I grew up in what I like to think of as Disney's golden age. I know every word of every single song from The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin, in addition to most of the others before and after. To make my love of these Disney movies clear, let me tell you how I spent much of my elementary years: I collected Beauty and the Beast trading cards, slept on Beauty and the Beast sheets, played with my TWO sets of Beauty and the Beast Barbies, along with my Jasmine and Esmeralda Barbies, too. There is not a single part of me that to this day doesn't love most things Disney and all things Beauty and the Beast. I love the princesses. I love it all.
But I will not ever refer to my daughter as "Princess."
Some of you may call your daughters, nieces, etc. "Princess," but I just can. not. do. it. I can't stomach it.
In my mind, princesses are wonderful for dress up, Disney, Barbies, and pretend. Who doesn't love a good dress-up session and a tiara? But in reality, there are few things I hate more than a girl (or worse-- a woman!) with a princess complex.
I've felt this way for years. I recall a friend in high school cheekily giving me a gift of a throw pillow that was pink camouflage, emblazoned with the word "princess." They knew then what my husband knows now: I loathe the princess complex.
1. Often, girls who grow up hearing they're a princess tend to think a little much of themselves. Girls should believe they're beautiful, smart, valuable, and talented without thinking they're someone who deserves some kind of special treatment. They sometimes begin to expect a certain level of attention and admiration from everyone. I'm sorry, but if you're not Princess Kate, you're not getting princess treatment from me, anyway.
2. Sometimes girls with the princess complex feel the need to be rescued and/or romanced by their Prince Charming. Not realistic. Not healthy. Girls are valuable on their own. They are strong, smart, and brave, and if God blesses them with a husband (who will not be a prince and not always be charming), then they'll have a partner to live life with. But if they don't, they're still capable of a rich, full life.
3. Being a princess implies that others are not. We can't all be princesses, can we? Some of us must be commoners, after all. Those with the princess complex sometimes choose who the "commoners" are and make them feel as such. Mean girls, you know who you are.
4. I don't think girls need to be told they are something they're not (like "Princess," which also sounds like a poodle's name-- just saying.). I think girls should be told often what they actually are: fearfully and wonderfully made; works-in-progress; sinners with an opportunity to be saved by grace; made in God's image; valuable; servants for God.
So please don't call my daughter "Princess." She's not a princess, but she is beautifully crafted by God to use her abilities to glorify Him. Believe me, I'm sure we'll have plenty of princess playtime... but that doesn't mean she has to be a princess. Thank goodness. Now don't hate me... remember all the Disney paraphernalia?!?! :)