Inspired by Kataralover's video; link
I decided to type up a little thing. To be honest I'm rather surprised to type this one as I actually don't really care for Cinderella. However I don't really agree with a lot of the reasons for her character being hated. I guess you can say that I don't hate
Cindy, I don't even dislike her...I just like the other princesses better. The reason I don't care for her centers around the fact that I find her movie boring and therefore can't find her character as fun--hopefully Helena Bonham Carter can spark life into her movie. Anyhow I'm kind of getting off topic so I'll get into the defense part.
One of the things that I see kind of often in way of people bashing Cinderella is that she simply sits around and takes the abuse that comes her way--basically she can't defend herself.
I do not
think this is true...not entirely. At first she seemed to sit around just waiting and hoping for a miracle. But honestly, I actually do think that that's justified as the movie was about hope and keeping faith. It's about being in a bad situation but never losing sight of the possibility that things can get better. The movie aimed to teach children that things sometimes can
get better without them having to do anything but cling to hope. This hope eventually leads
to taking action. And Cinderella did. While yes it took a push from her fairy Godmother, she did start to help herself. It takes guts to defy and go behind the back of an abuser, and she did. Sure the fairy Godmother granted her a dress and a carriage but what good would those do if she had no motivation and courage to put them to use.
That said, once she gets to the ball people complain that she fell in love way too quick. I actually feel like that's fine. It's a fairy tale and fairy tales are supposed to have happy 'love-at-first-sight' themes. It's what makes them magical. Most all of them have it, I don't know why one princess is being mocked for it over another. If you're going to knock Cindy for this why not go for Ariel or Aurora? Both also fell in love at first sight. Either accept one more or bash them all. Let's not forget Disney Princesses are to a degree aimed at younger children and are often one of the first movies they watch. I am in a children's literature course; some concepts I learned were to keep the content at an appropriate level, don't scare the child, and don't leave the child in distress. If distrust to the prince was shown it could confuse or bore a child. A very young watcher wants to believe that princes and princesses are all good and the bad guys are...well, bad. To make Cinderella misturstful of her prince would cause that confusion. And if she didn't marry the prince, at that time it's not unreasonable to assume she wouldn't have had her happy ending--simply because of the time period in which her movie takes place. And that is never
good for children's movies. Children do not like unhappy endings. This is where I think the issue lies; like many Disney Princesses, the target audience is for young children. And yet so, so many teens and adults still love and enjoy the princesses just as much as the target audience. This said, Disney can't have out-right dark themes--they usually use subtly and it's hard to make things like mistrust of men (in this case) subtle. So they use love-at-first-sight, most-people-are-good themes. And besides isn't love at first sight simply a wonderful classic?! :D I don't see anything wrong with believing in love at first sight.
People also seem to believe that she's weak and therefore anti-feminist. I actually don't think this is true. I mean if she was weak and anti-feminist then she probably wouldn't have even tried to escape her situation. But she did. Her opportunity was presented and she took it. A weak, passive, anti-feminist character probably wouldn't act on a presented opportunity. I think Cindy was simply waiting for the right moment--and that moment came in the form of a lovely fairy Godmother. As kataralover mentioned, she may not be fiery and spunky like Ariel or Jasmine but she still holds her own. Just because she isn't bluntly sassy and feisty doesn't mean she's helpless. Strength comes in many forms; Cinderella is the holder of mental and intelligent strength. Kataralover also mentioned in his video that Cinderella lives in a time period in which women don't have a lot of power or control. And it's rather true. So that means she has to be smart about her defiance and smart about how she helps herself and breaks away from the abuse. She was smart enough to wait for a good moment and strong enough to latch onto the opportunity when it came. So what about the times leading up to her grand breakaway? This is where mental strength comes in; it takes so, so much to hold out and keep your head up when you are in such a dark situation like the one Cindy was in. She was strong enough to take what they dished out and still be a loving, kind-hearted girl.
This said Cindy is a great role model. No matter what evils the stepmother and stepsisters dished at her, she stuck to her morals and didn't let them change who she was just to please them. Is it not great to teach a child...or anyone to be themselves? To not let people get the best of you? To keep your hope? To work hard for what you want? Cinderella does all of this and I think children need to be exposed to this kind of thing.
No personality is another thing I've noticed across the web. With the exceptions of Bella Swan and Bloom from Winx Club I think most all characters have some
type of personality. Cinderella does have a personality; she's kind (in her treatment of the animals, those who treated her kindly in return, and even to her step-siblings despite it all), loving, sweet, determined (let's be honest, it takes motivation to get all of that insane house work done), hopeful (this is self explanatory), and something of a day dreamer. Now whether you like this personality or not is up to you. I don't know, but these traits seem cool to me.
All of this said, I'm not saying any of these reasons for disliking her are wrong, I just disagree. Cinderella may not be strong in the conventional ways but she still is strong. And while her movie isn't the best (imo), she is still a wonderful character and a stellar role model.