Cinderella is one of the most beloved and well-known fairy tales of all time. The combination of magic, morals, and marriage creates a tale in which the reader sympathizes with the main character as she struggles with a cruel stepmother and stepsisters and then rejoices when she finds true love. She uses her beauty, charm, and good character to transform her life from wearing dirty cleaning rags, to a life rich in beauty and love. This rags-to-riches motif is common in many fairy tales, novels, movies, and songs. Perhaps it is so popular because it gives impoverished or struggling people hope that things will one day get better. For women especially, they may hope that their prince charming will one day come along and drastically improve their lives and will live happily ever after. However, the application of this motif to real-life circumstances may not always be realistic.
The film Pretty Woman is a modern spin on the classic Cinderella story, with a few differences. While there is no cruel stepmother or stepsisters, Vivian is a prostitute who falls in love with a wealthy man- epitomizing the rags-to-riches motif. Vivian uses her charm, beauty, wit, and warm heart to make Edward (and viewers) fall in love with her. This type of tale could most certainly come true in real life. However, I believe that this type of love story is very rare and not every struggling woman should wait for or expect a handsome and wealthy man to fall in love with her. I think the best way to achieve a rags-to-riches tale in real life is through a lot of hard work, and a strong moral character. If a person is doing the best they can to improve their life circumstances and is striving to be a better person with each new day, good karma and good relationships will come his or her way in one form or another. Finally, I believe that every woman’s prince charming is different, and often unlike those depicted in movies. He may not be very wealthy or come riding in on a white steed, but the type and depth of love that is depicted in movies is definitely attainable if the right person comes in to your life.