Everyone Deserves to be a Princess: An Analysis of Colorblind Casting in Cinderella

A discussion of the use of colorblind casting in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1997 production of Cinderella by Stephanie Brownell and Emma Alexander

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  1. I love how you guys conversate with the idea of performativism in your discussion of Cinderella. I particularly liked the portion in which you discussed the fact that the Prince allowed all of the women in the kingdom to try on the slipper although Cinderella was very clearly black. I think this lends itself to a broader discussion of the liberties writers and producers allow or do not allow themselves to make when reimagining classics with more diverse or colorblind casts. I think it is noteworthy to recognize what the potential tradeoffs are in depicting a scene where only the black women of the kingdom try on the slipper (thus shedding recognition on race as a defining feature within the film) when the traditional scene is supposed to depict all women trying on the slipper (though they usually happen to all be white?) In my opinion as a black woman, I think it would be especially empowering to see race actually recognized as a salient identity in film. As opposed to being a silenced feature of the characters’ identities, I think that seeing a black woman (who is racially recognized as a black woman) being appreciated for her natural beauty would have been a very important image for me to have seen if I were a child growing up in the 90s.

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