Some people have a problem with princesses. They think princesses are fluffy, vaporous, weak, voiceless or inconsequential. Maybe they think of a prissy girl who whines to get her way or is spoiled and adverse to work, ala Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie. Remember Nellie and her Nellie curls?
I can see their point. Princess conjures up images of a child in too many crinolines who turns up her nose at cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off.
We generally don’t think of princesses as being people of power or influence. They’re more people of manipulation, pawns to be traded in marriage for treaties with other lands, demure fragile creatures who frequently made use of smelling salts and schemes to get the prettiest ribbons.
Not exactly a flattering picture is it?
It’s no wonder the idea gets dismissed.
There are a lot of women in Christian circles trying to reclaim their self-esteem and identity by taking on the mantle of royalty. The idea is that if one follows God and identifies as a daughter of God, also called the King of Glory, that relationship makes her a princess. In a lot of ways this shift in attitude helps people have more self-respect and approach the world with more confidence.
If “princess” conjures up fragility, fickleness or being trapped in a tower waiting to be saved by someone else, this role will not work for you.
When I think of princesses, sometimes I imagine someone more along the lines of one of the Charlie’s Angels or Lara Croft. Powerful, feminine, intelligent and strong…okay Cameron Diaz’s character wasn’t too smart, but she had other strengths.
When female Christians try to claim an identity as princesses, I admit it rubs me the wrong way. It sounds corny or as if they didn’t get to live out their princess-y dreams of childhood. And with all the glitter and “Pink” written across in velour across shapely backsides, I can understand the hesitation to identify with the old version of princess.
Plus, I’m an adult. I don’t need to regress into being a sequin-clad toddler diva who gets animal crackers with pink icing, picks out only the giraffes because they’re my favorite (they’re not – I tend to favor the hippos and elephants) and throws tantrums to get my way.
I don’t know of many women who don’t want to be made to feel special.
Worth listening to,
With a perspective that is worthwhile and valid.
There are times when we who follow Jesus need to have an attitude check about how we view ourselves and whether we’re accurately honoring our heritage of being adopted into God’s family. Most times that has to do with relation to the world around us, but it is an internal exercise as well. How do we view and treat ourselves? Are we treating ourselves with respect? What kind of messages are we giving ourselves during that internal dialogue that’s constantly running in our heads?
Maybe princess isn’t the right term.
What about Secretary of State, or Madame Speaker? Madame Pope?
None of those are quite right either.
CEO doesn’t do it, nor does Mother.
So until someone comes up with a term that adequately sums up the struggle of being heard despite being a female, being seen as having a relevant voice despite having breasts, being intelligent as well being able to express emotions, princess might have to do it for us,
Unless the word “woman” is the term we’ve been looking for all along. Then it might be staring at us from our own mirrors and we’re just not able to recognize it yet.
Do you think “princess” is the right word to identify the women in your life? Do you ever have to wrestle down negative messages about yourself? How do you accomplish it? How can you treat yourself with love today?