Most everyone is familiar with the story of Cinderella. Whether it be the original Disney movie, the Brother’s Grimm tale, or one of the hundreds of interpretations out there in the world. The climb from “rags to riches through magic and marriage” is a classic plot used in so many different forms. But can this “rags to riches” dream be real without magic? Is it even possible to achieve fame, fortune, and happiness without magic?
One of the most well known interpretations to my generation of this motif is A Cinderella Story starring Hilary Duff. She’s not actually a princess but she still has the dramatics of losing her father and then having to be raised by her gold-digging stepmother. Within the story Sam, Hilary Duff’s character, is forced to take care of the greedy stepmother and dumb stepsisters. There really isn’t much magic involved just hard work and finding yourself. However, there is the boy, who is suppose to be a prince of some sort as her love interest. But he’s just the star football player while she’s a nobody. You’ll have to watch to see how it ends but the story hits all the points of the motif, which might not be as easy not in the movie world.
In the real world this motif is much harder to come by as there is no fairytale magic in our everyday lives. And yet it seems many women, in particular, have be able to marry into this ‘goal’ setup by this story. A prime example is Kate Middleton, now known as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Her marriage to Prince William was a real life fairytale. She was a complete commoner that married into royal blood. Even though she originally did come from a wealthy family the “rags to riches with magic and marriage” still applies; she married A REAL LIVE PRINCE! Like how much better can that get as a normal person? She became someone to the world when she married William and so did her family. Her sister Pippa became a socialite and focus of the media the second Kate was married. This is just how our version of this motif is possible. Just like many celebrities who weren’t really known and then married a slightly more famous one. This is the world we live in. So yes the “rags to riches by magic and marriage” is realistic, when you take out the magic….