Thursday, September 3, 2015

Blog Post 1: A Different Kind of Cinderella Story

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.


3 comments:

  1. Hi Elizabeth,

    I think your post is very interesting and insightful. I was tempted to watch “Señora Acero” because the trailer is very compelling, but I strayed from the intensity in favor of something more light-hearted. However, I look forward to reading more of your analysis as you continue watching this telenovela.

    Something I discovered that I think supports the points you made in your blog post is that the title of the telenovela was first “Mujer de Acero,” but was changed to “Señora Acero,” which I believe directly reflects the empowerment of the protagonist and her life as an independent woman after the murder of her husband. I really love that this telenovela will focus on the mother-son relationship and empower Sara to represent a strong woman in society. This is a shift we can see across many outlets in modern society (film, television, etc.) – classic “Cinderella” transforming into, as you stated, “[a] cunning, intelligent and brave” female lead.

    One question I have for you is, do you think the biggest fans of “Señora Acero” will be women who can relate to her and may hold a similar role (not necessarily the murder of a husband, but just a strong independent woman) or do you think women who may lead a more traditional, conservative lifestyle will enjoy this telenovela as an escape from reality? I’m sure there is a mix of younger and older viewers, but I’d be curious to see what the viewer demographics are for this telenovela.

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  2. Elizabeth,

    Your post is very interesting, thanks for providing such great insight! When looking into telenovelas, I also looked at Señora Acero. From just watching a few minutes of the first episode, it definitely appeared to be a telenovela in support of women and their potential power in society. From your description too, I can see that my first thoughts about the telenovela were indeed fairly accurate.

    Interestingly enough, though, as I was reading through your description I had an idea pop into my head. You discuss in your post how Señora Acero falls into the "Rosa" category because of its focus on the transformation of Sara from a naive, beautiful wife and mother to becoming a powerful and courageous woman who must fight on her own to survive. What I’m wondering is whether or not the producer’s idea to let Señora Acero find the $3 million from her husband was an attempt to once again, depict her reliance on her husband’s job and money. In the end, it seems as though she and her son are brought back into socioeconomic comfort through her husband and not as much through her own attempts to find money. Is it possible that without that money, Sara is not able to provide for her son, the one thing that society expects women to be able to do? To me, this could be seen as a criticism of the woman’s role in society. Can the woman even perform her natural role well enough without the support of a husband?

    Although I am not watching this telenovela and you have a way better idea of Sara’s role in the show, it does seem interesting that her husband’s past continues to play a significant role in her present comfort and success. Let me know what you think!

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  3. Great insights!

    However this one thing though - you said that Sara Acero is hardworking UNLIKE a traditional Cinderella...I'm going to disagree. I think the traditional Cinderella is a hardworking individual. I agree that Senora is a nontraditional Cinderella, and I agree with the rest of your analysis.

    For me, the traditional Cinderella is a naive girl, yes, but she is also very hardworking. The idea is that if she works hard and does what she is supposed to, she then reaches a higher socioeconomic status and a husband, and so on.

    As I said, I agree with the rest of your analysis. I really like how you said that the novela begins "during the culmination of her Cinderella Story." That's a cool concept.

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