Many people are drawn to the Cinderella story because of the character arc of Cinderella going from “rags to riches” over the course of the story. Some women buy into this fantasy, believing that, like Cinderella, their Prince Charming will come and they will suddenly be rich (and lest this sound like I am specifically picking on women here stories like the Disney version of Aladdin portray this the other way around).

                While I would like to be a romantic, and believe in this notion I simply can’t do it. Success and riches are achieved through hard work and perseverance, not by dependence on a spouse, and I find it kind of sickening that some young women merely want to marry well rather than actually learn to do things for themselves. Furthermore, what would happen were Prince Charming to wake up one day and want a divorce?! Cinderella could theoretically open a cleaning business, since that seems to be her only skill, but how does she plan to survive should this situation not work out?

                The whole “rags to riches” thing has been frowned upon for a long time in storytelling, across different cultures, going all the way back to Plato. In his myth of the metals, from Plato’s Republic, Plato decries the “rags to riches” motif saying that an individual may not move more than one social class in a lifetime. While Plato’s judgment is definitely harsh, and has been proven wrong by numerous creative thinkers and pioneers, he does take a stand against the idea that people can all of a sudden become wealthy with no work.

                The “rags to riches” notion is really unhealthy. It gives people a belief that even if they don’t work hard they can eventually achieve success, and make it last until a happily ever after. The only good thing about Cinderella is her footwear.