Don’t Judge Cinderella


[This article was originally published by Elayna Fernandez on August 18, 2014.]

dont-judge-cinderella-1024x632I once read a quote stated by Al Pacino for his character in a movie called City Hall (which I have not seen, because I do not watch R-rated movies), and this quote explains very well what I mean by “don’t judge Cinderella”:

“Be careful how you judge people; you don’t sum up a man’s life in one moment.”

We often sum up the lives of other women, fairy princesses, and other species, especially other moms. At the sight of another mom’s success, joy, and fortune, we judge her Cinderella story:

  • “Who does she think she is? She doesn’t belong in a castle!”
  • “How did she get so lucky? The prince could have chosen ANY girl. . .and he chose her!”
  • “This is ridiculous. The slipper fits, and she gets to marry a prince!”

As the goodly townspeople we are, we nod, smile, and wave at her. We may even throw rice at the carriage. . .Yet, inside we secretly resent her “happy ending” and are very suspicious of her fairy tale. We suddenly become experts in her life, her feelings, her intentions, her thoughts, and even her capabilities!

  • “Maybe she’s a gold-diggerit can’t be true love after meeting the prince just once!”
  • “She is nice now, but just wait until the crown gets to her head [literally!]”
  • “Sure, she’s pretty, but is she smart enough to rule a kingdom?”

We make up a shaming story about Cinderella without knowing of the hurtful loss, the hard work, the tough challenges, the unfair trials, the endless tears, and the insurmountable patience that preceded the happy ending.

We start with judgment, and then comes the jealousy, and we end up with justification (and for reasons we wouldn’t admit: her man, her promotion, her car, her well-mannered kids, her confidence, and even her shoes!). “How can she walk in those?” is not a tutorial request, if you know what I mean.

What is so insulting about Cinderella’s fairy tale? Henry David Thoreau once put it this way:

“It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see.”

Let’s be honest. Cinderella is just following her fairy tale script. She was born to be a queen, and, believe me, she paid her dues. Cinderella is making the choices that are right for her, knowing the townspeople will criticize her either way. Our problem is not with Cinderella; our issue is with ourselves.

  • We feel insecure, unhappy, or unfulfilled.
  • We feel threatened, scared, or intimidated.
  • We feel envy because we want what she has.

And yes, Cinderella may find offense in our thoughts, actions, and words —if she ever finds out— but, quite frankly, she will move on with her fairy tale life. We, on the other hand, get to keep the shame, guilt, and harsh self-judgment.

Next time you witness or find out about someone’s “happy ending,” don’t sum up her life in a moment. Avoid stereotyping (fairy princesses are not all alike!), monitor your thoughts, and ask yourself what the true story could be; or, better yet, ask your Cinderella about her journey. . .you will be surprised.

I encourage you to catch yourself, appreciate the self-awareness, and remember how it feels to be judged. . .chances are that, like me, you have been in her glass slippers. . .maybe even more than once.

Are you judging Cinderella?


ela-laptop-the-positive-mom-227x300A former desolate, homeless, penniless single mom, Elayna Fernandez is a bestselling author, international keynote speaker, and award-winning success guide, often featured on mainstream media sharing her expertise on how to develop a Millionaire Mom Mindset, BE Positive, and Discover, Live, Balance, Monetize, and Radiate your Passions, in order to create JOY, BALANCE and SUCCESS on your own terms without mommy guilt, struggle, or overwhelm. Her 7p Guerrilla Positioning System™ (GPS) teaches how to turn your passion into your paycheck and elevate your Impact, Income, and Influence.


18 replies
  1. aimee fauci
    aimee fauci says:

    In a way, most people judge others knowing that it is wrong and does not feel good to have it done to them. We try to not judge but sometimes our actions take the best of us.. sadly.

  2. Heather
    Heather says:

    I try not to judge anyone. Unless you are in a person’s shoes, you can’t judge their actions. Unless it’s something blatantly wrong.

  3. Lady Lilith
    Lady Lilith says:

    People are always judging it is part of human nature. I was raised that instead we should try to find something positive about the person even if all we can see is negative.

  4. Amanda Ripsam
    Amanda Ripsam says:

    Judging is just natural human behavior we don’t always have to voice what we think out loud and it’s often found that we judge more harshly on our own judging.

  5. Theresa
    Theresa says:

    It’s amazing how easily we can make snap judgements about another. I am guilty of doing it myself, but the older I get, I find the less judgmental I am becoming. This is a great reminder to all!

  6. Dana
    Dana says:

    I love this post! It is a great reminder that we should all stop stereotyping and judging others for their successes. Everyone has a burden they carry and nothing is as perfect as it seems to be. We should all try to remember that and instead of judging others, appreciate their hard work and talent and use it as a motivator to better ourselves.

  7. Danielle
    Danielle says:

    I find it amazing how easy it is for children to do it. It becomes second nature and as parents we should try and guide and curb that attitude of judgement quickly before it spreads into their older years.

  8. Pam
    Pam says:

    When someone makes a mistake or a bad judgement call, I remind myself that is what it is and I don’t dislike the person, just the mistake they made at that time. If it becomes a recurrent issue, that is a different matter.

    I love that quote from Al Pacino.

  9. Chrystal @ YUM eating
    Chrystal @ YUM eating says:

    I see pins all over Pinterest with quotes that say things on how Disney gives such a false misrepresentation about how life really turns out. I think it is important when watching these types of movies that we remind our daughters (and sons) that these stories should not be taken seriously.

  10. Alice C.
    Alice C. says:

    I can so relate to this. My husband and I always have people come up to us and comment on our perfect life and how they wish their marriage was like ours. While we do have a wonderful marriage I also get to share my story of “where I came from” a previous marriage that left me a young, struggling, single mother who was broken in heart and body. I love sharing my story because I get to tell them how it was God that restored me and brought me together with a wonderful man who is my best friend and husband going on 13 yrs now. Its easy to judge or become resentful when you are only looking at the outward appearance.

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