I think I’m in a fairy tale, story-telling mood this week. From Sherlock Holmes-esque tales to Renaissance paintings, everything is harking back to some distant, romanticized memory. So, I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised that I found myself feeling a very Cinderella-inspired vibe today without even meaning to in this Capsule Vintage dress (Clothing always tends to match your mood, no?). Ahhh Cinderella. Now there’s a gal who’s footwear I can get behind…
I was thinking about how Cinderella would fare these days. I mean, just imagine if modern conveniences were available to all of our favorite fairy tale heroines. Can you see how much shorter the story would have been if Ariel could have just sent Prince Eric a text and sorted the whole Sea Witch mess out? And Little Red never would have gotten lost in the woods if she had Google Maps. Cinderella would have just ordered a new pair of shoes on Amazon, Snow White would have gone Paleo and banned fruit altogether, circumventing that whole disaster, and no doubt Rapunzel would have learned her lesson after opting for “The Rachel” back in the 90’s, and would now be resplendent in some amazing, choppy middy cut.
I think that I have a hard time with fairy tales on certain days, because I do think they set up unrealistic expectations for women young and old. Don’t get me wrong, I loved (and still love) a good fairy tale. A fairy godmother to help sort out the mess with the wave of a wand. Some woodland creatures picking out your outfit in the morning. A guaranteed happy ending. All appealing things, no doubt.
But, although I love the magic that a fairy tale provides, there was definitely a point in my life where I had to realize that a meet-cute doesn’t guarantee a happily ever after. And that life isn’t so black and white – that the evil witch has some good in her after all and you shouldn’t judge based on appearances, that you have to take responsibility for your actions if you choose to climb the beanstalk, and it really doesn’t matter how many times you kiss that frog – eventually you may just have to accept he just isn’t good for you.
Truthfully, I was never the girl waiting for her Prince Charming to appear. Sure, I kissed a LOT of frogs in my day. Some days multiple times hoping that this would be the kiss that would inspire more princely behavior. Didn’t work. But, ultimately I was brought up to believe we make our own destiny. That we buy our own shoes and sort out our own messes (though ironically, I didn’t buy these shoes. But, they weren’t placed upon my tootsies by a Prince looking for a bride. Rather, they were a birthday gift from one of my close friends here in Perth, owner of Bettina Darling!). My Prince definitely didn’t appear until I was fully sorted out and happy in my own skin – and he in his. And even now, though he brings me a white latte instead of a white horse, I believe what works is that we rescue each other.
There’s been a lot of important talk on gender equity lately – I’m speaking at a conference about equity in science and the culture surrounding setting positive role models at a young age. I know that, growing up, a lot of my favorite stories told me about things we’re ‘supposed’ to want – a prince, a castle, kids – but it has to be okay to not want some or all of these things as well. That our lives are full of choices and we are so fortunate to live in an era where our personal fairy tale can look any way we choose.
I suppose at the end of the day, I’d like to believe that regardless of how their circumstances unfolded with their respective relationships, each of my favorite gals – Snow, Cindy, Aurora – would have eventually taken a deep breath and liberated themselves. Would have told their nemesis where to stick it, hailed a cab to the nearest police station to file a report, and then signed up for a yoga retreat to find herself again.
No matter what you may be facing today – stressful meetings, moving house, a damaged heel on your favorite pair of shoes – know you can get through it. Irrespective of whether you have a partner, a handy magic wand armed with the perfect spell, or a gaggle of vertically challenged dwarves to help you on your way.
You are imbued with your own magic and your own power. How will you use it today, I wonder?
Dress: Capsule Vintage (similar modern or vintage here, here & here)
Headband: Forever New (similar)
Belt: Anthropologie, sold out (similar)
Clutch: Alannah Hill, gift (similar here & here)
Shoes: ASOS, sold out (similar here & here)