Whether you're old enough to remember Princess Grace and Princess Diana, or if you're idea of a real princess is Kate Middleton, the fascination with royals will never go away. They've been the subject of stories and movies for ever, it seems. At age three or four, is when most young girls begin to identify with princesses. She'll want a tiara, the glittery shoes and, of course, the big flouncy dress. From this age on, the Princess Fantasy never really dies.
Feminism has tried to destruct the princess myth and has chocked it up to a form of hypnotism designed to "seduce women into marriage and passivity, by teaching them that their real life doesn't begin until they get that kiss from the handsome prince." But if you look closely at the princess archetype, the feminists have it all wrong. Princesses are historically about power and the recognition of the "true self," much the way young boys are fascinated with action heroes. What other feminine role can issue a single sentence and have the world at their feet? Princesses, both real and imaginary, can command an army, break open a treasury or, with just their mere presence, bestow magic and and a sense of excitement on their world around them. That's pretty powerful stuff! Princesses are more benevolent than, say, pop stars, are are generally much better behaved. They wield more power than female politicians and are certainly better dressed! Whereas fashion models are seen as disposable, princesses are enduring...their magic lasting far beyond their mortal life. They aren't as stressed out, either, as today's corporate women are. What girl today, having few other worthy role models to follow, wouldn't chose to be a princess?
Princess Diana has been analyzed for decades, but very few researchers have given her credit for being a genuine subversive to Britain's class system. Even today, most people still focus only on her beauty, but there is so much more to her. She saw her role as an opportunity to use her voice and her status to make lives better for many in her homeland of Great Britain, but also well beyond those borders. She was not conventionally well-educated, yet was smart and analytical. She saw a need and used her position to make significant changes in Britain's rigid class-system.
The job description of princess has changed through the years. It no longer viewed as a backseat position to King, Queen, and Prince...where her only job is to look beautiful. Princessing today is a good, but hard-working job and requires the tiara-wearer to juggle many balls and balance a career, motherhood, and social activities...just like any other working woman. So let's give a big cheer for all the young, and no-longer-young princesses and princess-wannabees! There are certainly worse aspirations.
How to celebrate this weekend? Get your princess's "ballgown" out of the mothballs, dust of her glittery shoes, and roll out the red carpet. Bring a smile to her face. Treat her to a day of activities befitting HRH (Her Royal Highness). And don't forget to use #NationalPrincessDay on all your social media.
PS. Please remember to treat your adult princess with extra love and attention, too. Just because a girl is grown up, doesn't mean she's given up the princess dream. This weekend, show her she'll always be royalty to you.
"Behaving like a princess is work. It's not just about looking beautiful or wearing a crown. It's more about how you are inside." ~ Julie Andrews
"Kissing the frog to get the handsome prince, is a waste of a perfectly good frog."
~ Cameron Diaz. And I couldn't agree more! Have a great weekend, everybody.