The "Cinderella Complex" was a theory defining women as having a fear of independence, an unconscious desire to be taken care of by others. Though we have begun to get away from it, somewhat, the ever famous complex has defined much of the path women have taken for decades; that is, in a subservient seat, following directions, to wherever they are directed to go.
The Complex itself originated from studies done on infant children from immediate childbirth, both males and females, and the attempt to establish a pattern of behavior on the differences in gendered dependence, or independence. Men, as adults, are considered independent, self-reliant, self-made. Women, as adults, are considered insecure, dependent, and defined by others. So why the difference? We all start from the same helpless creatures, fully dependent on another's nurturing.
Studies quickly recognized a key difference; male children are often left to sleep in their own rooms, by themselves, from birth, or shortly after. Female children are typically in the same room, if not the same bed, with parents, for an extensive period of time. Additionally, when children cry out, males are usually left to "cry it out" alone, and move on independently. Female children are picked up quickly, coddled, consoled, protected. And this continues through childhood. Here we see princess stereotypes begin to manifest in young girls.
I've known a number of females idealizing the princess lifestyle. I have never been one of these women. To be maintained, to be wanted because of a look you were given as a birth rite, something you don't control? Don't we condemn this when its used against someone? "You're black therefore you cannot eat here," versus "you're beautiful, I'll take care of you for life,"? Neither have control over the subjective attributes. It makes little sense to me.
But, then again, before I could talk, I was deemed "Queenie." And it has never left me. And I take pride in that. The world no longer loves me. Maybe it never did. Sometimes I reciprocate. Being lost in this place is murderous on the spirit, though often, I believe this too, is an illusion. I will never be one of those women reveered for her beauty; I've likely never been loved by a man who has laid with me; no one takes my hand and tells me what comes next, or how to handle life. This has all come with the crown.
Let us consider for a moment the differences between being a Queen, or merely a princess:
Princess: a subservient position, cared for by those stronger and more apt than she; allowed to contribute little substance to her society; usually placed on display for physical traits, decorated attributes.
Queen: one who rules the masses, demands respect, creates and maintains order and diminishes chaos; is reveered for her intellect, power; chooses the course of her life and helps direct the lives of those who revere her; creates the other path on which we walk.
I was deemed a Queen before I could talk. And it has never left me. Nor will I allow it. For my sisters raised under the umbrella of the Cinderella complex, let us end the dependency and visualize our own greatness. Straighten out your tiara, walk off the display platform, and begin to rule your life. Demand respect, establish your order, enact your power, and be reveered. You can be a Queen too. Walk away from Cinderella and create your truly noble path.