Feminism in ‘Cinderella’

Good Morning Munchkins!

Today I bring you a very different blog post about something I feel so so so strongly about: feminism. Most of my followers are female but I’m not just doing it as a little slag-off-session about others who this concerns (basically, princesses). I just thought I should note the points that occur in this film (which I saw Wednesday) where feminism or stereotypical things happen. If you would like me to do a review just let me know in the comments below, I already have one other blog post planned for this film.

Sorry if this isn’t your cup of tea, but I think as this version of ‘Cinderella’ is live-action, many more young girls will think that this is the way to a happy and perfect life, which of course is not always the case. Also, little warning, this may get a bit in-depth as I take Media. Sorry.

Body Image –

I think the one thing everyone can notice, even just from the poster the body image that Lily Collins portrays. I’m not going to doubt for a second that Lily Collins isn’t a beautiful young woman, because she is. However, many things about how her body is represented annoyed me greatly. One thing is the tiny waist. Quite clearly, Miss Collins is wearing a painfully tight corset. Why should Disney princesses be shown in this way? Kate Middleton doesn’t have the tiniest of waists but she is still really pretty. Also, the fact that all throughout the film, her prominent collarbone is shown. I personally don’t think it’s healthy for young girls to see this and think ‘yes, I want to be Cinderella when I’m older’. The last thing I noticed, that even when she was a servant, Lily Collins wore a dress that wasn’t so much revealing as it was suited to her body and therefore made her boobs look a lot bigger. Although this shows girls that just because you may be treated badly, it doesn’t mean you’re not good looking, I feel like it kind of shows girls it OK to be wearing dresses in this way when modesty is key for life! She even wore a low cut dress in front of her Dad, which even I wouldn’t do.

Being Perfect – 

Throughout the film, Cinderella continuously uses the motto ‘Have courage, Be kind’ in order to keep herself sane. I like how this is being put across to young girls as I think it’s fair to say, girls are the most argumentative of the sexes. I think it’s so important for girls (and boys) to live by this, but it also means she doesn’t speak out about the literal slavery she goes through. I think if you are going through a pretty rough time, you should speak out, no matter the consequences. I would, and it shows more courage than being silenced for your whole life. I also noticed during the film that Ella possessed these traits: clever, articulate, caring and innocent. This is good in some sense, but it could also be seen in a negative light. If for some reason you can’t learn or you don’t come from Chelsea, it shows you that you will not get that happy ending you dream off, like the ugly sisters. For me, I found this quite hard as I come from South London and am not exactly Benedict Cumberbatch when it comes to speaking and I’m clever at what I enjoy, which is very little. It doesn’t matter (within reason) how clever or innocent you are, because if you work hard at your relationship it will work. It doesn’t depend on how many GCSE’s you’ve got.

Women are to be saved by Men – 

From when Cinderella first meets the Prince, it is because he feels he is protecting her. She is then saved by him at the end when he whisks her away to be married (we all know how the story of Cinderella goes, don’t we?). This is pretty evident in most fairy tales and has annoyed me for so many years. Why should we be reliant on men to save us all the time? As women, we should be independent and proud that we can do certain things. Like in Notting Hill when Anna climbs over the fence quicker than Will into the park or Margaret Thatcher being the first female Prime Minister. Both very different examples, but hey ho. I don’t think there’s anymore I can say without repeating myself and I might get too carried away, but you get what I mean.

Marriage – 

I have 2 points to state about marriage and will do them in turn. The first one is that the ‘perfect ending’ is marriage. I think even though it’s pretty old-fashioned for everyone’s parents to be married, if someone’s parents aren’t or haven’t been, we kind of wonder many things about them. In my friendship group, my parents are the only ones who haven’t been at the alter together. Has that shaped my life? Probably. I remember asking my Mum when I was younger why she hadn’t married my Dad and she just said they never wanted to. Fair enough, I respect that. However, 4-year-old me didn’t and so I kept going on. My Aunt and her ex-husband only got married because their eldest son kept nagging at them. Also, (as you may have guessed from what I just said) divorce is such a big thing these days and it does sometimes end that way. I’ve been through phases where I’ve wanted to get married, but I don’t think it’s for me. We haven’t got a very good marriage rate in our family, but the divorce rate is pretty good!

The second point I’d like to mention, is that people of the opposite sex are supposed to get married. What if Cinderella was a lesbian and no one knew? That’s fine, it’s just how young girls who go to the cinema see this and think it’s the proper way to life. No, it’s not. Divorce happens, children out of wedlock happen, differences in sexuality happen. Does this honestly make these people wrong because their life isn’t like a fairy tale? Of course not. If we think about our society and fairy tales, we could perhaps just say that they are the ones completely wrong, but we don’t, probably because those princesses lives are better than our own. I know a lot of people that are straight and a lot that aren’t, some of whom are getting married. It just annoys me how stereotypical and perfect lives are portrayed when it is in no way the reality of 2015.

This was basically a massive rant, but I thought I should just share it with you. If you would like to see more of these, let me know which film and I will get to it. Also, what other blog posts you would like about this film if any at all. I realise this was a pretty negative blog post, but I did enjoy it. Just these things that annoyed me! I feel like there could be more but these were the ones that really stood out to me so if you have any more you noticed, you can let me know in the comments below.

I think that’s everything so thank you for reading and I’ll see you soon,

Rachel xx

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