Of all the beautiful fairy tales ever written, we always have a special place for Cinderella. That's generally the first tale on bookstore shelves and generally, the first one parents pick for their girls.
The story, too, is enchanting, about a girl who gives and gives for a family who couldn't care less. A father who remarried and transferred the responsibilities of a teenage daughter all to her wicked stepmother. A stepmother who couldn't be a mother at any step. Step-sisters who were, well there's no definition to that monstrosity (I blame their mother).
But none of that was the worst part of the story. The worst part of the story was the fact that a girl with all the power in the world, a girl can have, never raised a hand for herself. She worked and worked and worked, but didn't get anything in return.
If we look into the rituals of the world, women were either not given a status at all and made to work for others or given a very Godly status and expected to work for all. Either she was a servant or a Goddess and no matter what she was, she was expected to work without a self-conscience.
One way or the other, they are made to believe in a fairy Godmother or God who will solve their problems.
But the fairy tale that girls should really look up to is that of Jasmin and Aladdin. Jasmin, a princess who is expected to be decked in princessly duties and decorated with sacrifices for her kingdom. But Jasmin who, head-held-high, refuses to bow down to a sorcerer who has power but not integrity and dignity. A princess, expected to marry a powerful personality who could bring connections to the kingdom, lays down her own rules and finds love in a petty thief who was a better man. A princess who doesn't bow down to the extravagant and show off 'Prince Ali Ababwa' and accepts the soft and kind-hearted version of truth of Ali.
An independent, just, powerful and firm princess who can protect herself, as well as people around her. A girl who can rise above materialism and show of unjust power when she looks for a man.
So, teach your girls to be Jasmin and not Cinderella.
Don't be Cinderella and wait for a Fairy Godmother. Be a Jasmin and tame a Raja.