This past week I watched Cinderella in the theater. I had heard only good things about it, but still went in skeptical. How would our mouthy 21st century film industry recreate a 1950s ideal that was little more than a shell of a character?
I was more than pleasantly surprised. I was shocked.
Here was a sweethearted, feminine, forgiving heroine like someone out of a Jane Austen novel. Mannerly, patient, and emotionally strong. They credited her for being domestic, without chauvinism or with rabid feminism. I haven't heard that off a screen post-60s except maybe in cheesy, poorly-done "Christian" movies.
And this led to a resurrection of one of my personal pet peeves. The modern entertainment world lacks badly in this sort of heroine. Leading ladies with class and kindness and emotional strength that know to make the right choices and don't swing the pendulum into helplessness, nor into the sassy/clumsy/cutesy/obnoxious Princess Anna type.
Immediately after the movie, I tweeted:
Related to Cinderella, we really do need more feminine, emotionally strong heroines.
— Rachel Stevenson (@whatshewrote) March 24, 2015
It's interesting to me how Elizabeth Bennett is considered the epitome of the developed female character, and yet there are so few leading ladies in the current market that follow her footsteps.
The Rise of the Dude in Distress, write real people, because that is reality. And that includes all sorts of people, but there is a shortage of Lizzie Bennetts and Lucie Manettes and Sabrina Fairchilds. We need more of Cinderella's mantra: have courage, and be kind.