The Contemporary Princess
I have a
guilty pleasure to confess: Fairy-tales are still my favorite kind of stories.
They have been ever since I was a little girl and my mom’s family introduced me
to a red-headed young girl who dreamt of life on land and had the voice of an
angel. After that, I was infatuated with this girl who was not just a beautiful
figure in a fairy-tale world but a princess – from the songs to the clothing, or
so I am told. Naturally, I have no memory of that. It isn’t just the dashing
hero who travels through fire and thorns to bestow a kiss on his love in the
only hope of saving her (although that kind of heroics don’t ruin the effect)
or the pretty music but the world in which it takes us into that captures us as
a viewer. Really it is a lot more than that. There is a magical quality to the
world we journey to that gives its viewer a glimpse of a world we will never
know. Today that world is more than just a girl with a pretty face and a guy
who arrives in the knick of time to rescue her. No, indeed, according to our
culture, the girl can disarm the bandits, reject what she knows is the poisoned
apple and take back her kingdom all while still managing to look pretty as a
picture. Talk about, all in a day’s work, huh?
Female empowerment is just one taboo pc subject that has been gaining momentum ever since the 1900’s and the birth of the suffragette movement. So then, the question, if we do not want to present the woman as the “weaker” sex – why do we still love it when at the end credits, the guy still rescues the girl?
Or most of the time that adage proves true…
Sometimes, they are just kissing in the rain, an open-ended acceptance that the girl who met the boy has indeed “accepted” him.
Happily-ever-after has been getting a facelift of sorts. It seems like we cannot page through the TV guide, pursue our favorite film database web page or look at upcoming box office listings without seeing headlines about the next fairy-tale re-telling about to invade our entertainment lives. It is a trend that I am obsessing over (in a healthy way, of course). Ten years ago a little movie no one thought anything off appeared on the big-screen. It was The Princess Diaries. It tells from story of the 21st century teen Mia Thermopalis who is not just a social leper but also learns she is actually a real-life princess. Vaguely do I remember when first I saw it. It was Christmas and my parents had bought it for Liz and I. Since we were celebrating with my aunt’s family, it wasn’t Christmas day and my dad was late getting home from work needless to say, us girls were about to die with anticipation because we had been promised that we could watch the movie for the FIRST TIME that very night and we were ecstatic – after all, it was about a princess! What more could any young girl wish for?
More recently, I saw Mirror Mirror in the theaters in which Snow (the princess) is a delicate beauty who is not afraid of defending herself against the people who would see her kingdom stolen from her. In this depiction, writers captured a nearly perfect female (princess) protagonist. She was pretty, from the inside out (as much as any Hollywood heroine can be), had class, knew how to defend herself and was, all-around extraordinary. Both Mia and Snow were strong characters albeit very different. Neither one are bad influences as young women. Any female protagonist today is presented as a woman who may not need a man but they are always in love with their male counterpart, a soul mate by story’s end. Mia’s story may be more uncertain as to whether or not she’ll say “I do” to her perfect guy but he is there as her ideal. Confidant, strong and career-minded is the modern woman today. It isn’t wrong to be independent so long as we learn to accept and ask for help when and if we need it. I actually believe it to be something “good” when young women embrace this. Today’s world almost demands that we as a modern, forward-thinking young lady be of an independent mind. Being raised by a different approach about things like dating and other “worldly” pursuits has given me a perspective in which I try (notice the emphasis) to see things from the perception of a girl who is not of the world but must survive in it. Being true to ourselves is not always easy. We whine about the things we hate about ourselves, boast about the talents we may have been blessed with and often forget that healthy pride and outright boasting are on opposite sides of a spectrum.
Adapting in a world that may intimidate or ridicule us because we believe things should happen in the “proper” order (Biblical) or perhaps we are convicted to stay home to raise our children is not an easy decision but God didn’t promise us that. Christ sees in us a precious child no matter what we chose, and our Father is the King of Kings. Let’s see Hollywood top that – that is no fairy-tale.