If the Shoe Fits… Cinderella’s Glass Slipper

1st August, 2011 - Posted by DisAnim - Comments Off on If the Shoe Fits… Cinderella’s Glass Slipper

Disney Cinderella

As the duke mentions, that glass slipper could have fit any number of girls. Well, what if it had fit someone else? Or what if the Cinderella story we all know and love is really just a cover-up by a servant girl who happened to fit into some other lady’s glass slipper? (I’m surprised no one has written a story about that yet…) While these are pretty interesting scenarios, my purpose today is to consider how small Cinderella’s foot really had to be in order to be distinct enough that no one else could fit into the glass slipper.

A U.S. report suggested that the lower fifth percentile of women have a foot size of about 8.5 inches. That means that 95% of all women have a larger foot than that. Of course, supposing that Cinderella’s foot size was exactly that, fewer than 5% of women would be able to fit into the slipper because a large portion of the remaining 5% would have a smaller foot. So how many have exactly that size? I don’t know… less than 1%?

Let’s take it a step further, however. At the end of the movie, we get to see the duke put the slipper on her foot. He seems like a reasonably tall guy, so we’ll suppose that he had rather large hands too. Even so, they dwarf Cinderella’s feet (which is pretty remarkable, considering that I’m a lot taller than my wife, but her feet are still longer than my hands). Using this, I estimate Cinderella’s feet to be 5-6 inches long. If this doesn’t put this in perspective for you, you would need to have a shoe size of -1 or -2 (U.S. women’s size). Basically, she’s wearing children’s shoes. For not being subjected to Chinese foot-binding, that’s an incredibly small foot.

Of course, people several centuries ago likely had smaller body size than we do now, but that still would have been an extremely small foot. By my completely unscientific calculated guess, I suspect that Cinderella’s foot size was matched by about 0.01-0.3% of the population or maybe even less. This would be somewhere around 1-30 in 10,000.

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Posted on: August 1, 2011

Filed under: 12 - Cinderella, Extra Topics

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