I watched the pilot episode of 'The Tudors' the other day and was curious to learn more about life in the court of Henry VIII. Thanks to the Internet I was able to find a massive amount of information on him, his wives, his children, and his ancestors. The questions that struck me at the time was, "why would any little girl ever want to be a princess?"
The fairytale princess that little girls dress up as and dream of did not exist in reality. Princesses were betrothed in the first few years of life then sent away to live with the in-laws until their wedding day at the age of 12 or 13. Many married men much older then themselves who left them widowed at a very young age. The men they married were not knights in shining armour but spoiled power hungry brutes with many mistresses. Even contemporary princesses have found themselves in loveless marriages which lead to self destruction.
So what is the draw when we look at our daughters and picture them as our little princesses? Why does Disney make a fortune portraying princesses that are in distress and in love with the perfect prince? After all, we all know the perfect prince does not exist. To be fair, neither does the perfect princess. Yet we are drawn to the illusion of the perfect romance from a young age and continue to buy into it with romance novels as we get older. Should we not be preparing ourselves for the reality of love?
Reality seems boring when we live it, yet we all know a movie based on reality is much more interesting then a story based purely on fiction. Was Diana's life so glamorous and interesting that ours pales by comparison? I'm sure glamour can get boring when its your reality day in and day out. I remember watching Diana's wedding to Charles and theirs was a fairytale love story, at the time .... Now we know different, even fairy tales are not what they seem.
My daughter is the anti-princess. She doesn't like to dress up as a princess, doesn't act the part and certainly isn't looking for a knight in shining armour. As much as I'd like to take credit for this attitude, I can't, she's just made that way. I bought crowns and dresses for the dress up corner but they laid there unworn. I see in her a strong girl who knows her mind, and as difficult as that can be sometimes, I'd rather that then a Sleeping Beauty any day.