Don’t Judge Cinderella

I 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, we 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-digger – it 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? …

Don't judge Cinderella by Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM - excerpt from her Keynote Presentation Life IS A Fairy Tale

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, then comes the jealousy, and end up with justification… and for reasons we wouldn’t admit: her man, her promotion, her car, her well-mannered kids, her confidence, 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 their 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?

Elayna Fernandez - Author - Speaker - Success Guide to Moms and Mompreneurs
© Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOM
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83 thoughts on “Don’t Judge Cinderella

  1. this is so true. So many people judge and assume beyond the knowledge and facts so ridiculously anymore it’s such a shame. Def a post to make you think.

  2. I think we’re all guilty of judging someone at some point in time, or maybe it’s a case of envy and that’s why we judge. Whatever the case may be, it’s something I try not to do.. or at least check my habits in progress.

  3. People are so quick to judge. It is very prevalent on social media too. “You never truly know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” –American Adage, Source Unknown. Even if they are glass slippers you never know what it took for them to get where they are. Great post!

  4. As the only man responding here I can say it does get very annoying when all men are lumped into the same bucket. Isn’t that the same as judging all people with the same brush. Just saying…

  5. This is perfect. There is another quote that I liked that just showed me to live my own life and stop worrying about the next person. It said “Don’t judge your beginning, by someone elses middle. Most of us work hard to get where we are and its jealousy at its worst when we think someone doesn’t deserve what they worked hard to get/achieve.

  6. I really do try to catch myself in the act of judging others. I do it more when I’m watching T.V. more than in person and I really try to correct myself when I catch myself in the act (so to speak). We need to be more self-aware of what we say, our words should be building up others – not tearing them down.

  7. I agree with Robin judging someone by what we see isn’t a good as we do not know them. For you know that homeless man you pass on the street and scorn could just be a billionaire.

  8. This really is an insightful post. I think that everyone, at one time or another, judges someone else. I really try hard not to but I know that I have at times too.

  9. Great post, I try not to judge others based on their outward appearance. Just like Cinderella we all make our own fair share of mistakes.
    She also deserved to have the chance of finding her true love just like her sisters. Thank you for sharing.

  10. What a great analogy to help us see the pitfall of judging others from a fresh perspective. I love how your writing engages the imagination, makes things so memorable, and always gives easy to implement solutions.

    Your post reminded me of an Entrepreneur On Fire podcast where John Lee Dumas interviewed Jennifer Paige – an “overnight success” who went 5x platinum and “came out of nowhere.” Nobody talked about the 15 years of dedication and singing it took her to attain “overnight success” status.

    Sadly, most of the time we jump into judging mode when we see someone else’s success, when instead we should look for what they did to get there that we can admire and LEARN from.

    I will definitely be thinking twice before Judging Cinderella next time :)

    Thank you for sharing your insights.

    Te amo mi novia eterna.

  11. When my daughter comes home from school and begins to tell me about her day, I always remind her that others have different life situations. People are different because they grew up differently. It is too easy to judge, it is harder to understand. Always take the harder road.

  12. What a very cool way to introduce your post…I love the comparisons to Cinderella’s life. I could not help but to think of Beyonce when reading this…I am not going to lie…I have been judging her ever since she seemed to undergo this transformation into what appears to be a less-than-desirable role model in my opinion. I feel that she currently sends mixed messages about female empowerment to young girls. Anyways, those opinions will not change, but I have ‘judged’ the way her marriage has been playing out in the media, and her public image and her private life are two totally different things.

    • You know, I agree that my idea of a positive role model doesn’t necessarily fit Beyonce’s image, but at the same time, I have to remind myself to increase my influence so I can impact those I love and shine my light so bright that God can touch lives through my example. Thank you for being so transparent and vulnerable, Yona.

  13. so very true. i catch myself saying things like that all the time. How can we judge someone by a split second. great information.

  14. Wow! This is definitely thought provoking. I think we could all really use a moment to think about what you just wrote because I think most of the world can be quite judgmental in some way or other. Great post!

  15. Oh yeah…I’ve caught myself and it’s usually because someone is doing something I didn’t have the courage to do myself. I hate going to confession for that, I’m telling ya! 😉

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