The Goddess MECA Blog

August McLaughlin Guest Blogger

Posted by Mary on Tuesday 04 December 2012 in the Blog Category.

I am delighted to introduce  August McLaughlin as my guest blogger.

Called ‘Cinderella Strong’, this was first posted in August’s blog, in April 2012.

August McLaughlin is a Los Angeles-based health writer and journalist with articles featured regularly by, EHow Foods, ULMagazine, Healthy Aging Magazine, IAmThatGirl and more. She’s also an internationally recognized certified nutritionist with specializations in eating disorders and sports nutrition. Before completing her first novel, In Her Shadow, she worked in the fashion, film and wellness industries, wearing hats ranging from Parisian runway model to culinary coach.

I first became acquainted with August through Twitter and then Facebook and it was immediately obvious that we had several interests in common. Like my protagonist Kate in my (soon to be released) novel Love & the Goddess, August is fascinated by myths and fairy tales. Take time to sit back and listen to her sing the beautiful song she composed. There is no end to this girl’s talents!

Cinderella Strong

Taken literally, one could argue—and numerous have—that Disney’s Cinderella is a passive woman who does nothing to improve her dismal situation. Rather than stand up to her evil step-family or step out on her own, she relies on others—singsong mice, her fairy godmother and a handsome prince. She makes wishes, and they do the dirty work. Her prize? A beauty makeover and happily ever after with Bachelor #1.

In the 1980s, psychologist Colette Dowling presented similar views her best-selling book  ‘Cinderella Complex: Woman’s Hidden Fear of Independence‘.  (It’s a fascinating read, if you’re interested.)

But what if Cinderella is entirely metaphorical? Here’s what I see:

  • Cinderella’s mice represent her spirit, prodding her to believe in “the dreams [her] heart makes?” Our hearts recognize our dreams before we can pursue them.
  • The evil step-family illustrates the naysayers in life—people, including ourselves, who tell us to stop striving, that our goals and pursuits are foolish, that we’re destined to live out our lives doing undesirable work, caring for everyone but ourselves.
  • The fairy godmother is Cinderella’s muse—the inner voice that prompts us to step out of our comfort zones and toward our passion.
  • The glowing gown she wears reflects how she feels once she begins honing in on her dreams. Once we find the “shoe” (life path) that fits, we stands a bit taller, and our inner-beauty shines outward.
  • Reverting to her “raggedy” self at midnight represents the time, rest and self-care personal growth requires. There are no quick fixes. We all face risks and challenges along the way. If we embrace them, they can help make us strong.
  • And speaking of passion, the hunky prince represents the handsome life Cinderella eventually obtains, and the chivalry she finally shows herself. Once that happens, the world is her stage to dance on. Sure, we might get blisters now and then, and every step won’t be graceful, but we’re free to live happy, authentic lives.

Ever seen bits of Cinderella in yourself? I know I have. I wrote this song while enduring a tough time. By the time I made this video, those “dirty floors” were behind me. I’d also started writing my first novel. (Its pages have a special cameo. ;) ) I first posted this video last fall. By August Mclaughlin at

3 responses to “August McLaughlin Guest Blogger”

  1. Mary says:

    Thank you so much August for being a wonderful guest blogger. I love the way you explain the symbols in the story. At face value it seems as if Cinderella needs a fairy godmother, a beautiful gown and a handsome prince to make her happy. When we look deeper we see these are all metaphors for an aspect of ourselves; – that we have the inner resources to make us happy. It is simply a matter of ignoring the voice of negativity and tapping into them. By loving and accepting ourselves exactly as we are, we become our own fairy godmothers. When we radiate love, that in turn usually attracts outer abundance into our lives.

  2. El Farris says:

    This is a fascinating take on Cinderella, August! I do think that her step-family represents naysayers, and everytime I watch or listen to the story (with three kids, that’s quite often), I always cheer her on. It’s interesting. I’d always thought of Cinderella as too passive, but now I gotta rethink that! Good stuff!!

  3. Mary says:

    Thanks for visiting El.
    You’re right – we all took these fairy stories at face value when we were younger. In the case of Cinderella, it’s easy to think of her as passive and the Barbie doll series of fairy tale heroines certainly encouraged that. At age 4- 5, my youngest daughter could leave me in the shade when it came to interpreting metaphors in stories and art. Once we nudge them to look below the surface, we see that children really get the message of the story.

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