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.
I aspire to be a princess, honestly I do. 🙂
I now dub thee, Princess Pru Supreme. There ya go!
Oh, that’s sad…how did she die at 23? You’ve got me curious now. I really feel able to handle life better when I’m taking care of myself…not necessarily the whole dress-up thing, but eating right, exercising, beauty sleep, etc. I do love a good princess story, though!
Hi Shannon, Princess Kaiulani seems to have had some kind of auto-immune condition, it is hard to tell by the medical terms listed in 1899. Very sad story, she was very beautiful, she was educated in England and traveled through Europe, only to return home to find her country had been taken over.
My daughter went to Princess Kaiulani’s palace in Honolulu and kept asking “She was a real-life princess? For real?” with eyes the size of saucers. It cracked me up.
Fabio, I know it is hard, but the princess thing is really vital to girls as they grow up. I think for young girls, it’s the first test of finding their own identity in the world. Princesses can be positive role models if you put it in perspective.
Oops, I think you misinterpreted me. I agree with you. (I actually made a point of introducing her to “Mulan”, _my_ favorite princess for several reasons.)
I just meant she couldn’t cope with the idea of princesses outside the Disney universe. Right after that, we got her the “Daring Book For Girls” with a chapter dedicated to contemporary real-life princesses.
What a great description of a real princess. Can’t say I pamper my inner princess, but I feel like the ruler of my own life.
Love this post, Rachel! So glad to hear that treating yourself like a princess and feeling great about how you look rather than judging are priorities for you. It took me a long time to embrace such lessons… since I have, life is so much better. 🙂
I feel princess-like when I wear my favorite jeans, boots and a sweater…when I actually DO my hair (as in blow dry, style, etc. ;)), wear shiny lip gloss, treat myself to chocolatey desserts and spend time laughing and chatting with friends.
Hello Princess Rachel. I am Princess, hear me roar! This was a great post! I’m the baby in my family and the only girl, but then again, my brother is the eldest and the only boy, so the spoiled thing runs both ways in my house. He got the better car, the better graduation gift, the use of our only landline telephone more than anyone else. But alas, I got the more expensive wedding, the better flowers at prom, more time in the bathroom. It all comes out in the wash.
My inner princess loves to get dressed up, so much so, that I often draw stares when I walk down the street. I can go a little overboard on my morning accessorizing. I wear glitter and sequins just to go to the office, high heels with jeans and sparkly earrings with just about everything. It’s princess bling. You can’t have one without the other. I almost always wear eye make-up and spend too much time on my hair. I’m not vain really, I just love to look as perfect as possible. It’s a confidence thing for me. I don’t feel like I’m going to work if I’m not dressed up (I’m a paralegal so dressing the part is important). Appropriate office attire for me involves pantyhose and high heels.
I eat princess food and drink expensive wine too. I even use my crystal glasses and china plates. Now granted I have no children so this option is affordable for me.
Life is good when you’re a princess!
I just wish I could afford a princess car, and boat, and mansion, and yacht and trips to exotic places, but I am thankful to have the good things I have and blessed to have good health.
Thanks for the reminder post that I am a princess.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Dearest Jansen Princess, so delightful to hear from you. What is it about sparkly things that just perks a girl up? I try to explain that to my husband and he just doesn’t get it. I’m so glad you’ve found your happy princess space. the only make-up my mother ever wore was red lipstick and Chanel #5 so I had to go out and learn all the fun, girly-girl stuff on my own. But I got to make it my own, and that’s the happy space we all need to find. Tossing some glitter your way!
Growing up, I was too responsible to be a ‘princess’. there were important things to do for my family – things that mattered. I have had such a hard time recovering some the need to be needed. So it’s only in my 50s that I learned to take great care of myself. After I left my husband, and I lived alone, I had responsibility only for myself and it was wonderful. And then I became the uber princess – doing exactly what I wanted, when I wanted. it was wonderful. I still take good care of myself but life changes and so has my time (ie I’ve taken Kristen’s class )
I’m so glad you are nurturing your inner princess. As women, we do take on so much and for many of us it is important to realize that if we don’t nurture ourselves, no else is going to. That you can’t keep going to the well if it’s empty. For me, one of the hardest lessons has been learning to say “no” and knowing my limitations. Thanks so much for stopping by.
Well said Rachel!
We girls are all princesses! We should all be treated as such. And no it has nothing to do with money.
It has everything to do with our self esteem, how we treat ourselves and how others treat us, especially our mates, our husbands. I forturnately have a wonderful husband who has always treated me like a princess. That was not the case when I was a child. So I lavish in his sweet attention. 🙂
Thank you for this great post!!!!
Beautiful, beautiful picture by the way! 🙂