So, since my previous post on princesses, I've had ample opportunity for further reflections regarding Cinderella. And, upon further reflection, I want a new role model.
I still like that she teaches patience, kindness, and hard work.
I do not like that she stays in a bad situation waiting for something to change.
Earlier today, I found myself on the receiving end of some resentment. I have real sympathy for people who aren't happy. I also have little patience for people who have it in their power to change their lives and simply don't. I've been unhappy. I found I had the power to change my life, and I've changed it.
As a friend once put it: follow your happy. Your happy might not look like mine. I may not get it at all! But if it's yours, follow it.
Cinderella should follow her happy. Aren't there shops or restaurants or laundries in that tiny kingdom? Wouldn't any good business owner be happy to have her? Here's my proposed revision:
Cinderella leaves her stepmother's house. She goes to work in a glass shop. The proprietor probably looks like Gepetto. When the invitation to the ball arrives, he makes Cinderella the glass slippers. Maybe we can find room for the fairy godmother. (I'm not totally without feeling!) For drama we can find some reason she has to be back at midnight. More drama: the step family could kidnap her out of jealousy; then we still get our heart-tugging moment with the mice, the key, and the run down the stairs after the Duke.
She still lives happily ever after. She's still a princess, just one with the guts to follow her happy.