Cinderella is almost upon us, and we'll be getting yet another iteration of those tiresome, awful characters: the Wicked Stepsisters. In the past three months I've seen Ever After, Into the Woods, and now, this chestnut over on io9. Enough is enough.
Disney princesses are role models. That is the way of things. Cinderella's chief shortcoming (at least in the Disney films) is that she has no agency. She never stands up for herself, and can only receive gifts and permission to seek out happiness from others. This is, quite frankly, some bullshit.
Life is too short and too beautiful to waste any amount of time— fictional or otherwise— putting up with the asinine mouth garbage that spills forth from these vain, facile idiots. Take heart, dear readers. There's hope.
For starters, You need never question whether or not someone you're dealing with is, in fact, a Wicked Stepsister. Like idiots, drunks, and farm animals, Wicked Stepsisters never hesitate to make their presence known. Just wait for them to talk— you won't have to wait long— and listen for the following criteria:
- Their words will only prop themselves up, or tear others down. No other topic will be broached. (They don't know how.)
- Frequent laughter at their own 'jokes'
- Ignorance of any subject outside their own shallow interests
- Imaginary deafness, or the ability to tune out anything you say
You can bet your glass slippers that these charmless nimrods will waste no time in sizing you up
Yeah, no. This never works. Not only is it psychologically unsound (no negative punishment = no goddamn results), but it is entirely passive. We don't do passive, do we, girls and boys? No, we do not. That would be unbecoming of a Princess (or Prince).
While there will be no shortage of opportunity to retort these creatures' unwelcome commentary with choice remarks of your own, this method has its flaws.
- They may simply tune you out, and pretend not to have heard you
- You're sinking to their level, which is, again, unbecoming of someone as regal as yourself
- They may lose their tempers and make your life worse, especially if they have leverage over you (or the ear of someone who does)
So, no. We can do better than that, can't we, dear readers? Yes. Yes we can.
[wistful sigh] ... No. As satisfying as it would be to introduce some Positive Punishment to the face, throat, or fleshy extremities of our nemeses... violence is not the answer. Assault and battery are felonies in most civilizations, including the Magic Kingdom.
I KNOW it'd be enjoyable. That's not the point.
Seriously. Don't do it, if for no other reason that beneath the bruises and/or lacerations, those obnoxious cows would have the satisfaction of knowing they'd gotten to you. (Immediate apology to any sympathetic cows. Bovines are lovely as they are delicious.)
No, no. The best option is also the simplest.
These insipid troglodytes' entire sense of self worth is based solely on the notion that they are better than you. (Really.) If you really, really want to get under their skin... just laugh. Applied to the following scenario:
Cinderella: Welcome to your new home! Would you like me to show you around?
Worthless Brat #1: Sorry, did she say something?
Worthless Brat #2: Oh, I think she was trying to give us a tour of this farmhouse she seems rather proud of.
Cinderella: [Blinks, smiles, and bursts out laughing]
Worthless Brats 1 and 2 trade looks of indignation, jaws slowly dropping open. Cinderella wipes a tear from her eye.
Cinderella: Do forgive me. I just— it's so adorable that you think your opinions matter, at all. To anyone. It's just too precious for words!
The Brats struggle to form a response. They fail.
Cinderella: I mean, here I am trying to make you feel at home, and literally the first things out of your mouths are horrible, arrogant prattle.
The Brats still struggle to form a response. Their mouths flop like that of a codfish. Cinderella leans in to speak softly.
Cinderella: Incidentally, the 'farmhouse' you're insulting is your new home. So... get used to it.
She pats them consolingly on the shoulders, then leaves them rightfully in her dust.