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November 28, 2013
The Secret Life of Molly
You are Not a Princess
by Hannah Bird

That is it. I have officially had it. My Pinterest feed included Disney Princess themed engagement rings.

Up with this, I shall not put. Do I even need to mention that if you want a Disney Princess themed engagement ring perhaps you should postpone engagement in favor of finishing middle school or therapy?

You are not a princess and your daughter isn’t either. And don’t give me the “Daughter of a King” shtick. Sure. You are that kind of Princess. But that has nothing to do with the pastel miasma covering the nation. You are not a princess. And rather than making your adult life princess themed, you ought to be thanking your lucky stars.

You are not a princess. So you will get to make decisions about who you marry and when. Your partner will not be an incontinent nonagenarian that your parents pick to forge an alliance with the neighboring state that keeps attacking them.

No one married you off or had you engaged before you were in kindergarten. You got to go to kindergarten. You actually have to consent to marry and you can even pick someone your parents don’t like.

You are not a princess. So if you don’t produce a solid run of healthy male heirs in a timely manner, no one is going to off you. You did not have to submit to a pap smear in front of all your future in-laws before the wedding to prove that all the heirs would be theirs.

Your girl children will not live in fear of their uncles or cousins brutally killing them. Also, you will not have to consent to marry any of your daughters off to creepy, way too close relatives to keep power in the family.

Ok, you say — you don’t mean that kind of princess. You don’t want to be a drafty castle, losing children to basic diseases and end up locked in a tower by your own kind of princess. You want to be a movie kind of princess.

No. No you don’t.

You are not a princess. So you can make up your own story. You are not at the mercy of a narrator or a writer. You can have the adventures that delight you even if they aren’t a universal enough draw for a feature film. This means you can go to grad school. You can have weird hobbies. You can love stuff that no one else loves. You can lose all reason and buy a shabby little farm. Have at it.

You are not a princess. There will be no Prince Charming. But there will be dragons. And they will need slaying. You should probably get right on that. The dragons will not be vanquished with a sword or secret key. They will not turn into Prince Charming in chapter three (I’m telling you — he isn’t coming).

You may get to kill the same dragon every day for a very long time. But while slaying dragons is exhausting and scary, there is no better feeling than having slain one. So keep swinging.

You are not a princess. You can deal with real life. We have driven our movie princesses so mad with frustration that they think animals talk to them. That isn’t royalty. That is a mental health condition that is easily treatable thanks to modern medicine. If you are chatting with bluebirds, please look into that. If not, thank your lucky (but entirely figurative) stars for your sanity.

You are not a princess. The people in your life are not minor players. They are the stars of their own show. They are flawed and wonderful. Your spouse will have shortcomings. Consider for example his taste in women…. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t perfect for you.

The people you don’t get along with are (mostly) not evil masterminds. They have their own side of the story in which you may not come off quite as innocent as you’d like. This makes the world infinitely more interesting than one peopled by caricatures.

You are not a princess. So you can wear more than just pastel colors. Your value isn’t in your youth and beauty. You can be chubby and still go to the ball. You can wear sweatpants and excel at life. Your hair can turn grey and you don’t have to switch from being a princess to the evil witch. Unless that’s your thing.

You are not a princess. You are something better. You are a woman.

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