In case there are any children stumbling upon this blog, I must apologize and/or warn you now of my PG-13 word usage.
Sometimes, there really is not a better word to use. You just need to be honest. I fully believe in honesty (at least, when you choose to express yourself in an artistic medium).
Many of you can probably relate to this at one time or another in your life (especially if you happen to be a female). Women can be, well - bitches, to put it plainly. Backstabbing bitches. And their bad behavior usually is the result of an issue involving competition.
Cinderella wants to go to the ball. It is not a huge request (never mind that she’s a slave in her own house). Even the royal family wants every maiden in the kingdom to attend! But Lady Tremaine, Drizella, and Anastasia know that having Cinderella at the ball would be serious competition (though they would never actually admit it). She is beautiful and graceful, whereas they are just awkward. Luckily for her two brats, the evil Stepmother pretends to play fair and tells Cinderella that if she gets all her chores done and can find something suitable to wear, then she can also attend the ball. Of course, Lady Tremaine knows that she doesn’t have anything suitable to wear – as long as they can give her a lot of busy work to do, she will have no chance to make herself look presentable, and they can get their way.
Even with all the work she has to do, Cinderella is still very hopeful and excited towards the prospect of going to the ball. She quickly grabs her deceased mother’s old dress (most likely one of the few things she inherited at all) and a sewing/fashion book, hoping to make some alterations. It’s only a little old-fashioned, but with just a few tweaks – ah, but there is no time. The brats in the house are screaming for Cinderella to come down and wait on them hand and foot. Resigned, Cinderella determines that her dress “will just have to wait” while she takes care of the monsters downstairs.
Her furry and feathery friends know that those nasty women are not going to give Cinderella a moment’s peace…they have to do something. They owe it to her. She’s always taken care of them and has the biggest heart – why shouldn’t she go to the ball?
Now, let’s remember – this outfit was comprised of Cinderella’s dead mother’s old dress, some minor accents that Drizella and Anastasia deemed worthless, and some spare lace and thread.
The following sequence is, I find, one of the most painful and heart-wrenching things to watch.
Nasty, vicious, cold-hearted bitches.
Just imagine how much that dress meant to her. What if that was the only memory left of her mother? And her best friends, as small they are, went to all that trouble to give her the gift of a night out.
I’m not sure if Cinderella would have dared take the unwanted beads and sash if she had known, but they were unwanted nonetheless.
A lot of people put such an emphasis on Cinderella’s ballgown. Yes, it is beautiful, iconic…princessy. But that pink dress has real emotional value – and God, what a story element! When those nasty girls rip her dress to shreds, there is absolutely no way that you cannot sympathize for this girl.
That dress and her experiences with it represents why I identify with her the most, I think. As a child, I had a hard time fitting in with my classmates…my mother taught me to always be kind and to think of others. As a result, a lot of people have abused my kindness. But I almost always found solace in my mother and pets. Eventually, I went to high school and found more people that I could relate with, and got away from the people I’d been trapped in middle school with for too long…but I still experienced a fair share of Drizellas and Anastasias, especially when I started dating. It is good to remind yourself that eventually your prince will want you over them.
At the end of the day, Cinderella would have been just as happy in her mother’s old dress. And while I think it was important that she ended up getting her own dress to live out her own personal fairy tale, I wish that her Fairy Godmother had also waved her magic wand and put her pink dress back together.