Things I Learned from Disney Princesses: Cinderella


By Erin M Rogan (@Rogue98)

Having been to Disney World, but never Disneyland, I have always thought of Cinderella as the supreme Disney Princess. It was her castle I dreamt of, it was her shoes I modeled my prom shoes after, and it was her story that I heard in a hundred different ways. And I know I’m not the only one who has felt this way! I recently heard a story from a friend that went like this:

“We were having breakfast with the Princesses in Cinderella’s Castle and this little boy across the room suddenly started throwing a fit! He was screaming and yelling to the point where his parents were obviously embarrassed and people were beginning to exchange glances. Just as the staff was also becoming visibly unsettled, Cinderella glided through a doorway and planted herself down at eye-level with him. She said, ‘What is the matter, Little Man?’ and he immediately stopped crying. Crisis averted.”

That’s some power! Anyone who has ever babysat or parented a screaming child can tell you that stopping a tantrum can be close to impossible. But Cinderella is so beloved that she can do it with one sentence. So, why do we love Cinderella? Cinderella teaches us to take care of ourselves.

Stand up for yourself.

When the invitation to the ball arrives Anastasia and Drizella don’t even consider the possibility that Cinderella would attend. When their assumption is challenged by Cinderella’s clear logic that she should attend, they react very badly.

But, in spite of their reaction, the important part of this scene is Cinderella’s resolve to be heard. Even when you know that the people around you won’t want to listen to you, you should stand up for yourself. Remember, at the end of the day, Cinderella’s resolve to be heard was also what afforded her the chance to try on that glass slipper.
Work diligently.

True, the list of tasks Lady Tremaine gives to Cinderella is insane. Without the help of her friends, Cinderella probably would not have accomplished everything. But, in spite of the length of the list, Cinderella worked hard to finish it.

It is really easy to see a difficult task like this as futile and give up. But, Cinderella’s dedication to see things through served her well in her life. Whenever she was presented with a challenge, Cinderella calmly and diligently worked though it. Even though her stepmother was never going to appreciate it, Cinderella was a strong woman whose work ethic served her well.

Sometimes you need a good cry.

Cinderella takes the cake on a good, dramatic cry. The scene of her running through the house and out the back door and through the garden to the bench is worthy of reality television! But, like I said before, Cinderella teaches us to take care of ourselves and, sometimes, what we need most is a good cry.

The things Cinderella was crying over were genuinely worthy of those tears. In addition to the humiliation of having her stepsisters rip apart her dress, Cinderella lost an important connection to her mother. She says that the dress was her mother’s, who we know died when Cinderella was small, and it is the only time her mother is mentioned in the story. Cinderella deserved a good cry and so do we sometimes.

Be grateful for the miracles you get.

Cinderella was fortunate to have a magical fairy godmother who could deliver big, impressive miracles. We, as far as I know, do not have the same luxury. So, we have to find little miracles in our lives without blatant magic.

I have found in my own life that the best way to find miracles is to be as grateful for the little ones as Cinderella was for her miracle. You find more lovely things in life when you are taking the time to see the lovely thing in front of you. Despite her terrible circumstance, Cinderella knew that.

“She believed in dreams, all right, but she also believed in doing something about them. When Prince Charming didn’t come along, she went over to the palace and got him.” -Walt Disney

I think Walt said it best. And I think that if we want to find our own princes or anything else we might want, we’ve also got to head over to the palace and get it.

The right shoes can change your life.

I know, it’s been done before! But be honest: how much better does your day get when you’re dressed your best? I have had many bad days get better when I’ve decided to dress up and when people compliment me I say, “You’ve got to look the way you want to feel.” The glass slippers didn’t make Cinderella worthy of being a princess, but they did give her the confidence to go after her dreams.

We, as a society, have been telling Cinderella’s story for a very long time because we want to believe in it! We want to know that our dreams can come true. But, we’ve got to remember that Cinderella wasn’t a passive bystander who waited for good things to happen to her. You’ve got to take good care of yourself and go after what you want.

For more things I learned from Disney Princesses, check out:


  1. Jose Manuel SevillaNovember 2nd, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Very true. It also shows how with good friends we can accomplish a lot. Well done again. Great insight.

  2. EricaNovember 5th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    How did I not know for all these years that the Stepmother had a real name?! haha! Again, very great insight into another Disney classic. Thanks, Erin! 🙂

  3. K DubbsNovember 5th, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    I love your take on the Disney princesses. Keep them coming! Taking fairy tales and finding insights into how modern people can learn from our childhood tales is quite delightful (the right pair of shoes really can fix so much)

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