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Earlier this week I read one mom's take on reasons she felt she couldn't take her princess obsessed daughter to see Cinderella. Some of the reasons included dead parents, unrealistic body image and mean-girl behavior. Ultimately, she feared the movie would cause her daughter some damage. As I read, I thought, "this mom needs to chill out."
I mean, are moms really freaking out about taking their daughters to see Cinderella? Because I don't understand. And while I don't have a daughter, I can't wait for my son to watch this movie with me when it comes out on DVD.
I was lucky enough to be invited to two Cinderella screenings. (And between us, I'm ready to see it a third time after the hype fades among the little girls in princess gowns.) I loved everything about it.
Cinderella is the fairy tale of all fairy tales. It's one of the first Disney movies I remember watching and falling in love with. But as much as I loved Cinderella, I could never truly identify with her—not the way some other girls could. She just didn't look like me; I didn't have blond hair or blue eyes. Even at an early age, I knew that Cinderella represented a culture that was not my own.
What I love most about this modern Cinderella is her strength and compassion. Her motto is to "have courage and be kind." Yes, it's simple and perhaps a tad cliche, but isn't that what we strive for our children to be, courageous and kind?
There are so many little girls that wish for a Disney princess that looks like them. And here is this mom denying her "princess-obsessed daughter" the chance to see her fairy tale favorite come to life.
But I get it, in that concerned-mom kind of way. We want to shield our kids from the harsh realities of the world, from the ugly things such as cruelty, death and low self-esteem. We can protect our kids from all of that, even if they are exposed to it.
I will agree that Cinderella isn't the ideal movie for kids younger than 6 years old. At the second screening I attended, I saw lots of moms walking out with their tots. It's not a cartoon, but there are some really cool special effects—but it's not enough to keep the really little ones engaged. But the ball is beautiful, magical and romantic.
What I love most about this modern Cinderella is her strength and compassion. Her motto is to "have courage and be kind." Yes, it's simple and perhaps a tad cliche, but isn't that what we strive for our children to be, courageous and kind? Cinderella—despite every hardship and cruelty she endures—remains courageous and kind to the people who have treated her most cruelly. And she forgives them.
So to moms on the fence about whether or not to take your daughters to see Cinderella, I say give it a chance. Don't think about the damage Cinderella can do; focus instead on the lessons she can teach.