A Different Kind of Cinderella Story
We first meet Sara, la Señora Acero, during the culmination of her “Cinderella Story;” she is marrying the man of her dreams, the father of her son, and the brave and honorable man who rescued her from a past life. However, before she can reach her happily-ever-after, the Mexican drug cartel and her attempted rapist come for revenge and change her comfortable world and replace it with fear, murder, and money. What started out as the end of a “rosa” telenovela and your average Cinderella story becomes the story of a mother in the typical marianismo role who interrupts the rush of a machismo world. “Señora Acero” is advertised as the opposite of a rosa telenovela, but it is surprising that it begins in such a typical rosa way. I believe this is because there is an emphasis on Sara’s transformation from Sara to Señora Acero. This telenovela sends the message to women that they command power inside them that they only have to realize it for themselves. By beginning with a traditional rosa scene, the audience is able to witness Sara’s self-discovery and transformation into a woman able to take on the Mexican drug cartel.
Many viewers are drawn to telenovelas because of the romantic and dramatic love stories with unrealistic qualities that remind viewers of their own desires. “Señora Acero” presents a different kind of love story, however. Over and over Sara repeats that she would do anything for her son, Salvador, and it is this powerful love that drives her to take over her machismo-run world.
The average Cinderella is poor, rural, beautiful, pure, and naïve on a geographic journey among other things. In the beginning of the telenovela, Sara has already been saved by her Prince, Señor Acero, who has brought her into a new socioeconomic status where she lives a naïve life unaware of her husband’s dealings with the drug cartel and her sister’s hate. But the true transformation occurs when Sara finds out about her husband’s side business and witnesses his murder by drug dealer, Indio Amaro. From that point on, Sara Acero learns to rely on her own wits; she is incredibly intelligent and hardworking unlike the traditional Cinderella. She then begins a geographic journey with her only son, Salvador, to escape her husband’s killers and it is this initial escape that prompts Sara’s transformation into a woman who decides her own fate outside of cultural expectations.
Sara, la Señora Acero, also experiences an additional socioeconomic ascension. After spending upwards of seven years in the comfort of her husband’s money, his death brings on a dramatic decrease to the point where Sara is living off of the generosity of others. After struggling to provide for her son, begging for a taste of generosity and stealing from convenience stores, Sara remembers Señor Acero’s words and recovers the $3 million that he left her, again achieving another socioeconomic leap.
While I still have over 50 episodes of “Señora Acero” to watch, it is already evident that this particular telenovela is marketed to a new generation of women ready for change (probably not as drastic as Sara’s), but change nonetheless. Witnessing Sara be cut off from any man who could help her, Sara is forced by fate to become a woman she did not know previously existed. She discovers that she is cunning, intelligent and brave; her transformation is representative of a new kind of Cinderella.