Cinderella: Suitable for children or not
I do not believe that the Cinderella story is suitable for children. My view is not dependent on the different versions of Cinderella since the basis of the story is consistent across different versions. From the beginning of the story, Cinderella is shown as an obedient and kind person but her obedience is comparable with completely lacking backbone. She is one bendable character, everybody walks all over her. She is passive towards the mistreatment done to her by her step mother and step sisters. She never stands up for her rights and only wishes for a good life by waiting for a divine intervention. We cannot teach children this moral. Children cannot be taught to handle abuse this way, they should be taught to fight for their rights and take the side of the truth.
One cannot wait for a “fairy godmother” (Charles Perrault’s version) or “magic birds” (Brothers Grimm version) for things to happen to you, life is not always so simple. We also see a lot of importance given to the outside beauty. If you wear good clothes and look beautiful, a Prince will fall for you. This is instills a bad self image for young girls. Secondly, in all the versions, the step mother and step sisters are always shown as cruel people. This is a dreadful image for children that step children are not treated like real children. There could be some children who are reading this story or watching Cinderella film may be going through this.
Brothers Grimm and Dahl’s versions are violent. Step sisters cutting their heel and toes and dove pecking out eyes of sisters in Brothers Grimm version and Prince killing step sisters in Dahl’s version are not suitable for children. In the quest for happy ending, one should not wait around for something good to happen like Cinderella. Cinderella waits for strange Prince to rescue her, one should have enough wit and wisdom to free one’s self from an unfortunate situation. That is what children should be learning, reading and watching, not being passive in life but actively taking control.