Once upon a time a sweet girl fell in love with a prince. He had hosted a ball in order to find a girl with a good reputation. The prince accidentally danced with the sweet girl and they fell in “love.” But in a rush to leave she forgot her shoe. No, she hadn’t been drinking. He traveled the land with her glass slipper putting it on every girl. At the same time, the weak and vulnerable Cinderella played victim in the attic, waiting for the day the prince would quite randomly stumble across her.
We have all dealt with situations in our life in which we wonder what it will take to win someone over, whether it’s for their respect, to get our power back, or because we believe we deserve their attention. We try the Cinderella approach. She won her prince because she was nice, not because she stood up for herself. Snow White had no street smarts. I mean, she ate an apple from a complete stranger. But because her heart was pure, true love showed up to awaken her with a kiss. We are told not to take candy from strangers, yet Snow White would never have found her prince if she hadn’t been so naive. Females are taught that if they are nice, the world will be nice. But as we grow older, and we realize we are becoming the doormat to others’ desires. We start to wonder whether to keep playing nice and hope that a prince will recognize us or to go out and do something about it.
What I’ve come to learn is that playing victim is not the way to win. And let’s face it, Cinderella played victim. She sat there in her little attic, waiting to be saved, while the prince had every girl in the land try on the glass slipper. Think, what if some girl had the same size foot as Cinderella? Would she be “evil” for winning him or simply a girl who got what she wanted?
It is a double standard when it comes to men and women. For example, the prince who went around town with the glass slipper was portrayed as persistent. Yet f’in Cinderella asked every man to try on a shoe she found at a party she would forever be known as the crazy girl who couldn’t let go. A Stage-Five clinger, even. Of course, Prince Charming would have been known as a player who fell for the nice girl. And let’s face it, likely he will be bored with her after five years of marriage and two children, suddenly realizing that he married his mother.
I’m not saying being nice isn’t an option, but every girl has the right to go after her desires and not feel like the crazy-one for doing so. If you want to win someone over, know you are the prize. Knowing you’re the winner makes you less inclined to desperately seek approval. If you can’t win someone over, why continue to give them the power to control your emotions? Know you’ve already won by having both shoes on your feet and not being anyone’s victim. In the end, it doesn’t take losing a shoe and being too nice to function to achieve your happily ever after. It takes being yourself and knowing what you want in life. In the end, the moral of the story is this: Cinderella didn’t need a ballgown to go to the ball, she needed balls.
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