With the release of the new Cinderella movie, I want to take the opportunity to talk about this incredible character and what I love about her. But to illustrate why I love her, I think I need to talk about the arguments that many have used against her. Back in my teen years, I used to love the Cheetah Girls movies. I loved their music and their sisterhood. One of the songs from their first movie was Cinderella, and although I still like parts of it, it does illustrate the flaws that many in today’s culture find in Cinderella’s character.
This song is very much in line with feminist arguments that we can do it all ourselves and don’t need a man. I have a problem with people blaming Cinderella for creating the problem. I don’t see that in her at all. In fact, she is probably one of the strongest heroines Disney has made to date, especially with the way she is portrayed in the new movie. There is so much more to her than her love story or her happily ever after, more than most people realize. As I watch the original movie as well as the new one (I went on opening day!), I have come up with a list of five qualities she has that make me want to be like her.
It was important for her to have a selfless heart when she was faced with loving those that were difficult to love. He continued to be kind and selfless, even when she received no kindness in return and when those receiving her kindness did not deserve it. This kindness she had towards all was inspiring to those who knew her, and it should be inspiring to us too.
Something that stands out to be about Cinderella’s courage is that she was not necessarily bold or brave. These tracts are sometimes made synonymous with courage, but that may not be completely true. She had the courage to stand up for herself but chose not to on many occasions. It reminds of the quote about courage from The Princess Diaries, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear.” In this way, Cinderella almost showed more courage by not standing up to her stepmother, because she overcame her fears and sadness but made the judgment that honoring her parents’ wishes was more important that being right. That’s an important lesson for all of us.
Although I don’t completely agree with the line of the song “No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true,” I do think there is a grain of truth in it. As Christians, we should never assume that God will always fulfill our greatest wishes. That’s just not true. There are some dreams that will probably never be fulfilled in this life. However, I think that what a Christian should do is put their hope and trust in the Lord, not in their dreams. Because once your heart is in line with the Lord, He will give you dreams that are in line with His will. Those are the ones He’s more likely to fulfill. But even if he doesn't He will teach you to be satisfied in His hope, and that is so much better than any dream that can be fulfilled in this life.
The word submit is properly defined in the military sense, choosing to put yourself under the authority of your commanding officer. Even if you don’t agree with what they are doing, you keep yourself under that authority because that is what is being asked of you. This is exactly what Cinderella does. Out of respect for her parents, she places herself under her stepmother’s authority, even though she proves to be less that deserving of that authority. Cinderella has to purpose herself to obey, even when it was hard. We should all learn to do likewise.
When I did the same Disney Character Challenge for myself, I listed Cinderella as the one of two characters I wanted to be the most like (the other one I've save for another post). After saying I wanted a heart like Cinderella, I said, “I hope and pray to have a testimony that not only reflects a good heart, but that also brings glory and honor to my Savior, and I hope that is a story worth telling someday.” I still hoping and praying this will is true of my own life story. Despite what the Cheetah Girls tried to tell us, Cinderella would be a great person to be like (although I hope to do a little better job of making sure my shoes stay on my feet during special occasions! haha). I hope that some of you are able to follow her example.