I admit, I haven't read all of child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim's 1976 treatise, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. [It's hard to find it discussed online, if only because the first hundred or so Google results are from English 102 term paper mills.] Zipes has kind of a harsh takedown mixed with a decent recap and quotes from Bettelheim's Freudian analysis of "Cinderella":
In the slipper ceremony, which signifies the betrothal of Cinderella and the Prince, he selects her because in symbolic fashion she is the uncastrated woman who relieves him of his castration anxiety which would interfere with a happy marital relationship...
[The story] guides the child from his greatest disappointments--Oedipal disillusionment, castration anxiety, low opinion of others--toward developing his autonomy, becoming industrious, and gaining a positive identity of his own...
So Cinderella. Fairy tales. Princesses. Important Lessons. I've always wondered what Bettelheim would make of the whole Disney Princess phenomenon. And after the kid got some for her birthday a couple of years ago, I wondered what the hell kind of developmental impact these little Disney Princess dress-up dolls would have. What kind of career are girls being prepped for by shimmying their little avatar in and out of a skin-tight rubber gown several times a day?
Ah, something something Polly Pockets. Here's the one K2 just got for her birthday: a Cinderella Favorite Moments Deluxe Gift Set. Not only have they redesigned the gowns as 2-pieces [presumably to help kids alleviate their Electra complexes by not having to constantly get their dads' help with changing the outfits], but they've actually included a Prince Charming!
And within 10 minutes of leaving the box, the kid splays his legs open and snaps off his nuts:
If they're really after you, it's not paranoia.