I grew up in a world of Princesses waiting for their Prince Charmings to save them. A land of mystery and make-believe. I didn't see these princesses on tv (as my kids do today), but rather through words. I devoured books like chocolate, constantly reading (and re-reading) a never-ending supply of books from home and the local library. No one told me I couldn't, no where was it stated that in my land of make-believe, with princesses and horses and murder and secret clocks, my life would be outwardly affected. You know, the way it is today. As quickly as Disney creates a new princess movie, the media and people around me complain about how we need to stop the princess syndrome, we need to teach our little girls independence, we need to show them that it's not necessary to wait for Prince Charming to ride up on a white horse and slay that dragon.
Now I hear about how inappropriate Barbies are because they create a false sense of body image, that girls are too into their fantasy worlds with princesses and queens (but apparently Hogwarts are ok), that we need to protect our girls from society and their extreme images of beauty. I get that. I totally agree. We need to do more to get our girls into STEM programs. We need to have a woman president. We need to have more securities in place so that mothers can have babies and work full time, without the constant pressure I feel every day to be perfect. We need to not force our mothers to go back to work when their babies are less than three months old and pump behind closed doors, rushing home at night to feed their kids dinner, get them to sports, and help with homework, all while trying to clean the house, do the laundry, exercise, and all the other million of things every mother does every day.
So yes, while I am pro-women, I am also pro-princess. I can't imagine living the chaotic life I live without fantasy. Without imagination. Without the ability to lock myself up for a few minutes every day and pretend. I read books when I can, mostly paranormal mysteries with fairies and vampires and witches. I watch movies, immersing myself for a couple hours in worlds with hot guys and explosions and cars that morph into transformers. I secretly write stories of magic and mystery in my head and sometimes on paper. I couldn't have done any of this without that magical (and now controversial) world of princesses that I grew up with.
And you know what? All those years of playing with perfectly proportioned dolls and tiaras and wishing for a prince to come save me have made me who I am today. And I'm a pretty damn fine person. I am a mother of three wonderfully obnoxious children who assert themselves quite often. I work full-time in higher education, coordinating graduation and transfer for 800 students (and that was just in May and June). I have my own prince - a hot, tattooed athlete who does Ironmans. I'm on the board for my twins club, home and school association, and a professional academic association. Sometimes I run, sometimes I read books. Either way, today I know I look really good in this skirt and heels I'm wearing.
Confidence is what ours girls need, and I feel that I'm confidently showing my daughter - and my two sons - about how to grow up with a balance of fun and hard work, love and chaos, and reality and fantasy.