The latest live-action retelling of Cinderella allows the viewer to get as up close and personal with red carpet style as one can get without attending the Oscars or Golden Globes. I watched most of the movie with my mouth slightly open... it was Canada Day with silk and taffeta fireworks. I shouldn't have enjoyed the film - I've been told that by almost all media outlets with any sort of feminist bent. And I'm definitely not supposed to lust over Sandy Powell's haute couture costume style, especially as it clads the body of the stunning Cate Blanchett.
My mouth should not salivate at the swish of layers upon layers of princess tulle undulating on a dance floor.
Upon watching the Cinderella ballroom scene, bibbidi-bobbidy-fucking-boo if I didn't want to swish across a parquet dance floor in layers upon layers of my own tulle-crinolined dress, in the arms of a man who knows how to truly lead. I could feel my inner proactive feminist dying and I DIDN'T CARE.
I don't even like princess dresses, but this dress? It hypnotized me.
What the fuck???
It's been drilled into our heads that corsets are bad for women, corset training is akin to binding feet. Promlem is? I love the feel of wearing one - I like how it lifts my girls up, gives me a breast-shelf at nearly chin level upon which I can eat. I enjoy the feeling of containment while in a corset. I like that my devolved sitting-in-front-of-a-computer posture can be brought back from its near-Neatherthal state while wearing a corset. I like that my back fat disappears in one. I don't want to wear one 24-7, but for special occasions? I adore them. I'm not saying every woman should wear one - but if they work for you? If you're not destroying your internal organs when you where them on occasion? Go for it.
Most of these hand drawn or computer generated fairy tale female characters could never be imagined as human. There was even speculation that Cinderella's waist in this version was CGI'd. It wasn't. In this live-action version (filmed almost shot for shot like the 1950 animated version), Lily James's already tiny real life waist is corseted, thereby shrinking it by another 5 inches, and pushing her boobs up to her armpits. The dress's voluminous skirt then makes her tiny waist seem even tinier with its yards and yards of fabric floating around her hips. Lily James did not go on a prolonged liquid diet as most headlines are screaming.
"When [the corset] was on we would be on continuous days so we wouldn't stop for lunch or a lovely tea like this—you'd be sort of eating on the move. In that case, I couldn't untie the corset. So if you ate food it didn't really digest properly and I'd be burping all afternoon in [Richard Madden]'s face, and it was just really sort of unpleasant. I'd have soup so that I could still eat but it wouldn't get stuck." Source: E-News
This 'diet,' this particular dress, its corset and Lily James's waist have unfortunately smothered the message of the film with talk of too much tulle and boning.
Cinderella's dying mother tells her to:
"Have courage and be kind."
This credo, especially in our 2015 of net shaming and cyber bullying, is something to which all children should aspire. Yes, I still wonder why Cinderella allows herself to be doormatted under the heels of her step-mother and step-sisters and yes, I still prefer the screenplay of 1998's Ever After, which gives Drew Barrymore's character more... character... But having courage and being kind? How can anyone not want to share that notion with the children in our world? It's a great way to live one's life... whether you dress in a corset or not.