Author's Note: I am begging you, dear readers. Please do not write a speech for Original Oratory that resembles this in any way. It is a sorry collection letters and unreliable sources. Trust me, it will not get you past preliminary rounds in a high school forensics tournament.
My best wishes, Kohlomere
Cinderella dressed in white brought about a social plight, what will be done to set things right? This is not one of those speeches that alerts you to society's faults, no, this is:
The Catastrophic Consequences of Cinderella
It's simple, a behavior is learned by watching, imitating and being rewarded This is how Disney princesses are created. Little girls watch Cinderella fall on her derriere, cry and go on to live happily ever after. Little girls imitate and are reward. When American children are young, they go through, the "disneyfication" process. That is where children are brainwashed with old-fashioned, negative ideas. Cuteness is good and good always prevails. Women are rescued, usually by men and then can live happily ever after.
Cinderella's rise to popularity has brought about a score of complications for the film's viewers. Most shocking are the results of a psychological study which finds that women told the story of Cinderella are more likely to end up in abusive relationships than women who are not. A woman convinced that if she was patient enough, her prince will come to his senses, and together they will live happily ever after.
A psychological abnormality exists which is said to be influenced by the popular fairy tale. The Cinderella complex as described by Wikipedia is "an unconscious desire to be taken care of by others, based primarily on a fear of being independent. It nearly always occurs in women. The complex is said to become more apparent as women grow older." The complex is named after the popular 1950 Disney movie in which the good female characters are beautiful and poised and the independent power-wielding women are portrayed as evil. The diagnosis is based on the idea that the good women are incapable of independence and need another, namely a prince, to solve all her problems.
Mike Bellah describes another syndrome where Cinderella has complicated the lives of her viewers "The Cinderella story has become a classic formula for happiness. The equation goes like this: low expectations (Cinderella expected her hard life only to get harder) plus great realization (all her dreams come true) equals great happiness. The reverse is also true. Great expectations plus low realization equals great disappointment. I call it the reverse Cinderella syndrome."
A society full of bitter women is not going to be much help, especially when they influence the younger generation. One of the most important relationships a person has in childhood is that with her parents. Cinderella's mother and father are dead and she is abused by her step-mother. Children's greatest teachers are their parents and when they're absent, who can teach vital lessons, like the importance of keeping promises? Cinderella's step-mother obviously failed to teach that lesson.
Yes, Cinderella does break a promise. When she was given the enchanted dress and carriage she promised her fairy godmother to leave the ball by midnight. However, finding herself otherwise occupied and barely departed in time to keep her reputation as good and virtuous intact. A child shouldn't be taught to cut out on a promise when the greatest profit can be made.
In the story, the best thing a woman can do with her life is marry well. All a woman's actions are an attempt to advance within society. When Cinderella is faced with the choice between the fulfillment of her promise and the pursuit of a prince, she chooses the prince. The prince, who "loves" Cinderella, is holding a ball so that he can find a suitable wife. He has a host of girls to choose from and she compromises herself for a chance to marry one man. Cinderella goes home to wait for her prince to get his thoughts in order. Girls shouldn't come to expect a prince to save her.
When children grow up weak in character from watching Cinderella only the downfall of society and the rise of materialism can result. Material wealth is one of the themes in the story. Everything Cinderella owns, she did not take the initiative to acquire. When her step-mother takes her property, Cinderella, even as she grows older, doesn't try to take it back or at least leave. Other people give her thins, the mice give her dresses and the god-mother gives her the carriage, the slippers which alter the heroines fate. The shoes are the only means to the prince's retrieval of her, how else could he find her? When more attention is placed on shoes than a person's integrity, society cannot advance.
Cinderella teaches children that a successful woman is a pretty face who will compromise her integrity for a rich man's hand in marriage. Action must be taken! Children, little girls, everywhere must have real, positive role models. An article from CNN states, "For generations Korean women have been depicted as the weaker, and limited in their choice of jobs and even leisure activities. But no more. A grow number of younger Korean women want jobs a police women, body guards and even soldiers."
In America, women's ambition isn't nearly so apparent. This must be changed, girls should be taught that weak is not the way! Urge these little girls to cast aside the pink sparkles and take up the books, the sciences and mathematics. Teach them to recognize that they have power and that power, gone to waste is power abused. Instruct children correctly, and in effect, prevent the downfall of society and slow the rise of materialism. Protect these children and protect yourself.