SORRY. *hides in shame*
      Ahem, but ANYWAYS. Lily James was the best Cinderella EVER. YESSSH. Oh my gracious. She just captured EVERYTHING I have always loved and admired in Cinderella. I literally watched my childhood role model come to life and LKDSJFJ:KSJDf. IT WAS PERFECTION.


      Okay, this makes me ridiculously happy that my post rung so deeply with you. And KIRI. Celesta was everything I love about Cinderella! She was so GOOD and HEROIC and AGH. YOU DEFINITELY NEED TO PUBLISH THAT STORY!!! It is honest to goodness one of my TOP favorite retellings I've ever read. IT WAS SO GOOD AND THE WORLD NEEEEEEDS IIIIIITTTTT.

      *highfives* YES. We can be girly and like other things, too! I mean, my room has pink and frills everywhere, and yet I have replicas of Legolas' knives hanging on my wall. XD Ain't no shame in that!

      @Kendra - YOU TELL HER. IT NEEDS TO HAPPEN.

      @Celti - Oh my goodness, you would loooooove that book. IT NEEDS TO BE PUBLISHED! D: *points puppy dog eyes Kiri's way*

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    4. Yeah, I go to promote it now, and they just grump at me for talking about a book that hasn't been published yet.

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    5. Haha! Thank you all! :) I love that people love my Hazel Tree and Celesta. I'm slowly getting it to the point where I want to publish, but I'm praying about going a more traditional route rather than self-publishing. Or at least, looking into it. You know, once I get this pesky little thing called college out of the way. :P I'm really excited to share that story with people because I think it's basically my core, everything I love, and then it also aligns with my passion for a true Cinderella heroine and love of fairytales. One day. Some day. Soon.

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    6. I didn't know you were considering the traditional publishing route, Kiri. That's cool! I mean, a little sad for us since that means it'll be a while before Hazel Tree is out in the world due to traditional publishing being sooo slow. Buuuut I totally understand! Because that's the direction I want to go as well. So I'll TRY to wait patiently. Try...

      Either way I'm just ridiculously excited you're still planning to pursue publishing with it. BECAUSE IT NEEDS TO BE OUT IN THE WORLD!!!!!!

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  11. I saw this post come up in my feed and literally squealed because I AM ALWAYS HERE FOR CINDERELLA APPRECIATION.

    I never disliked Cinderella as a little girl, but I never really thought of her as a favorite- yet, somehow, all of my early stories ended up being variations of the Cinderella story, and as I've gotten older, I've learned to appreciate her more and more. (I've even written defenses of her *in* some of my novels, I feel so strongly about it, haha!)

    And Disney's newest movie version was spot-on perfect. They captured the heart of the tale SO WELL and is probably my favorite live action Disney film. Basically, I agree SO MUCH with everything here. Love, love, love it.

    (and also thanks for the shout-out!!! :) )

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    1. YAAAAY! *highfives*

      That is the best how you've written defenses of her in your novels! :D It's like your subconscious was gathering it up when you were little and now it's all coming out. Lol! But yes, she's such a wonderful heroine!

      Oh my, I love the newest movie so very much. It's probably not even healthy how much I love it. XD It WOULD be my favorite live action Disney film if Maleficent didn't exist. (In fact, I should probably do a fangirl post on Maleficent someday because I love it so much. XD) But it comes at a verrrry close second. Ugh. it's so perfect.

      Thanks so much, Hayden!

      (Of course! I ADORED your post. It's so important, I wish EVERYONE would read it.)

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  12. For so long I've thought of Cinderella as a weak, wimpy lil girl who had to wait for a godmother to fix her problems. Then I watched the 2015 Disney movie and EVERYTHING CHANGED. First of all, that movie is the definition of beauty. Second, Cinderella became one of my heros. She is such an amazing role model, and while there are things that I would have done differently, I do think that she is so emotionally strong. Go Cinderella!!! <3

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    1. It really is easy to view her that way. I ADORE the classic animated version, but Disney has gotten much better at characterization and storytelling over the years. The newest live action one is EVERYTHING that the Cinderella story should be! It IS the definition of beauty. Oh my gracious, so much beauty! And Cinderella was so strong. She's really great! ^_^

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  13. Cinderella used to be my favorite fairytale EVER. Though, I never watched the movies at all, I loved the story. Now, I still think it's a cool story.

    "I forgive you."—OHMYGOODNESS!! That's the best part. She forgave them even after they were so hateful to her.
    I don't watch Disney movies or fairytales at all really, but that Cinderella movie was really good. It was kind of strange...but it was good. I LOVE Ever After. I really need to watch it again...have you?
    This post was cool and I hope you do more. :D
    God bless!

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    1. It's SUCH a great fairytale! I never, ever get tired of it or tired or retellings of it!

      WASN'T IT THOUGH??? The first time I watched the movie that scene just SMACKED me in the feels. Such a powerful moment!

      Ooooh, EVER AFTER. Yes, yes, yes! I've seen that movie dozens of times. It's a spectacular one! I like Disney's movie better, but still. EVER AFTER IS SO GOOD.

      I'm so happy you thought so! Knowing me, I will end up doing more like this. I'm a leetle obsessed with fairytales. *grins*

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    2. It is! I love reading the different versions of it that people from other countries have made. It's really cool.

      It was the best part, definitely. It's powerful that she forgave them after all they did to try and ruin her life. It's touching...even if it's made up.

      I LOVE Ever After so much!! My mom likes it too, so I'll most likely be seeing it with her next time I watch it. I'll have to borrow it soon and then buy it. lol

      You're writing a fairytale retelling, right? Burning Thorns, is it? I want to read it so bad. You should enter it in one of those contests once you're done. You know, the ones who pick four or five people to put together different retellings of fairytales in one book? You'd probably be one of them if you did. You've posted snippets, haven't you?

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    3. Oh yes, that's a lot of fun! It's insane how many versions of Cinderella exist in the world!

      SO powerful! Even though it was fiction, it's such an inspiration for real life, which is what fiction should always do--inspire us. ^_^

      That's so fun your mom likes it too! It's been a while since I've watched it. I think it's high time for a rewatch! :D

      Yes, that's right! It's a Beauty and the Beast retelling (my FAVORITE fairytale!). That is just the SWEETEST you want to read it! ^_^
      That's actually really funny you suggest I enter it into the contest. Because that's how it started out! I originally wrote it as a novella for the contest they held a couple of years back. But when it didn't win, I decided to change it from a novella to a full novel. I was almost GLAD I didn't win, because it's been great expanding the story and making it into so much more than the short little story it originally was. But ANYWAYS. It's too fun you suggested I do that since that was how Burning Thorns first came to be!

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    4. It is, isn't it! I tried to look some up, but they only let you read a few, but they weren't much different from the actual story. They gave you names of really good ones, but they only said the names, they didn't give you the full stories. *sigh*

      It really does and even though they're made up, you can really get a good message if you think deep enough from them. :)

      A lot of my family does, so it's always fun to watch it with others who like it like you do. ;) It's definitely time for a rewatch.

      You like Beauty and the Beast? It wasn't my favorite actually, but I'm sure your retelling would blow it away. You write it, I'll read it. :D
      Seriously? That's the coolest! Sometimes, it's not meant for us to win, and us not winning something can make our work even better than before. Like Burning Thorns for you. Thanks for telling me that, Christine! Maybe when you're done and like it how you've written it, you can enter it again, since it's anew. Just a thought, but I'm sure you could really win.
      God Bless! <3

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    5. OH. If you're wanting to read them all, you can here: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0510a.html It'll even tell you which country each version is from. That website has basically ALL the fairytales. It's a fantastic place!

      Exactly! Stories are powerful things!

      It's the BEST when family members like the same movies you do. My sister and I spend a lot of time fangirling over movies together. XD

      Oh yes! It's my top favorite fairytale, but I understand that it's not everyone's! Awww, you're so sweet!
      That is so encouraging. Thank you for saying that. And I entirely agree! I don't think I was meant to win, because now I can do more with my story.
      Well, I can't enter it again because it's a Beauty and the Beast story (and they're done with that fairytale, they're doing Snow White right now) AND it's a novel now, not a novella. The contest is for 20k word novellas. Burning Thorns is now a 94k word novel. It's gotten...big. XD But it's soooo sweet you think I could write something that would win. You're such an encouragement! <3

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    6. Oh my goodness! Thanks, Christine! *hugs* You know what I'll be doing for a while...lol Thank you so much for that!

      They are. Especially when the authors write with a certain message in mind and then keep hinting at it throughout the whole story.

      It is, isn't it? Because if they don't, most likely, you'll be watching it alone. Sometimes that's fine with me, but other times, I don't really want to be alone. I guess it just depends on mood swings. lol My sister and i always whisper movie quotes to each other. The others have no idea what we're talking about. xD That's cool that you and your sister do that!

      Thank you! I really think you could win if you entered it. Plus, it's new and improved, so it's probably deeper than before. You can change it however you want and you can have a story that you yourself like even more than you did before. ;)
      I actually just thought of that before I read it. lol Well, I know you can definitely get it published and even win awards. I mean, I barely even have had a glimpse of it, but your passion for it will drive you. I know it will. I believe in you. <3
      94k??? Gracious! You've been busy. lol
      Me? Thank you! <3

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    7. You are so welcome! That's what I'm here for, to spread the fairytale love around. ;D

      Definitely!

      It depends on my mood, too. Sometimes I like watching things alone and just immersing in the story. While other times I want to share it with others. So...I guess I'm happy either way! That's so fun you and your sister whisper movie quotes. My sister and I make movie references ALL the time and no one has any idea what we're saying. We fangirls have our own language, don't we? XD

      AAAAHHHHH! You are just making me smile up and down. Yes you ARE an encourage! You encourage me SO. MUCH. <33333
      Hahaha. Yep. 94k. I...don't always write short books. *cough*

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    8. I've been reading them and they're very interesting. I love reading the ones from different cultures. For some of them, I'm like: "How'd you even come up with this?"—lol Well, I'm glad you're spreading it.

      Yeah, it just depends on how you feel. :) It is! Since I have a twin, it makes things even better. We finish the quotes the other one has started to say. We joke around with each other, or look at each other and know what the other person is thinking about. Though, sadly, I like different styles of movies that she hates. It's hard to pick out movies that we'll both like. lol We do have our own language! That's another amazing thing of having a sibling.

      I AM?!?! You've made my day! I hope to be an encouragement and am glad I've been one to you. <333
      *hugs* I'm so happy right now. :D

      I have a hard time writing and sticking to the ones I start...*sobs* It's SO HARD. I'm glad you've written all that. Seriously, that's really good. When a book that readers love is long, they get really excited about it. I know I've read some books that I fell in love with, but they were so short. It broke my heart when I finished. lol *The Left Behind series by Jerry B Jenkins—I know, it's 40 books, but that's STILL too short!!! (They're the best EVER.) Plus, they're only like a hundred some pages each, so they aren't' that long.*

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    9. "Very interesting." That describes most fairytales very well. They're all very...interesting. XD Because yeah, how DID these people come up with these things. It's kinda funny!

      That is so fun you and your twin do those things! I always thought it'd be fun to have a twin. But siblings in general are just the best! :D

      MOST DEFINITELY. You're always uplifting me! You're a true treasure. <3

      I used to do the same! It really wasn't until the last few years that I've stuck to stories I've started. But it can be so hard when new plot bunnies attack... So I understand!
      And I agree! There are SO many books that I wish were longer because I want to spend time with the characters foreverrrr.

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    10. Haha, yes it does. I mean, what sparked their ideas? It's so weird! lol

      It is fun to have a twin. It's the best. lol I wouldn't want to be an only child. It'd be lonely. ;\

      Aww, I'm so happy! You're making me smile so big right now. <3 You're the sweetest! *hugs* I'm glad I came across your blog and...met (???) you. ;D You're encouraging to me.

      It's the bittersweet thing about writers. You get an idea and start to write it, then the plot bunnies attack ("They come with fire, they come with axes...gnawing, biting, breaking, hacking, burning!...." *I know, extreme, but plot bunnies are horrid creatures unless they come once and only once. The time they give you that ONE idea..*)

      I know! You don't want them to ever leave. *sobs*

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    11. The LotR quote you used for plot bunnies. I'm laughing SO hard! XDDDDD THAT IS PERFECT.

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    12. ������ It came to mind and I thought it was perfect. lol

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    13. Sorry! I don't think I can use emojis. I was doing the laugh\cry face, but I guess I can't...

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    14. Totally perfect! XD

      And yeah, Blogger is rude and doesn't like emojis. It's really annoying...

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  14. Great post! I do believe Cinderella is a great heroine too. :) I personally preferred the Ever After version, but I do definitely like the story and Disney's version was very good. ^ ^

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much! ^_^

      EVER AFTER IS SUCH A GOOD MOVIE!!! I actually like Disney's movie better myself. Lol. But I still think Ever After was SPECTACULAR. Where Disney kind of...romanticizes everything, Ever After REALLY showed the grit and grime and hardships, and it was so powerful!

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  15. I loooove this post so so much. Cinderella has always been a model for me too?? I used to have a story book collection of retellings that I adored and I just wanted to be like her so much. It's such a beautiful image. Quiet strength. She's no way weak at all, she's actually a LOT stronger than SO MANY other heroines. The 2015 movie was /amazing/.
    And all those gifs have made me want to rewatch it now. XD

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    1. EEP. That makes me so happy to hear!

      She has been to you too? THAT IS AWESOME! I love that I'm not the only one who has always looked up to her. And YES to everything you said! She is so strong. And oooh my goodness, my love for that movie is probably unhealthy. It was so gorgeous! I'm dying for a rewatch myself! Lol.

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  16. UGH. CHRISTIIIINE. I ENVY YOUR BLOGGING SKILLS. XD Seriously though, your posts are always so insightful and profound and they force me to think of things in new ways. I've never even /thought/ about this before (hello teenage guy here), but it's so true. *nods* I always try to be careful when I write female characters that they're not too overbearing. (<< IDK I TRIED TO THINK OF A BETTER WORD TO PUT THERE BUT I CAN'T WORD APPARENTLY)

    But yes. Anyways. Great post! :D

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    1. OH MY GOODNESS. YOU ARE TOO NICE! That encourages me SO much, because I often fear that I ramble too much and don't make any sense. So...just...THANK YOU!!! Seriously, that means so much!

      That is fantastic you're so thoughtful about writing female characters. It can be SO hard to write the opposite gender, but if you CARE about your readers and what you're writing, like I know you do, it will shine through the pages. So I am just sure you're doing absolutely fine, ^_^

      Thanks so much! I wasn't sure how my male followers would take to this post. Lol. I'm very relieved it went over okay!

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  17. I love this. We need more heroines like Cinderella. I'm not feeling so bad about a certain character of mine who is a bit of a pushover. I just need to make her focus more on kindness. Though some people might find a super kind character as annoying as a weak willed one. And now I'm beginning to ramble and better stop this comment and talk to myself.

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    1. Awww, thanks!

      Yes we do! We so, so do! You should NOT worry about your character. I think it's awesome you're writing one like that. And, after all, we can never, ever, EVER please everyone. We just have to write what we're called to and create the characters our stories need, no matter what the world says. You just keep on writing. ^_^

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  18. Thank you so much for this reframe, Christine. I'm so glad it popped up in my Twitter feed.

    I've yet to see the live action Disney remake, but I'm so there with everyone else who's been raving about Ever After! While Drew's Danielle does have a bit more sass than what I remember of Disney's animated Cinderella, ultimately she is portrayed as a kind, caring, intelligent woman who does what she needs to do to do to stay alive and keep her family together.

    And the dress (and SHOES!!!) she wears to the ball...straight up STUNNING!

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    1. D'awww, you're so welcome! It's something that's been on my mind for a long time. I knew eventually I'd have to let it out of my brain and into words. Lol.

      Ever After is such a fantastic movie, yesss! I agree, Danielle wasn't QUITE the soft-spirited Cinderella I know and love, but she was still an AMAZING character. The way she powered through her struggles was inspiring.

      Oh my gracious, THE DRESSSS. The wings. WINGS. That's my dream dress right there!

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    2. I'm SO GLAD you decided to turn those thoughts into words!!! Honestly, it's made me almost giddy about the fact that I haven't seen the live action Disney version yet, because now I get to watch it with this new perspective, which I suspect will give me an much greater appreciation for it than I might have had otherwise. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

      And wings for everyone!!! WINGS FOR EVERYONE!

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    3. AWK. That is so nice of you to say!

      Now I'M giddy! I do so hope you enjoy it when you watch it! I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it really is such a beautiful movie. MEEP. You're just making me smile all over the place. You're so very welcome! ^_^

      ALWAYS WINGS.

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  19. I absolutely love Cinderella as well, Christine! Well, to be perfectly honest, I properly fell in love with her character once I watched the 2015 live-action movie. IT WAS SO GOOD!

    I love everything you shared about why Cinderella is such a courageous female heroine, and one to be admired. I basically weep every time I watch this movie, and am inspired to be braver and kinder! Ah, so good! Thank you for sharing! ^_^

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    1. THAT MOVIE!!!!! Oh my gracious. Wasn't it just the BEST??? Disney nailed it. They just absolutely nailed it.

      It brings me to tears, too! It's such an encouraging, beautiful movie. It gets me every. single. time. :')

      You're so welcome! I could rave about Cinderella AND that movie for basically forever. XD

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  20. YYYAAAASSSSSSS! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!!! THIS POST IS SO AWESOME, CHRISTINE. *agrees to all the things*

    ~Liv
    livkfisher.blogspot.com

    P.S. And yes, the 2015 version... *heart-eyes*

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    1. *flails happily* AAAHHHHHH, LIV. THANK YOOOUUUU!!!!!! Your comment is making me smile so big!

      Yessssh. Dat movie just... *clutches heart* So perfect.

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  21. This is such a great post!!! I had an English teacher in high school spend an entire class period explaining why Cinderella is a sexist story, and while I could see her point, I also felt like she was being way too critical. Your argument makes a lot more sense to me! I've always enjoyed Cinderella: the original Disney version, the one starring Brandy, the newest one, Ella Enchanted. . . . To me, Cinderella has always seemed like a kind, humble character.

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    1. Thank you!!! ^_^

      Oh dear. Haha, yeah. A looot of people see it as sexist, but I think it shows how strong women can be!

      I'm with you, ALL the adaptions of Cinderella are fantastic. I think she's an amazing character. ^_^

      Thanks, Serena! I'm so happy you enjoyed my post!

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  22. I loved basically everything you said here!!! I've been guilty of thinking Cinderella a bit weak in the past, but I love how you pointed out here that kindness and humility is it's own kind of strength - and how, in fact, it can take more strength to remain kind than to lash out.

    I loved the live action Cinderella too! The animated version is something that will always have a place in my heart, but you're right, the prince is so much better in the live action version, and that affected the amazingness of the movie big time, lol.

    Great post!!

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    1. D'awwww! THANK YOU. That makes me very happy to hear! I never know if my statements about things ever ACTUALLY make sense or not, sooo I'm glad to know this one did. XD

      I LOVE the animated version! It's one of the movies I watched the most as a child. I think I still have it all memorized. XD And the new version just expanded on it and made it even BETTER. I love them both so much! I'm really proud of Disney and their portrayal of Cinderella. ^_^

      Thanks so much!

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  23. AGHHHHHHHHHHH THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I mean, I KNEW I was going to love this post but I haven't even FINISHED it yet and I'm already flailing with all the yessssssss!!!

    As I said before, I find really good sweet characters a bit hard to relate to because I'm not that person BUT DUDE THEY ARE SO STRONG and anyone who denies that or calls them weak is just MISSING IT SO BAD.

    I love what you said in answer to the first complaint. I would've become so bitter as well. But the amazing thing is that Cinderella DIDN'T and that she CHOSE goodness and forgiveness and to be sweet and charming and just gahhhhh she was amazing.

    I also love what you said in answer to number two!! Like WHOA HOW CAN PEOPLE EVEN SAY THAT??? What on earth is wrong with liking pretty things??? AS HUMAN BEINGS, WE WERE PRETTY MUCH DESIGNED TO LOVE BEAUTY. Man! Why is that not okay anymore??? And yessss, she was doing all the work and had no pretty stuff!!! That should make her fascination and happiness over THE ONE PRETTY THING IN HER LIFE so much more acceptable and understandable!!!

    OKAY I WENT BACK AND FINISHED READING THE POST!

    and I have one more thing I must say! Thank you for pointing out that the original fairytale is short and is bound to be a bit abrupt. Because it DOES bother me that it's like "she was the prettiest girl at the ball and the prince fell in love with her and started stalking her immediately" but THAT'S THE CONDENSED VERSION??? As I told my little brother, the DESIGN of fairytales is such that the person telling it can ADAPT IT TO THEIR AUDIENCE!! They were originally passed along ORALLY which meant that the storyteller could make it appropriate to age and how much time he had and personal preference and could add or subtract details as he liked. THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT. Fairytales are little "skeleton" stories, if you will, and the teller must add in the meat (that was a gross metaphor whoa!!).

    SO ANYWAY. THANK YOU FOR THIS BRILLIANT POST. EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS!!

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    1. *grins uncontrollably* Aaaaahhhhhh! That makes me so happy!!!

      Oh man, I would have become so bitter, too. Like...I would just be an oozing, seething ball of fury and bitterness. It'd be bad. XD And that's why I love the story of Cinderella, because it teaches us how we should act toward injustice and how to power through. It's just so good!

      I DON'T EVEN KNOW. A looot of people these days really frown upon girls being all into pink and frills and things. They think it's poison for some reason???? Like it'll make them weak and shallow. But COME ON. We can still like pretty things and be strong! Liking pink does not make me any less of a person. NOR does it make it where I don't like things such as Marvel movies or sword fighting or fun stuff like that. I CAN LIKE BOTH. This world. *rolls eyes*

      OH MY GOODNESS. YOU need to write a fairytales-opinion post because what you just said is GOOOOOOOOLD. I just want to take your paragraph and shove it at like EVERYBODY EVER. Yes, yes, yes, yes, YESSSS!!!!!!! YOU ARE SO RIGHT. I actually ADORE your skeleton metaphor. That is such perfection. JUST YES. Fairytales are short stories and can be interpreted and expanded and adapted in so, so, SO many ways. I think they're MEANT to be read (or added to) between the lines. We have to add the meat ourselves, like you said. GAH. I JUST LOVE EVERYTHING YOU SAID!!!!!!!!

      Thank YOU for your comment! I love our chats. It's so much fun to rant about the world's nonsense with you! >:D

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  24. *applauds* Great post! I must say, I have never thought of Cinderella in this way before. I've never been a huge fan of Cinderella—or Disney princess stories in general—but you brought up a lot of good points! And I agree with you about needing more gentle, feminine characters who exhibit qualities such as bravery and kindness. The heroine of the novel I've been working on is more of a Cinderella than a Tauriel (the only female warrior that comes to mind at the moment), and I was worried that people might think of her a weak girl who needs rescuing... But you don't need to be a self-rescuing princess to be brave and strong.

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    1. Thank you! ^_^

      "But you don't need to be a self-rescuing princess to be brave and strong." <---YESSS. People seem to think "strength" only means one thing--actual, physical strength. But it means SO much more than rescuing ourselves and wielding a sword. It's choosing to be kind, making the right decisions, not letting anger control us. Besides, being rescued is not weakness either. It takes strength to ask for help sometimes! There is NOTHING wrong with that, and I get tired of people bashing anyone who needs help. It's sad.

      But ANYWAYS, I love everything you said! And I think it's wonderful you're writing a Cinderella-like character. ^_^

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  25. Wonderful post! I never thought about Cinderella from that angle.

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    1. Thank you so much! I just love Cinderella and think about her character a LOT, so I couldn't help but share! ^_^

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