I’ve known pretty much since I came tumbling out of the womb that I was cut out for princess life.
See? Princessing in my blood…
But, until Disney released Brave and I fell in love with everyone’s favorite animated redhead, I didn’t have a specific princess I loved exclusively.
I sorta loved each of the princesses generally and wanted to be ALL of them when I grew up. I think it’s super cool that princesses of today are more diverse, but I can honestly say that the fact that none of them looked anything like me did little to discourage the pipe dream that one day some dude with a white Porsche horse, impeccable hair, rippling muscles, and a pocket full of cash would come riding up and swoop me off my feet.
I knew that was gonna go down. I just needed to wait and be selective and junk.
So that didn’t really pan out, but I can’t complain since I think I’m living a pretty sweet life despite the fact that my “prince” drives a certified pre-owned used car, doesn’t have a scrap of hair on his head or a rippling anything on his body, and fills his pockets with sunflower seeds and grocery store discount cards.
Until The Dudes ruined it for me with their repetitive playing of Shrek, Princess Fiona was my favorite fairy tale chick of all time. She was funny, and smart, and she could kick butt like a tights-clad dude. But, I was already knocked up with my first kid by the time sassy princesses that wind up looking like hairy green monsters were cool.
Belle, from Beauty and the Beast, was my kind of chick too.
At least she bucked tradition by loving to read.
And by not falling for the sexy, testosterone-fueled, guy all of the other chicks were digging.
Okay, a little bit me. I love Ryan Gosling’s abs as much as the next gal. But, I’m all over the reading part.
I can’t live life without a book.
Mimi says I also had a thing for Sleeping Beauty when I was little. I think that was my subconscious trying to prepare me for an exhausting, sleep deprived future. The way my life is now, I can sorta see how a girl could go to sleep and stay there for the next 15 years or so until she had a really good reason to wake up. And having a four year old tap on your head to tell you he is hungry at 3 am is NOT a good reason.
I could easily go into a discussion about how childhood princess worship perpetuates stereotypes and have a negative impact on the way little girls tend to see themselves and the world. But, I’ll save it because a) we’ve all already heard that junk, and b) it doesn’t stop a little girl from loving on sparkly tiaras or wanting to rock a dress like Cinderella. And everybody loves, love no matter how unrealistic and outlandish the depiction of it is.
Plus, I don’t think it really hurts. You know, if you also let your little princess know that they don’t need to wait for some egocentric prince of questionable intelligence to swoop in and attempt to save the day for them. And that, you can still be a princess (or deserve to be treated like one) even when you’re rocking combat boots (although, from a fashionable stand point, I don’t recommend it), or scrubs, or a rifle.
As a mom to Dudes I struggle with the prince-princess concept a little more than I think I would if I had a daughter.
If The Dudes were chicks, I’d probably go with: Be strong and brave and confident! You can do anything a boy can do!
But the Dude message is different. Sort of.
Sure I want my son’s to respect women and their independence. I want them to know that anything they can do girls can do better too. And I would never want them to think that a girl needs them and their big bad muscles to save the day.
Personally, I like being treated like a princess. I like having doors opened and seats pushed in. I like knowing that chivalry is not dead even if it is barely breathing. And, I’m not entirely above being taken care of a teeny bit by Dumb Dad. Especially since I take care of pretty much every other living thing in this place.
So, it’s difficult to help my boys find the balance: open the door, but don’t expect to pay. Don’t think she needs you, but be there if she does. Be prepared to face a formidable competitor, but be gentle!
We need a movie called The Respectful Prince Who Wants to Enjoy the Company of an Intelligent, Nice Girl Who He Would Never Insult by Questioning Her Independence or Internal Fortitude But Would Also Support Her in All Things While Expecting the Same in Return.
Get on that one m’kay, film industry!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Redbox. The opinions and text are all mine.