There are so many versions of the Cinderella story out there, in different times and different cultures, there has to be something about it that speaks to people. I am fascinated with this.
The basic story is a girl finds herself in an environment of envy and she learns to make herself small to feel safe. Covered in soot she doesn’t have to worry that her light will shine and cause her sisters to knock her down emotionally. But one day she does shine, and attracts the attention of someone she likes and she wants her to keep shining.
Now she has a problem. She figures if she is really good and really helpful, one day her step mother and sisters are going to turn to her and say thank you for all your help, it is your turn to be happy in life now. How can we help you? But they have no interest in Cinderella feeling good. Her low sense of her right to take up space in the world is working just fine for them. They double up their efforts to keep her small.
But there has to be a moment where Cinderella recognizes that she wants something for herself, that she doesn’t need anyone’s permission to shine. And she helps herself. Funny thing is, once she takes the initiative to bring her best self to life, the kingdom suddenly recognizes how lucky they are to have her beauty and talent among them.
I’ve seen this story in Europe, China, and Japan (Hime). I’ve even seen it in my life. In movies it is the theme of Ever After and Pretty Woman to name just a few!