Poem: “Cinderella” Rewritten

The classic fairy tale retold from the perspective of a black teen.

Photo by Timothy L Brock on Unsplash

There once was a girl who lived just across from Cinderella 

Eyes the shade of an unsatisfying brown 

Dark skin undesirable to all 

She wouldn’t be a rags to riches story 

No evil stepmother present that caused the girl’s plight 

Instead, it was because of her skin color and her family’s heritage 

Unlike Cinderella, trauma and daily struggle was normal to this girl 

Crying was a waste of energy 

No fairy Godmother because there was no need 

The girl wouldn’t be meeting a prince anyway 

She wouldn’t be wearing an expensive glass slipper 

And if she did, she sure as hell wouldn’t lose it carelessly! 

The closest she would get to living in a castle would be by working as a servant

And as a servant she would be working for the white woman that was able to upgrade her lifestyle 

Cinderella would not have to lift a finger again because of her marriage 

But the black girl still would have to work hard even if she was married too

That’s the way life goes 

The End 

The purpose of this poem was to rewrite the common Cinderella tale through the point-of-view of a black teen. Although Cinderella does follow the plot of a girl living a destitute life, it still applauds the superiority of eurocentric beauty more than anything else. This story has been told over and over again through many generations. The tale is supposed to serve as hope for children, but the messages contained in the tale aren’t inclusive. Within the first few lines, many people of color are already excluded from relating to Cinderella. 

In regard to the U.S., racial difference has been cultivated as a tool for dividing the U.S. racially, leaving African Americans, particularly black women, at the bottom of the race-economic hierarchy. The black woman is far from the white woman, and the furthest from the privilege of whiteness and the advantages that it has to offer in the hierarchy I previously mentioned. The Cinderella message and the color symbolism is threatening to African American females because already at a young age it exposes the lack of potential for women who are not white, especially the lack of hypergamous potential.