If I could only watch one movie for the rest of my life, then it would probably be Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
I fell in love with the movie from the moment I first watched it, when I was about 10 years old. Having read books and watched movies about the original Disney princesses, I’d already bought into the idea that these royal characters were supposed to have fair skin and silky hair. In fact, the mere idea of a Black girl being a princess was so foreign to me that I could never truly imagine myself sporting a tiara and living like royalty.
But then came the remake (it was originally written for TV back in 1957) of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella—the groundbreaking, Emmy Award-winning film that would make history as the first Cinderella adaptation to feature a racially diverse cast. From the addictive musical numbers to the colorful costume design, I was instantly enthralled. But more importantly, for an hour and 40 minutes, I got to live in a world where Black princesses were real, and where majestic queens could have dreadlocks and rich, dark skin.
Simply put, this movie made me feel seen and, suddenly, the idea of being a princess myself didn't sound so...impossible. It's why I proceeded to watch the musical on VHS at least a dozen more times (and why the music still gives me all the feels to this day).