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Not Pretty Enough to be Cinderella?

Updated on December 25, 2014

I’m sure Disney fans, young and old, old and new, are eagerly anticipating 2015 as the third month, March, will bring the release of its live adaption film “Cinderella”. Now Cinderella is not my top favorite fairy tale (Beauty and the Beast holds the #1 spot), but I do like it. The stars of the upcoming movies are Lily James as the eponymous heroine, Cate Blanchett as wicked stepmother Lady Tremaine, Richard Madden as Prince “Kit” Charming, and Helena Bonham Carter in her lightest role yet as the Fairy Godmother. I have no problem with the casting but some aren't too happy about Lily James’ casting, claiming that the actress isn't “pretty enough to play Cinderella.” I've seen most of the comments come from Facebook and YouTube, two social media playgrounds where rudeness likes to play. I’m sure there are many on Twitter but I don’t have one (Don’t flat line).

Actress Lily James is of “Downton Abbey” fame with other titles, past and future, on her resume. The last day of April 2013, Disney became her fairy godparent and helped her go to the ball by casting her as Ella, the girl covered in cinders. Disney released some tension in 2014 by showing the film stills and trailers that show the story in 2 minutes (It’s a tale as old as time. What spoilers?).

Visually, it looks stunning and colorful. Butterflies flutter around Ella in blue stardust as her late mother’s ruined dress is transformed into the most beautiful gown any one at the ball will ever see. It’s a little different but personally a good different as Cinderella and Prince Charming meet before hand on horseback in the woods. Besides Cate and Helena, the film features my other favorite actors such as Holliday Grainger and Nonso Anozie. To me, this looks to be a great film, well only if Cinderella is less passive one dimensional and no one dies at the wedding (Kit, do you know you have past lives? Yes you were King of the North once upon a time.) As with any movie, there is the opposing group. This time, most of its members are expressing their disappointment with James as Cinderella, saying her appearance is not Cinderella worthy. Rude much? The comments are similar to those Kristen Stewart received when she was announced to be playing Snow White in “Snow White and the Huntsman”.

Beauty is subjective. Lily and Kristen may not be as glamorous as most of the celebrities we see but they are certainly. DEFINITELY beautiful in their own way. To me, Lily has a girl next door beauty and who doesn’t love the girl next door? If the girl next door to you in reality is unlike the archetype, feel free to disregard the question. While many believe outer beauty to be one of the essential components in life, inner beauty is more important as the external typically is a reflection of the internal. Yes I am about to preach, but briefly.

When I think of Cinderella, I do think of fairies and magic. Now I also think of her, I think of a young woman who lost her beloved parents and was subjected to humiliation in her own home by her step family. Despite the gloom, she still kept going on in life exercising kindness and respect. In the end, it paid off. The same is echoed in Snow White, who actually died at the hands of her stepmother but received a second chance in life and love.

In real life, we may not have transforming stardust that changes our clothes or automatic true loves that take us to castles in the sky but we do have choices. We can sink down to lower levels or keep on and eventually reach higher levels. Anyone can be worthy enough to be the character who rose from ashes and cinders or the character who watches the former from the other side of the gates (some of you might be living this come March 13 as you will be seeing Lily James as Cinderella). You may not have to watch according to the Brothers Grimm as you might get doves that’ll blind you.

I would have stepped all over the Too-Too Trio. Disrespect me in my own house, will ‘ya?


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