The next Kate Middleton could be you, my friends.
Like many a girl, some of my first memories are of the movies and stories I watched or listened to as a child.
They were usually fairy tales, either adapted by Disney or some other Czar of children’s entertainment. And like the child that I was, I demanded to watch and be read the same thing over and over again, to the point where my parents conveniently “lost” or “accidentally set on fire” some of my favorite shows and books.
If you’re a boy, your fairy tales most likely consist of Jack and the Beanstalk or Robin Hood, maybe even the Three Little Pigs. You know, they’re stories about manly stuff, like giant men who live in the sky listening to a self-playing harp while admiring their golden goose eggs, or about a gang of merry men who travel together wearing tights stealing jewels from rich guys, or about a vindictive wolf who, when determined, will blow as hard as he can at just about anything.
You know, stories that will really show our sons how we want them to behave as men. Stories that will inspire them, incite their imagination, and totally not scar them for life.
Meanwhile, the ladies get tons of stories, too…But they are pretty much the same story told over and over again. The scenario is as follows: The princess is too pretty (too pretty of a voice, her hair is much to pretty, or she is just overall too darn pretty for her own good) and thus pisses off some much less pretty witch/evil stepmother (they can be the same person, by the way) who makes her suffer by either putting her into a deep sleep/poisoning her/making her mute/giving her a bad hair cut.
UNTIL (of course!) a handsome prince comes and saves the day by rescuing the pretty girl from the ugly bitch. Saving the day may include slaying the witch, who is now a dragon, utilizing the power of an unforgiving shoe, OR ramming into her with the bow of your ship.
The prince and princess seal their love with a kiss. Most of the time, she’s unconscious, but that isn’t a bad thing! After all, this kiss either awakens her from a deep sleep/literally wakes her up from the dead, which qualifies as a substantial love connection, and they live happily ever after.
Or the kiss symbolizes the death of her childhood because sister is only sixteen and is getting married and ready to pop out some heirs. Either way, they live happily ever after, okay? Just don’t read too much into it, trust me, it’ll make you start worrying about the psychological impact it will have on the daughters you haven’t even produced yet.
I could say that listening to these stories, or watching the movies based off of them gave me a complex. That it has set me up for a life filled of always looking for my Prince, be it metaphorically or literally. And you’d be right.
I’m insane! I mean, not only is the guy hot, but his lips have super magic healing powers, AND he’s going to kill the evil witches in my life, and THEN we’re going to ride off on his noble steed (innuendo inserted here!) and then we get to live in his ballin’ castle happily forever and ever no questions asked?! Tell feminism I’m going to be busy for the next 10-infinity years!
I guess, if I were to get all philosophical on your ass, (which, I believe I have already done, my apologies to both you and your backside) I’d say that we all look for our metaphorical prince, guys and girls; that one thing that will make everything fall into place, that one thing that will complete us, make us happy.
But here’s the thing, for me, it isn’t a literal prince! I myself don’t think I’ve ever daydreamed about becoming a princess--seems like a pretty freaking boring life if you ask me. Being proper all the time, socializing, following my husband around like I’m some puppy dog/trophy, behaving myself--ugh, please god, no! I think for some people, like myself, the thing that makes your life fall into place could be a number of things, from a great job, to finding a cause in your life that you believe in--the thing that completes you doesn’t have to be a prince!
But some people really do want to find a prince, legitimately. Whether or not they’re trying to fulfill their innermost desires, be in their own fairy tale, or if they‘re just desperate for a huge wedding and tiara; they want to be royal, the next Princess Kate. And for those who do, it is now in your grasp--but it’s not as easy to get as you may think.
TLC has a new show out called Secret Princes, and it’s about princes who are in the U.S. but are living in uh, secret. I guess the title really gives away the plot, huh?
The idea is that once they strip away their money, their status, and their identity, they will find a woman who loves them for exactly who they are; a mysterious fish out of water foreigner who for some reason is awfully determined to find a date. Also, he can’t seem to do anything for himself, because unbeknownst to them, he most likely hasn’t had to wash his own face since he was out of the womb.
But here’s the thing--if Prince William wasn’t a prince, if he was just some dude walking around London, he wouldn’t be the fodder of the entire pre-teenage U.K. population. It’s the idea that he’s a prince that makes him so damn desirable--it’s not because of who he is that titillates them necessarily, but I think, it’s rather what he can do for them. The palaces! The horses! The luxury! His good looks and charms are merely a bonus, but aren’t necessary. He’s the pathway to the dream they all want.
Take all of that away, and will people still want these secret princes? Hopefully yes, for pure and honest reasons, like getting along with them, making genuine connections--but for those who want a prince, an actual prince, this isn’t going to fly. They need to know he’s got the crown before they go to town, you know? His prince-iness is his allure, and without that, it’s no longer a fairy tale. Or at least, an obvious one.
So will these princes succeed in finding true love? Doubtful. And will those seeking a real life prince charming actually find happiness? Also doubtful. But in a world that’s so plagued by depressing news and anxiety for the future, hope that Prince Charming could literally be incompetent barista that never seems to get your order right, might brighten up someone’s life.
There’s nothing wrong with a fairy tale--you just have to be open to whatever form it may come in. And realize that sometimes there is no actual prince charming to swoop in and save the day, but there is your initiative, hard work, and a little help from lady luck.
The chances of you finding an actual prince are nil, the chances of you finding true happiness are high. There are a lot of ways to live your own version of a fairy tale--and without having to result to thousand year sleep. I mean, really, who has time for that?
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