Costober 2020 Day 11: Cinderella

It’s the first day of my third theme: princesses! I’m excited because as I say in my intro, I have a special interest in fairy tales. I had a LOT of fun putting together modern princess looks and I’m super excited to show you all.

Today’s princess is one of, if not THE, most well-known: Cinderella.

About the Look

I took a course on narrative theory in film a few years back, and was introduced to a 1980 journal article by Barbara Herrnstein Smith, “Narrative Versions, Narrative Theories”. It’s a delightful read about how we interpret and analyze stories. Ms. Smith uses the Cinderella story as a point of discussion because it is very old and there are very many versions. But as happens with this type of research, the subject became unwieldy and if she kept going: “all stories would have turned out to be versions of Cinderella and . . . Cinderella would turn out to be basically all stories.”

Which is to say, it’s universal. And I’ve found it particularly helpful in this long, terrible year of hardship and uncertainty.

The heroine of Disney’s 1950 animated classic tells us “no matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true”. The 2015 live action update stresses “have courage and be kind.” In my favorite film version, Ever After, Danielle gives this remarkable speech, “A servant is not a thief, your Highness, and those who are cannot help themselves. If you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners corrupted from infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded, sire, but that you first make thieves and then punish them?” And Ella Enchanted proclaims “what’s inside you is stronger than any spell.”

A fairy tale can’t cure a plague or win an election. It can’t provide housing or food or financial support. It can’t solve the education crisis or slow climate change, reform law enforcement or address structural and systemic inequalities. But it can provide a narrative to help us get through all that. Cinderella’s life is labor and monotony, loneliness and struggle, loss and fear. But she keeps going, she believes in her power, and she looks out for her community.

About My Look

This take on Cinderella most closely references the classic Disney princess, though it’s of course a more modern look. My color palette is pale blue, like the Disney Parks and Disney Princess brand Cinderella; in the film her dress is closer to white or silver. The choker and headband also reflect the animated (and Magic Kingdom) princess.

The top and jeans are secondhand. The boots I purchased a few years ago— as I mention in my post on Disneybounding Cinderella, the main and really only thing you need to have is some version of glass slippers. The choker was made for me by my daughter. The headband is by Scunci and marketed as “the most comfortable headband ever” and that is 100% true, I strongly recommend it. I’m wearing blue eyeliner, pink lipstick and Bare Republic sunscreen in Punk Rock Pink on my cheeks.

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