What if Cinderella was ugly yet virtuous, kind and courageous…? Her step sisters pretty ruthless and mean? Whom would the prince choose?
Very candidly it would probably be the pretty step sister.
The way I see it, every one’s been telling the Cinderella story wrong, I mean let’s take Cinderella she never asked for a prince, let alone waited around for one. Hell, all that she ever wanted was a night off from work and a fancy dress to twirl in for a few hours. It never really made sense to me that any girl for that matter of sits around pining for some mythical Prince Charming to get off his butt and rescue her. If that is the grand game, then well girl you could wait forever. For if he is a true male, like the rest of the male population, he would probably be stuck in the traffic somewhere or got lost along the way and is too damn stubborn to ask for direction.
As for Cinderella she is such a dork. She leaves her glass slipper at the ball and goes right back to her step- monster’s house!! Maybe she should have worn the glass slipper always to make her easier to find. In my story I would like to think the prince found Cinderella and they rode away in their magnificent carriage, few miles down the road, she turns to him and says,” could you drop me off down the road please? Now that I’ve finally escaped my life of horrific abuse, I’d like to see something of the world, you know… I’ll catch up with you later, prince some day when I’ve found my own way.” but that’s not how the story goes does it?
In the modern Cinderella fairy tale we have the beautiful Cinderella swept off her feet by the prince and her wicked step sisters marrying two lords, everyone lives happily ever after… we don’t pause to think… the Prince with his fascination for glass footwear seems kind of impulsive and immature… think of love at first sight… just imagine suddenly he stops, he looks up, for, lo, there she stands the girl of his dreams. Who she is or whence she came he knows not, nor does her care; for his heart tells him that here, here is the maid predestined to be his bride.
You see, the first thing we love is a scene. For love at first sight that’s what we presume the prince felt, requires the very sign of its suddenness and of all things it is the scene which seems to be the best for first time a curtain parts and what had yet ever been seen is devoured by the eyes; the scene consecrates the object the I am going to love, I guess the same goes for the prince. The next is the constellation of elements, harmoniously arranged that encompass the experience of the amorous subject… a ball… a gown… the glass slippers.
Have you noticed love at first sight is always spoken in past tense? The scene is perfectly adapted to this temporal phenomenon: distinct, abrupt, framed it is already a memory like a photograph it is not meant to represent but to memorialize… this scene has all the magnificence of an accident. I cannot get over having had this good fortune to meet what matches my desire. But that is not what we are wondering about right.
The gesture of the armours embrace seems to fulfil for a time, the subjects dream of total union with the loved being. The longing for consummation with the other… in this moment everything is suspended: time, law, prohibition: nothing is exhausted, nothing is wanted: all desires are abolished for they seem definitely fulfilled… a moment of affirmation for a certain time. Though a finite one, a deranged interval something has been successful: I have been fulfilled….
Halt… halt I seem to be moving from the Cinderella story my point is this we don’t have an inkling of what the prince’s muse was or rather who the muse was, we only know that it was the glass footwear that fascinated him. He could have a foot fetish.
Historically Cinderella has its origins way back in the 1st century BC where Strabo’s heroine is actually called Rhodopis the story had no glass slippers and pumpkin coach. But there are various version of this. Like the one by Grimm Brothers her nasty step-sisters cut off parts of their own feet to fit the glass slipper. A pigeon who pecks out the step- sister’s eye warns the prince. The step-sisters spend the rest of their lives as blind beggars.
Of course one could say that the European folk tale embodies a myth element of unjust oppression. The Cinderella of the folk lore has become an archetype that typifies someone whose attributes were unrecognized, or someone who unexpectedly achieves recognition after a prolonged period of obscurity and neglect.
The 7th century Egyptian folklore of Rhodopis is the earliest known version of Cinderella. Aarne-Thompson system classifies Cinderella as the persecuted heroine, while Gregory Maguire’s novel Confessions Of An Ugly Stepsister retells the classic from the point of view of the ugly stepsister, her Cinderella is not only unusually beautiful but also a shy enigma. While the step sister though plain is charming and intelligent. I should read this sometime in life. Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted has Cinderella as “Ella” who is under the curse of the obedience fairy and hence does whatever someone tells her to.
Coming to think of it if Cinderella were given a single shining epiphany instead of a fairy godmother, she would have realized “This is my father’s house. This is my father’s estate. I am the rightful heiress to everything here!” then she would have said get off my property, taking nothing with you and never show your faces to me again! You ugly, bitter, insecure envious witches” she would have been happier sooner and she could have better methods of choosing the right Prince Charming.