Alright, I admit it. When I was younger, I had dreams of growing up to be a princess. Like it was job or something. I wanted to be a princess when I got older. It did not matter how feasible (or not) I perceived this to be. I was determined to make it happen.
My third grade teacher gave us writing prompts all the time and the only one I still remember had to do with us writing down three things we wanted to do/be when we grew up. I can’t remember two of my answers, but one for sure was I wanted to be a princess and maybe live in a tower or something. Not sure why I thought living in a tower seemed like a great life choice, but if I was a princess, I would have other, more glamorous things to do. Here is an outline of why I wanted to be a princess when I grew up:
1. Blame my parents
I was the first born. I was the perfect little angel sent down from heaven to bless my parents and I could do nothing wrong. I was made of sugar and spice and everything nice. I owned that description as a child. As a result, my parents would occasionally call me their little princess, which was obviously true. Talk about misleading to a daughter who dreams of living and breathing and embodying that as a lifestyle. And when your parents call you a little princess, obviously you believe them because they are your PARENTS. Would they really lie to you? No. (Yes.)
2. “I am a princess. All girls are.” – actual proof
I used to watch this movie all the time and I’m sure I’ve read the book a few times, too. The title clearly appealed to my interests and I actually broke down and bought the movie a few years ago for $5 at Walmart. (What a steal! It’s worth way more…but as a broke college student, I forked over the low amount). Anyone else remember the part in the movie where Sara, the little princess in question (who’s not actually a princess with a tower and all that, but I digress) is arguing with the mean lady of the orphanage or wherever she’s staying? They argue about Sara being a princess and then Sara says this gem: “I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty or smart or young. They’re still princesses. All of us. Didn’t your father ever tell you that? Didn’t he?” YES HE DID, SARA. YES HE DID. Sara basically said I was a princess in the movie. Therefore, it was truth. Boom.
3. Pretty, Pretty Princess
This was/is the greatest game on Earth. Needless to say, I used to be obsessed with this game for obvious reasons. In the game, you are a princess and along the board game you get to add fabulous (read: plastic) jewelry like necklaces, bracelets and rings to yourself. Whoever won the game got to wear a tiara = hello, my DREAM. A little while after I got the game for Christmas or my birthday or something, I remember playing it in a hotel room with my mom (not sure where we were or why we were there in the first place), and the game got left in the hotel room after we checked out. OH, THE HORROR. I was crushed for quite some time about this, honestly. I never got to say my goodbye to the game I cherished as a child. In high school the game got a revival in my English class one day when we played it for some activity. I don’t really remember why, but I do remember we got some guys to play it and seeing guys wear cheap, colored, plastic jewelry was AWESOME.
4. Disney ruined my expectations about men, hair…and being a princess
Don’t even get me started on all the Disney princesses and my obsession with them. Let me just say that for Halloween once when I was like eight or something, I was Cinderella, complete with the blue dress, black headband, teased hair, gloves and shoes. I was committed, ya’ll, and my parents ran with it. They were all so beautiful with wonderful hair and pretty costumes and (relatively) cute guys chasing after them. I wanted that. Ohhh, I wanted that. But as a child I couldn’t necessarily relate to that high amount of glamour. Cue “The Princess Diaries.” I read all the books and I’ve seen the first two movies (the first one is the only good one; the second one was alright when I was younger. I think there was third, but I didn’t watch it) countless times. Okay, a movie about an ordinary high school student (remember when going to high school seemed super glamorous? *sigh*) finds out she’s a princess of this tiny country in Europe she’s never heard of because her dad died and he was prince or whatever? Yeah, totally plausible and I soaked it up. I still get into giggle fits just THINKING about the movie. I was slightly dorky, a total book nerd and socially awkward. If SHE could be a princess, surely I would be an even better one (Still waiting for that. I’ll get back to you).
5. The period in my life where I viewed pretty much all glamorous ladies as princesses
When I became a teenager, my views slightly switched away from being a princess. I “matured,” so to speak, but not really. I focused on school and reading and other goals that were actually attainable, while still keeping my princess dream in the back of my mind (because a real princess wouldn’t forget she’s a princess, even if no one else recognizes it. Right? I swear I don’t have a problem). Anyway, the point is that I was supposed to have been growing up, but I didn’t want to. Cue the awkwardness and peer pressure-ness (is that a word? Meh, whatevs) and seriousness of middle school and high school. Nobody wanted to be a princess anymore. So I pretended like I was grown up too. (“Oh a new Disney movie is coming out? How..lame. Yeah. I’m not going to see that…” Actually, I probably didn’t fool many people at first. I’m a terrible actress). We had to turn to new idols, like the ones on the covers of magazines: Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Spice Girls. These were my girls. Their posters were on my wall. I wanted to be them, perhaps more than I wanted to be a princess (That was a lie, I’m sorry, princess people). Anyway, they had heavenly voices and they wore sparkly jewelry sometimes and men swooned over them = princesses, which is my long-winded point. Plus, they were known as pop princesses. Hellooooo.
6. Disney princesses can always reel me back in
Aaaaaand back to Disney princesses. Cinderella was clearly my favorite, as we had that Halloween costume to bond over, but I loved them ALL. A few years ago, I found a Disney Princess coloring book at Walmart for like $5. My parents, sister, friends, random people gave me strange glances if they saw me with this coloring book, but I didn’t care. I owned it (literally and figuratively). A few days later my mom came home with a box of 96 crayons for me. Okay, let me level with you guys for a second. I was a sophomore in college at the time, taking “serious college courses” and worrying about be an “adult” and all that. I was ecstatic to say the least (don’t judge me…okay, go ahead). I went on a coloring binge for a few days, and I am still proud of my colored creations. The coloring book revived my love for princesses, although at this point I realized I couldn’t, like, make a career out of it (but I secretly still hoped I could make a career out of it). And then came “Tangled,” one my all-time favorite movies ever made. As a fellow blonde but with much shorter hair, I could relate to Rapunzel. Well, actually, not really, but she did live in a tower (which was my dream at one point) and later she becomes a princess (as a brunette, but whatever), and she got to sing all about fun stuff and travel around with a cute hunky guy, so, yep, this movie was basically made for me, the 22-year-old college graduate that I am (or it was made for little kids. One of the two).
Even though I have not (yet) made a career as a princess, that doesn’t mean I will abandon all hope that there is no princess status for me in the future. I got my Disney princesses and 90s pop princesses to back me up on this. As long as I channel my inner Mia Thermopolis or Rapunzel (I won’t reveal how often I do this), I maintain hope others will finally recognize I was meant to be a princess. (All girls are, right, Sara?)
By Jessica Ballou
Featured image via.