There was a self-help book I read a long time ago tailored towards tweens. I think I was still in elementary school when I read it, so a bit underage, but there was a specific portion of the book that said “Sadly, there’s not enough countries and castles for us all to be princesses, but that doesn’t mean you can’t act like one.” For some reason, that quote, from a book I can’t remember, has stuck with me all these years. It’s sort of like saying, dress for the job you want, not the job you have. I’m not a fan of that saying because most jobs have dress codes and uniforms, but it’s a similar context. On a recent trip to Disneyland, I spent some time watching the upcoming generation idolize Disney princesses. Little girls with their hair curled, their dresses on and their autograph books ready, eager to run up to a princess and announce that they wanted to be just like them one day. Well, why did we stop believing that? Similar to my tween self-help book, it’s not physically possible for us to have princess as our job title, but that doesn’t mean we have to put away our tiaras and accept normality.
Disney princesses have been getting a bad reputation recently in modern media, but I believe there’s still a lot of positive qualities and standards that we can hold ourselves to everyday.
Starting with, working hard to make your dream a reality.
Tiana is one of the most hardworking princesses in the Disney family. Similar to my advice in my previous blog post, she put effort into every moment of her life in order to achieve her end-goal. We could use a little bit of her motivation and drive in our lives, dontcha think? Dreams do not trust come true on their own (that would be pretty dang cool if they did). Tiana did not wish upon stars and expect all her dreams to come true, she got her hands dirty, even if some people may push you down along the way.
Which brings me to, having confidence in who you truly are.
Belle, gotta love her, really knew how to be her own person. While the rest of the village seemed to be on one page, she was already reading the next. She knew she was destined for something bigger than what people made her to be, and she stuck to it. Belle easily could’ve said, “You know, I could just change my hair a bit. Maybe read less. And just marry Gaston and I would have an average life amongst these people.” Nope. Not Belle. She fought for her family and most importantly, herself.
Our OG Disney princess, Snow White, reminds us of something that we probably all need to hear. Be thankful for what you have, instead of being envious of others. While Snow White maybe didn’t directly teach us this herself, but let’s observe the bigger picture. Snow White lived a happy life, completely content with who she was and the things around her. She never compared herself to anyone else and lived merry amongst the world. The Evil Queen on the other hand, was controlled by envy. It made her bitter and lonely. She wanted to be Snow White more than anything, but she believed it was her beauty that made her happy, not her mentality. Snow White honestly was just strolling along, living her best life, while the Evil Queen went into madness over comparison. We do this more than we think. We scroll on Instagram, looking at FaceTuned and staged pictures and think, man, I wish that was me. I wish that was what I looked like. Or what I was doing. I wish I was prettier or taller or married or single or at that university or working for that company, you get it. Instead of appreciating the life we are given, we get caught up in the life we want and grow unhappy with ourselves for no reason at all. That’s the Evil Queen coming through and you have the power to redirect your mindset.
In fact, Mulan teaches us how powerful we can actually be. Because being powerful is not defined by physical strength. In the opening scene of Mulan, she is not throwing swords and lifting weights. She is never defined as someone with athletic ability at all, actually. Her power roots from courage and bravery. She digs deep from within to find her inner power before she decides to you know, save China. Casual.
While sadly, we can’t all have royal crowns and gowns but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a princess at heart and a princess in all that you do in your life. Being a princess is so much more than marrying a prince and living a luxurious lifestyle. It’s living a life with kindness, compassion for others, confidence in yourself and courage against your challenges. And if you ask me, I think those are traits we all should live up to, dotcha think?