The oldest documented version of the classic Cinderella story originates from China, though it has become well-known around the world. There are probably thousands versions of this story today, and here are mine: we are all Cinderellas of the 21st Century.
Traditionally, the story is based on a young lady, but in this era there are women of many different ages, countries, and cultures that may identify with the heroine. They may be young women studying and working part-time to build a future, married women having to take care of their kids, family, and household tasks, or women pursuing their professional careers, perhaps traveling around the world. All of these women are Cinderellas, living and surviving at the hands of their wicked “step-families,” which I would like to call in my version, the system: the relentless pressure that society exerts on women to be beautiful and the mental slavery they experience in a world dominated by androcentric corporations that manipulate them into following the status quo.
The advancement of technology and the growth of the global population—and a lack of fairy godmothers—forced the Cinderellas of today to adapt their needs to conform with the modern lifestyle. The magical guardian that helps Cinderella triumph over her unfair situation is today represented by one’s job, and as my father used to say, a career is the one thing that will help you, give you what you need, take you where you want to go, allow you to do what you want, and most importantly it won’t wake up one day and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore. Likewise our castles are our homes, more compact and cozy. Cinderella still pays attention to the clock so that she returns home before midnight—only, that carriage that turned into a pumpkin is now the bus, subway, or perhaps a train that stops running before the same hour.
Despite all the developments and changes that occur in various versions of the story, there is one thing that remains the same: Cinderella’s desire to be loved, to love, and the feeling that she is a special woman. A beautiful princess.
Time passes, but a woman never stops dreaming, desiring, and imagining—independent of her age, social status, and financial status. All women seek the real pleasure of being a woman; they want to understand and experience the feeling of full satisfaction. They are like flowers; no matter how strong or delicate, they need to be looked after every day. For women, love and satisfaction is eternal seduction—it is like fine art that must be admired with intensity in every detail. But in most cases, women believe that state of being comes from a person, such as an ideal lover.
Should you end up with a “prince”? Please ladies, let me explain something important. The good news is that there are still princes everywhere—maybe you are already with one. However, the truth is that to make your magic moment happen, you don’t need to wait for a man. The ideal lover is not just about have a person; it is the summation of the pleasures experienced and desires fulfilled within one’s lifetime! Pleasure and satisfaction are measured in your own mind. In the end, it is you who decide how and what to feel. Please don’t wait for a prince to sweep you off your feet. You can have a wonderful life and experience real happiness now, every day. Keep your shoes on, choose a dress, put some nice lipstick on, and make your day unforgettable.
Ana Paula Mendes
Many thanks to:
A big THANK YOU to the team and VIP ROOM for all your efforts to put together this Cinderella of the 21st Century photo shooting. It was a magic day with professionals that made it a moment that will last forever in my heart.