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    Cinderella Versions: Cindy Goes to a Party (1950s)

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    In this 1950’s instructional film, the social conformity of gender roles in society are explicitly laid down through one of the more imaginative Cinderella versions ever produced. In Lawrence, Kansas, young Cindy, a tom-girl who plays basketball and fishes all day, wonders why she is not invited to her friend’s party like all her other classmates. Since this sort of nonconformist behavior was frowned upon in the fifties, Cindy goes to sleep and has a most peculiar dream. Cinderella's fairy godmother appears to her, telling her that they are indeed going to a party! The kind woman spirits Cindy to a dream party, and teaches her how to politely play games she doesn’t like (and pretend she does like them), how to let boys win (even though she could win herself), and how to leave on time. Cindy learns quickly, and begins to anticipate the fairy godmother’s lessons. The fairy godmother realizes her job is done, since Cindy is now adapted to traditional gender roles, and decides she is no longer needed, thus disappearing. Cindy then wakes to find her mother bedside, telling her that she really did get an invitation to the party, but that her little sister Mary had just forgotten to give it to her. An astonishing example of the binding pressure of social conformity in the 50s, Cindy Goes to a Party is an important historical document in any analysis of the history of gender roles.