Okay, so I was not born into royalty, my mother is not a “queen” although I went to high school with a bunch of them. I’ve read my share of fairy tales, I’ve even met a Prince Charming or two. But I love the line from “Into the Woods” by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine where Prince Charming explains: “I was born to be charming, not sincere.” We’ve all dealt with our fair share of those sorts of Princes.
In one sense, I am a princess by birth because I was the only child of my parents marriage, they each had children from other marriages, but I was the last one, the “baby” spoiled, not rotten, but spoiled. I also benefitted from the fact that my parents had raised other children before I came along, so when I did show up, they knew what they were doing. Too many princesses we see today, those celebrity chicks running around on the red carpets, prancing through the “reality” television stratosphere, all look to me like they could use some parenting, and quick.
It doesn’t surprise me that there are a slew of “Snow White” remakes coming out on television and in film, because the archetype is such a powerful one. She’s the prize, she gets to wear all the best clothes, every one wants to be near her, she is special! Doesn’t every girl want to be special? She’s royal, she will be queen and she will rule her kingdom, anyone interesting in having that kind of power?
But, just as Spiderman learned that “with great power comes great responsibility” so too, there is great responsibility being a princess. Look at Kate Middleton, if I had that many people watching me at my wedding, I’d go Bridezilla-ballistic. For the rest of her life, there will never be a day when she can walk out of her house in her sweatpants with no make-up without it making headline news the next day. And let’s not even talk about Princess Diana, no one wants Kate to suffer that fate.
I’ve had the idea of Princess on my mind as I’ve been researching the life and times of Victoria Kaʻiulani Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kawēkiu i Lunalilo Cleghorn (1875–1899). Her story is a sad one, born into the Hawaiian royalty, Heir Apparent to the Hawaiian throne, only to see her country stolen out from under her when it was “annexed” by the United States. She was raised to be a ruler, to lead her people, and never had the chance to do it. She died at age 23, a young, beautiful woman who never got the chance to see if she could live up to the expectation of what being a ruler really means.
But is it possible to be the princess of your own life? Without submitting to all the forces who would be more than happy to make us look like a princess on the outside. Billions of dollars are spent every year by women (me included) on the right make-up, the right hair products, the clothes, the shoes, the Botox, the tummy tucks, the vanity of it all.
I’m no beauty queen (I save that for my drag friends, they do it so much better) but I do care about how I look, not so much that I worry about being judged by others, but because I care about myself. When I know I look good, I’m more confident, and when I’m more confident in myself, I can give more of myself to others. It’s sort of nobles oblige by Sephora.
Okay girls, let me know, how do you care and feed your inner princess? What makes you feel special, in a royal way, that lets you do all you can for your friends and family? Can we promote “princess power” in our families and communities? And guys, tell us what you think of when you think of a real life princess. Thanks for stopping by. All comments will be sprinkled with princess dust, 100% guaranteed.