YMMV: Ballet Shoes

  • Fair for Its Day: Despite the Values Dissonance mentioned below, the book follows three young women who create successful careers for themselves - with no mention of having to marry husbands or anything like that.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Pauline playing the Fairy Godmother in a production of Cinderella. Pauline's actress Emma Watson was one of the choices to play Cinderella in the [[Film/Cinderella2015 2015 live action remake]]. What's more is that the role of the Godmother in that went to Watson's fellow Harry Potter cast member Helena Bonham Carter.
  • Hollywood Homely: Petrova and Winnifred in both movie adaptations.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Winnifred is a bratty little thing but it's hard not to feel sorry for her when Petrova gets the part of Mustard Seed when Winnifred is too late for the audition (Petrova not even wanting the role) and she's only trying to earn money to help her family.
  • Mary Sue: Pauline is a Reconstruction trope. She does have several Mary Sue traits - such as beauty, grace and charisma. She has no problem getting roles on the stage because of her beauty. But it's also made clear that beauty is the main reason and that she's a good actress but not as good as her rival Winifred. What's more is that her early success immediately goes to her head and she's punished for her Diva behaviour. She's able to learn from these mistakes and thus enjoys more success as a result of the Break the Haughty.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Posy does act incredibly selfish when Madame has a stroke and therefore can't teach her ballet anymore but her ballet career is another way of bringing money into the house and she was going to get those lessons for free so it's a huge blow.
    • Winifred reacts immaturely to Pauline getting the role of Alice over her, but then it would be upsetting and seem unfair to be told that you didn't get a role not because you did poorly, but because the other girl "looks right."
      • Being twelve and becoming aware that you're ugly is hard enough- that it's a valid reason for someone less qualified to get jobs ahead of you, when you're desperate for work, must be heartbreaking.
  • Values Dissonance: The book, published in 1937, uses a lot of language like "not really sisters" and "not your children" that many modern adoptive families would find heinous.
    • Possibly- in a further example- the constant underlining of their origins, and never referring to Sylvia as their mother- is because it's preferable to anyone thinking that Miss Brown's daughters are her own, and illegitimate..
    • When Sylvia can no longer afford to send the girls to a prestigious private school, it never occurs to anyone to send them to a regular school instead. Rather they are kept at home and taught by their unqualified guardian until the doctors volunteer to teach them. The unspoken implication in the novel is that of course genteel young girls like the Fossils couldn't be expected to attend school with coarse working-class children. This is made more explicit in the 2007 film where the boarders speak of awful accents the girls might pick up at a free school.
    • A lot of Pauline's attraction comes from her natural blonde hair. In the 1930s hair dye was around but not common - so blondes were still incredibly rare. Natural blonde hair was regarded as one of the high standards of beauty.