Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cinderella Complex

I had an epiphany while watching "Say Yes To The Dress" tonight. For years, I've been oddly addicted to all of these weddings reality shows. I cannot count the hours I've spent watching "Bridezilla," "Four Weddings," and that David Tutera show amongst other shows. What's my intense fascination with the shows? Where does it stem from? My epiphany brought me back to childhood. Disney movies filled with princesses, weddings, and the promise of happily ever after. Barbie dolls who are married to Ken dolls who have it all. From birth it seem that little girls are bombarded with images of matrimony and weddings. But are we sending the girls the right message?

As a little girl, I was a Barbie fanatic. I was enamored with her, Ken and all their accessories. I loved the fairytales of Cinderella, Snow White and Belle. Their stories were so far removed from my reality. But, I wanted what they had, what my parents failed to obtain. As an adult looking back, I don't think I like the fallacy I was fed. All of the fairytales that I loved involved a man saving or coming to the rescue of a woman. This was always followed by a grand wedding and the obligatory "and they lived happily ever after" ending. This portrayal of women comes off as sexist and demeaning. This is what we are feeding our girls.

I had a very interesting conversation with my adorable 4 year old niece Karmen. She came into the house and gave me flowers. She said "Here, Teedy Kenda, these are for you to walk down the aisle with." The look on my face was priceless. I replied "Karmen, what are you talking about?" She said "You know for your wedding and my Daddy is gonna give you away." I was shocked because she's 4. I don't talk to her about weddings and things. But she's a very girly girl. She loves princess stories. Even at the age of 4, she knows about weddings. This is also the same niece who wanted to know why I didn't have a husband because she wants an uncle. Crazy right?

There's absolutely nothing wrong with a girl wanting the wedding and happily ever after. Because after years of rejecting anything that resembles that, I've had a complete change of heart on the topic. Maybe it's an age thing or a biological clock issue or maybe I'm finally just listening to my hearts true desires. Either way, I feel like I've come full circle on the subject. I just think we should let them know that they can have the career as well or as another option. Every woman's story doesn't end with a husband, kids, house and a dog. It's 2011 and we can have whatever we want. Hell, according to Beyonce', we run the world :) Fairytales are fine and fun. I prefer the reality of getting my own version of happily ever after.

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