I have just read a blog review about the new Cinderella movie, and I have to say it has annoyed me enough that I feel a need to put “pen to paper” so to speak. Now before we go any further I think it is fair to highlight I have not yet seen the film, and so I cannot comment as to the ‘lack of hidden feminist tones’ within the new film. I probably should also remind you all that I am single, have no children and so perhaps it may happen that one day I too will be appalled as my young daughter watches a film dreaming, admiring the pretty dresses and sparkly shoes rather than being spoon fed a message about how she does not need a man, she is her own strong woman etc etc etc.
I don’t know why, but this particular review generally had me spitting feathers at the end of it. The writer complaining about how various characters were portrayed and seemed unimpressed by the life lessons that the children will come away with it from.
Firstly can I say
IT’S. A. FILM.
Secondly can I say it’s a film, based on a book, that you would have to have spent many years say I don’t know, living under a rock, to not already know at least the vague plot-line before the film was released this year.
It contains the heroine, the handsome prince and then a variety of other characters. The wicked step mother, the ugly sisters, a FAIRY GODMOTHER. The fairy TALE contains a dress made by magic and glass slippers, a man who would search heaven and earth for the one he loves… and in previous adaptations it has also starred singing mice and a pumpkin which turns into a carriage. The whole point is it is a fairy TALE. It is not real life, it is not something to be held up as a source from which we should get life lessons.
I don’t know about anyone else, but when I watch a film it is to escape reality. Just for a few hours, I want to imagine that love does conquer all; that everyone finds their happily ever after. It is a fantasy. It is fiction.
If you don’t like the lessons your child will get from watching the film, then you know what don’t take them to see it. This isn’t compulsory viewing.
I get that society is shifting. I worry daily reading about ISIS and other hard-line fanatics and as a woman who recently was held back in her job purely for being a woman, I find it truly scary that this stuff is still happening today. However, I feel the place to make the stand and fight the fight is in the real world, not by taking aim at a fantasy film. Get up in arms about young girls feeling peer pressured into being thin, or pretty. Complain about the over use of photo shop and altered images, without any disclaimer identifying the image as ‘fantasy’. Get mad that woman are still been seen as second class citizens even in the UK.
Don’t get up-in-arms that a fantasy film, a chance to escape, sells you a story of happily ever after and everything being all right in the end. God knows she will learn soon enough that that is not the case, but why not let her have a little hope in her heart? Where’s the harm in giving her the hope that she too will find her Handsome Prince?
She will grow up. That little girl will grow into a woman, and with your love and guidance she will be kick ass. But why not give her a little time to be that little girl? Does she really need to grow up so quickly?