Once upon a time, in a conveniently unnamed French kingdom, lived a girl with the absolute highest tolerance threshold in the world. In a tragic event, she had lost her mother, and since the rules of society are merciless in fairy-tales, her father remarried, not to a darling, kind woman he fell in love with, but a bitchy, dreadful mistress of Satan, who brought two little spawns of Satan of the female gender with her. As medieval men go, the girl’s father was oblivious to their malice, so he thought it would be absolutely convenient to leave his daughter in their care and travel a lot. And get himself killed.
Naturally, the stepmother and stepsisters despised the only thing left from the man who also left them a dazzling piece of real estate, and quite a lot of fortune, which, at that time, was measured in farm animals and how much they could produce. So every day, they invented ways to torment the heroine of this story. They also made it a huge thing to call her Cinderella, so huge in fact, that no one but Hollywood was allowed to give her another name (pop culture invented the name Ella, because it collocated so well with Cinder). Anyways, she was allegedly forced to spend a lot of time by the fireplace, so they called her Cinderella. Wow.
Cinderella slaved for them, cooked, cleaned, ironed, did their hair and fed their cat, all the time singing to herself and trying to keep the little spark of hope going. She had no idea what she was hoping for because she was innocent and modest beyond repair, but still, she somehow found it in her good heart to live day after day without even thinking of the slightest hint of suicide. Or homicide, for that matter. Days passed and what Cinderella thought to be a passing fit of anger, and moreover, what she thought to be something that people snap out of and ask for forgiveness, never stopped. It got worse. Festering with jealousy, her stepsisters followed her everywhere, trying to belittle her and put her down, all while they were asking for strawberries in January and snow in July.
So Cinderella grew sadder and more ruined every day and she even started disliking her family, as much as her good and kind heart would let her. She even let herself think what it would be like if they were to… disappear? But no, Cinderella thought, that is not what a good heart conceives, and God knows, some people have it worse, no?
Also, as princes go, the one of that kingdom, had probably reached the majestic and very self-aware age of sixteen (more or less) and was supposed to be married, produce an heir and run a kingdom. But it was a different prince. He had somehow missed the lesson where a prince marries a wealthier princess and therefore secures the kingdom’s future and steps into a life of staged appearances and miserable bedroom glances. This prince had no idea what he was in for. Whatever that meant.
One bright and shiny morning, the town close to the countryside where Cinderella lived, was informed that there was to be a ball, where the prince would be fooled into thinking that he chose his bride. And that every girl was invited. Like, even every peasant girl. Even the ugly ones. And there were many of them, as there were no facials, nor face-hair removal back then.
Cinderella’s preposterous stepsisters were out of their mind, trying to find the perfect material to cover their dreadful skin and the perfect hairstyles to convince the prince that they aren’t quite the shitstorm they actually were. The stepmother was busy planning her future as The Royal-Mother-In-Law that inevitably meant yet another royal shitstorm. Men around the globe cringed at the very thought of having Sunday brunch with a wife’s mother of this caliber. However, Cinderella was so honorable and modest, she didn’t even let herself feel excited. She simply wanted to go. And she said that out loud.
Now, there are a few versions of the story. In one of them, the stepmother asks her to do impossible things, and in the other they just don’t let her. Simple as that. And instead of plotting to cut their throats in their sleep, Cinderella falls into another vortex of feeling sorry for herself, slightly losing her mind and talking to mice.
On the evening of the ball, after they brought her to the point of insanity, again, they took their over-powdered and over-blushed faces, along with some tacky dresses to the castle, and Cinderella was left to think about whether it was really a good idea to be so kind and courageous in her suffering, when she wasn’t even a prisoner, nor had she deserved all the mega-giga-shit happening to her, and whether she really needed to play a female Jesus for girls around the globe to understand that you need to be good in order for good things to happen to you.
So she went in the garden, to feel sorry for herself, crying between her crossed elbows. She realized that it doesn’t pay off to be so nice, and that she should’ve thought of an “accident” for her adopted family a long time ago. She understood that it doesn’t really take courage and kindness, but a reality check to see that you’re in deep shit.
And just like that, her fairy godmother appeared. Now, the story says that this is a chubby lady in a pretty, sparkling gown, presented with glittery make up and an excellent taste in shoes. I beg to differ. If the evidence says glitter, sparkling gowns and wands, I’d rather insist that we’re talking about a beautiful drag queen, and I’ll hear no more of it. So a beautiful fairy dragmother appears.
Drag queens always provoke shock and awe in the unsuspecting individual (especially in medieval France. Okay, not so much in medieval France) so Cinderella was left with her jaw dropped at the majestic view. This is unheard of, said the fairy dragmother after she saw Cinderella’s clothes and shoes, so in the twist of a wand, she received a whole new, red-carpet wardrobe, to match and outshine every single person in the prince’s castle. Oh, and beauty-savvy as she was, the fairy dragmother put some makeup on Cinderella’s face, because the girl has never worn makeup, she was so honorable.
So the ball.
In a remodeled pumpkin, Cinderella arrived at the ball, having no idea what could happen, but a girl can hope. Although it’s a castle, and as such, it is something Cinderella has never seen before, being so dedicated to a modest life, she found her way right into the prince, who was, of course, infatuated, her being the most beautiful girl in the kingdom and all. They danced for hours, and Cinderella was in glass slippers, and you can imagine how much fun she had (or how drunk she was) if she didn’t even know how much time had passed and how the magic would blow over at midnight. That happened, of course, and she was almost left without a ride.
I mean, when my shoes are killing me, I’m turned into a huge ‘can we go now?’, but in glass slippers, you dance for ages and don’t bleed? It must be love. I can only imagine how relieved she felt when one of the shoes dropped and her foot started breathing after being suffocated in thick glass. But she has no time to go back for it. See, this is where WE KNOW it’s a fairy tale and untrue, because YOU ALWAYS COME BACK FOR A GOOD SHOE.
Nevertheless, at home, she was happy. She was so happy in fact, she couldn’t even hide it, which was noticed by the wife and spawns of Satan because they were used to being comfortable with Cinderella’s misery. In the mean time, it got hectic around the kingdom. The prince was obsessed with the girl that got away. He found the glass shoe and thought of a genius plan: If the shoe fits, she’s the one.
I KNOW, I know, there has to be at least 100 girls that share Cinderella’s size, but let’s just say the shoe was magic and it shrunk or grew in size whenever a non-Cinderella tried it on. Either that, or there is an American Horror Story Freakshow episode, starring Cinderella, that we haven’t seen.
And after every girl in the kingdom sticks her fungi-infested, unpolished, Parmesan-heeled foot inside the delicate shoe (because, let’s face it, the only pedicure was walking barefoot by the river to wash clothes), the prince and his entourage finally arrive in Cinderella’s house where things happened, and there are several versions.
The all-audiences-friendly one is that both stepsisters try to squeeze their elephant feet in the shoe, but NOBODY FUCKS WITH THE SHOE. Then Cinderella comes, the shoe fits, and she’s the one, and then marriage and kingdom and queen-y stuff.
However, in the other version, it’s soooo much more gory. Stepsister One doesn’t fit, so she fucking cuts off her fingers to fit, AND THE PRINCE IS FOOLED, (someone has got to stop this ‘oh, I didn’t recognize you’ moment in these stories), takes her with him, but only notices she is not the girl HE DANCED WITH FOR HOURS, after he sees the pools of blood in the carriage.
He returns the item. Tests another one. Stepsister Two ACTUALLY CUTS OF HER HEEL. And she ACTUALLY FOOLS THE PRINCE, AGAIN, and he takes her with him, only to realize half-way that somehow, there’s more wet blood in the carriage, and returns item.
Well, don’t you have another one? Asks the prince, greenish with nausea, but before the stepmother says no, Cinderella appears.
Prince does not return item, since there’s no fresh blood, since the shoe fits. And don’t you dare think he recognized her, he’s a half-wit obviously. He decided it was the love of his life because she didn’t bleed to death.
You think there had been a ‘my eyes are up here’ situation?
The moral of the story is be nice, be kind, and good will come your way. Now, this is not true. I mean it is, but kind and nice borders with a pushover in today’s world, just as much as it did back then.
And Cinderella did run away from home to go to a party. Which is exactly what made her a queen 😉
This doesn’t mean you should try that, but still, you know, myth busted.