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    The Sexism Portrayed in Jacob and Wilhem’s “Cinderella”

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    Jacob and Wilhelm’s “Cinderella” instills the false thought into young girl’s minds that every woman needs a man to be happy, for a young girl to be beautiful she needs a total transformation from her natural self, and Cinderella also shows that life has a happy ending which is not the case. Every young girl has wanted to be like Cinderella at some point in their life, but has also experienced the feeling of disappointment.

    The protagonist of this story was never given a second glance when she was in dirty rag clothing, but when she cleaned up and put on a ball gown she was suddenly desirable and fell into a “true love.” This simply does not happen, and young girls grow up thinking their prince charming will come and are disappointed when he never shows up.

    Not every woman needs a man to be successful and happy in their life. There are plenty of strong independent women who are also single and successful. It is stated twice in the story that “he took her on his horse as his bride and rode away with her.” (Grimms 4) this statement was also followed by “then he turned the horse around and took his false bride home” (Grimms 4) meaning that he cannot even recognize Cinderella in her normal clothes.

    Colette Dowling, author of “The Cinderella Complex”, states “Girls, from the time they are quite young are trained into dependency, while boys are trained out of it.” (Dowling 3) if a girl is raised thinking that a man will take care of them forever they seek out a male partner to give them protection, a sense of identity, and a feeling that they are loved. Women are stripped of the independence that they have protested for for years. In the story “Cinderella” the prince is seen as wealthy, independent, and strong while Cinderella is seen as poor, dirty, and fragile. This imagery is purposely placed this way in many fairytales to show the male as a heroin and the woman as a fragile piece of work. Not every woman is looking for a prince charming.

    Whether it is realized or not we, as humans, all judge people based on appearance. Whether it be how someone is dressed or their physical appearance we base our opinions in the first few seconds of seeing them. Men want women to have a certain look, consequently women always reference this look when they look at their reflection in a mirror. In Grimm’s “Cinderella” the step mother says “No, Cinderella, you have no clothes, and you don’t know how to dance.

    Everyone will only laugh at you.” (Grimm 2)By the step mother saying this she is putting the thought in the readers mind that it only matters what someone else thinks of us. Even her name was given to her out of disgust. The female antagonist deems Ella as Cinderella because she looks dirty and she is of a lower class.

    The main focus for this story is that Cinderella goes from rags to riches because of a man when it should be her story of rising through the ranks because of her own accomplishments. The prince charming is shown as a handsome prince who is wealthy and well like, Cinderella’s father was a rich man to whom the step mother depended on as well, but the women in the story was either shown as evil, such as the step mother and step sisters, dirty, like Cinderella, or silly, like the fairy god mother in the classic tale.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    The Sexism Portrayed in Jacob and Wilhem’s “Cinderella”. (2022, Dec 15). Retrieved from

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