Cinderella sucks. I mean she is beautiful, she cooks and cleans, and she respects authority. Those are some pretty low standards if you ask me. I myself do not have any children so perhaps I should open this discussion up to parents. Parents, do you raise your daughters to be solely beautiful, diligent in housework, and respectful of authority? And when you teach your son what to value in a woman, is this all you teach him to seek and respect? I cannot answer these questions; I can only hope that the answer is a solemn no. Cinderella is supposed to be the model Princess, but she is nothing but a beautiful sheep. She is not special, except perhaps in the way she looks. So essentially what little girls and boys learn from Cinderella is that a woman’s worth lies in her looks. But what about her integrity, her intellect, her character, her personality? Right now, we teach girls that no guy has ever noticed a girl for her brain, or for her personality. Wonderful. So it is ok for all the important stuff to be secondary; because, the most important thing for a young girl to do is find a man, and the most important thing for a man to seek is a beautiful girl who’s world revolves around him.
While Cinderella teaches young girls to be useless but pretty, Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughter’s by John Steptoe teaches girls to be more, and men to want more. Both Nayasha and Manyara are beautiful, so their merit is not in their beauty. Nayasha is not a queen because she is pretty, but because she is kind and loving. While Manyara is clever, she is ill tempered and mean. Both girls are beautiful, but ultimately, the King chooses the girl with character and integrity, over the girl with the foul temper. Nayasha actually deserves people’s respect. What’s more is this story takes place in Africa, so instead of the blond haired blue eyed image of beauty, we see a different kind of story and a different kind of beauty. But Ultimately, it does not matter what race you are; because, Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughter’s is a much better story to tell children than Cinderella.
P.S. What stories do you read and buy your children? Feel free to comment as reading is one of the greatest gifts to offer a young mind.