Dear Fairy Godmother,

My father is getting remarried and I’m a little nervous. I’ve heard so many stories of wicked stepmothers. How do I know if my new stepmother is nice, and what do I do if she’s evil?

A Scared Stepdaughter-to-be

Dear Stepdaughter-to-be,

It’s natural to be nervous in such a case as this. My advice to you is two-fold.

First, how to tell if you are the unfortunate victim of a wicked stepmother. There are seven basic signs to watch for.

1. She is vain. If she is always boasting about being the fairest in the land, and shows any signs of jealousy towards you, it is likely she is a wicked stepmother. We call this a “Snow White” situation.

2. She makes you wear ratty clothes. This ties into the “Snow White” situation. If your vain stepmother fears you are prettier than her, she may try to make you look uglier by dressing you in rags.

3. She makes you do housework. Now, there is a difference between having to do chores and being forced to do all the housework. This isn’t really a deciding factor, just a common side effect.

4. She keeps you away from other people. Another sign of an evil stepmother is imposed isolation. Consider Rapunzel. While the witch was not exactly a stepmother, she posed as Rapunzel’s mom. She hid the girl in a tower so she wouldn’t suspect the witch was up to no good. 

5. She gives you derogatory nicknames. Wicked stepmothers often insult and speak harshly to their stepchildren. In some cases, it can go so far as their names. Like Cinderella, the new name is often demeaning.

6. She attempts to curse you.One of the more obvious signs of an evil stepmother, be wary of stepmothers who attempt to curse you. Like in The Wild Swans, wicked stepmothers will try to curse their stepchildren in order to get rid of them.

7. She attempts to kill you or have you killed. This is the surest sign of a wicked stepmother. If you find yourself in such a situation, like Hansel and Gretel, run away as soon as you can!

If any of these signs show up in your relationship with your new stepmother, you may be eligible for a wish from your nearest Fairy Godmother. Please spend it wisely!

And don’t forget, never stop dreaming!

Your Fairy Godmother

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