The Cinderella Complex

I love the story of Cinderella, I always have! It contains an important message that every little girl must know before they reach puberty. Until the day I read about the negative effects of the fairytale on modern youth, I idolized Cinderella: the way she smiles, how she treats the animals, how she respects her Stepmother and sister, and how she moves with so much grace.

Until I read that article by that writer (I don’t remember the name, sorry!), I strived to be like Cinderella. It never occured to me that Cinderella can provide false hopes for young women who yearn for their prince charming, who yearn for a happy ending. It never occured to me how serious the matter becomes when young women believed that letting cruel and envious people to intimidate them and doing whatever it is demanded of them despite the treatment, they will be given godly reward for their patience, tolerance, and hard work. It never occured to me that with these beliefs based on the tale of Cinderella, there poor young women can become the victim of their own hopes.

And I thought to myself, maybe they did not understand the true moral story of Cinderella. Just because you sacrifice yourself, doesn’t mean you’ll be rewarded because that thought in itself is selfish. It is selfish!

My mother taught me one most important lesson on how to catch a man: love thy parents for it is by filial piety that a man would judge a woman’s heart. She warned me that when a son is serious about a girl, the first question that every decent mother would ask him is, “Is your girlfriend good to her parents?” If the son says “yes”, then the mother would advice him to keep the girl for as long as he can, or even marry her. If the son says “no”, then the mother would do everything in her power to convince him to give up the girl. Mothers know that if a girl does not respect her parents, she can’t possibly be able to take care of their son(s). Some people might say that it is common knowledge, but, for me it is not so common. I still needed to be taught that and I am sure many would, too!

Going back to the tale of Cinderella, I believe people got the wrong message. It’s not about dreaming for a prince that made her wish come true. It’s about her being able to respect her elders no matter who they are, that made her a lovable maiden.

Men do not need to know you respect your parents. It just shows on your face and in the way you carry yourself. After all this time, I misread the story of Cinderella and I am sure a lot of women and that writer did, too!

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