The writer’s daughter is four, right in between my two little girls, so I was curious as to what horrors Disney was hiding from me in this new film. Not wanting to chance anything, I decided to read more. You can read the article in its entirety Here, but allow me to synopsize.
1. Dead Parents – The author indicates that the film allows viewers to meet Cinderella’s parents before they pass away, something that would be too traumatic for her daughter.
2. Mean Girl Behavior – The author wants to shield her daughter from seeing the bullying bestowed upon Cinderella by her stepmother and stepsisters.
3. Step-Families Get a Bad Rap – The author doesn’t want her daughter getting “the wrong impression that step-relatives don’t love and care for their family members.”
4. The Passive Princess – In the author’s opinion, Cinderella is passive, waiting for her Fairy Godmother and a prince to come rescue her.
5. Unrealistic Body Image – Here, the author eludes that the actress playing the part of Cinderella has a tiny waistline that “sets an unrealistic expectation for puberty.”
6. It Might Be Too Grown-Up – The film is too mature, skewing a bit from the animated film and more appropriate for older audiences.
7. Love at First Sight is Not the Only Kind – Finally, the romantic tale makes it appear that you meet, fall in love, and get married in one day…not realistic.
This is what I love so much about writing…there is room for all of us. So allow me to rebut by telling you that today, I DID take my daughters to see the film. My husband tagged along and we even watched during the Kentucky vs Auburn Game, so as you can tell, there were some real sacrifice made. Here are 7 Reasons Why it’s OK for Your Daughter to See Cinderella.
1. Dead Parents – Yep, it’s true. Viewers get to meet Cinderella’s parents before they pass away. Yep, I did get a little misty eyed. And yep, both girls looked up at me with wide eyes and said, “What happened to Cinderella’s Momma?” I answered honestly, “She got sick and passed away,” and they were satisfied.
Maybe it’s because we are pretty frank about death at our house. How can we explain salvation without explaining Christ’s death on the cross? No, my kids don’t fully comprehend the finiteness of death, but the film’s portrayal of death didn’t scare them.
2. Mean Girl Behavior – You know the story, Cinderella’s step family is cruel towards her. But you know what? So are bosses, and friends, and complete strangers. What the author misses is how Cinderella responds to the bad behavior…with Courage and Kindness. I can’t shelter my daughters from mean kids, or teachers, or sorority sisters, or bosses, but I can teach them how to respond. I can teach them to be salt and light. I can teach them to ALWAYS be kind.
3. Step Families Get a Bad Rap: It’s true. Cinderella doesn’t do much good for the reputation of Stepmothers. A few weeks ago I let my daughters watch the 1950s version of the Disney film. Days later, my 3 year old asked me if she would ever have to have a stepmother. I knew where she was going with it, so I shot it to her straight. “If I go to heaven, and Daddy marries another lady, then she would be your stepmother. But don’t worry; she would be NOTHING like Cinderella’s stepmother. There are some really good stepmothers out there.”
One character in a movie isn’t going to shape my daughters’ view of stepfamilies; I’m responsible for that. My daughters will grow up and have plenty of friends with stepparents, and it will be my job to share with them how families make it work by loving and forgiving each other, even when it’s hard.
4. The Passive Princess: In my opinion, the author got it all wrong here. Cinderella wasn’t passive. She was made a servant in her own home, yet she continued to have courage and be kind to her stepfamily, in spite of her horrible circumstances.
No, I don’t want my girls thinking a man will fix all of their problems. But if a two hour movie suddenly makes them believe they need a man to rescue them, then their father and I have failed. We have failed to give them the confidence they need to know they can do anything and be anything they want to be. For the record, my 6 year old says she’s going to be a Pediatrician when she grows up and my 3 year old, a chef. And BOTH think that boys are gross, so I think we’re good here.
5. Unrealistic Body Image: Ok, so let me get this straight; the actress’ waist is too small? Yes, the actress is thin, but she is far from looking gaunt. I can’t possibly shield my daughters from all of the unrealistic bodies the media will feed them every day. But, keeping them from seeing this film because of how the actress looks in her ball gown is beyond me.
Trust me on this one; my daughters weren’t looking at Cinderella’s waist, they were looking at her dress, which, [SPOILER ALERT] is AMAZING!
6. It Might Be Too Grown Up: It’s not. No cussing, no violence, and one little kiss at the end. If you were in our theater, you’d know it was accompanied by dozens of little voices going “EWWWWW!!” at the same time. Bliss!
Yes, there were some very grown up things that Cinderella had to deal with, notably, grieving for her parents. But the most grown up thing that happened in the film was at the end [SPOILER ALERT], when Cinderella FORGAVE her stepmother. And that’s not too grown up for my girls to see.
7. Love at First Sight: Just ask my husband, he fell in love the moment he laid eyes on me. Well, maybe not “THE MOMENT”, but it didn’t take long for us to fall in love with each other.
I absolutely adored this film. It was beautifully done, and magical, and wonderful, and out of this world… and after all, isn’t that what Fairy Tales are all about?