Schooled:’You are not a princess’


Photo by Daisy Draper

I symbolically reject princess-hood! (But I did rescue my pillow after taking this picture.)

Social media has preyed on teenage girls’ insecurities, eating away at years of social advancement.

The media has taught girls to wait until a boy comes to her rescue so that they can live happily ever after.

Princess Cinderella was rescued from servitude by Prince Charming.

Princess Ariel exchanged her tail for legs for her prince.

Fortunately, society is pushing back against these messages.

Mercy Academy, an all-girls Catholic school in Kentucky, has created an ad campaign with public relations specialists Doe-Anderson. It has a straightforward directive to girls — “You are not a princess; you are more.”

The ad’s purpose is to inspire and empower young ladies to take charge of their own lives.

One of the ads says, “You are not a princess. But you can still rule the world.” Another reads, “Don’t wait for a prince. Be able to rescue yourself.”

Accompanying the Mercy Academy logo at the bottom of the ads is the statement: “Prepare for real life.”

It got me thinking. What is a princess? Here’s what I decided:

Princesses think they are entitled to things or privileges.

Princesses don’t think they have to do anything to get those things.

Princesses wait around for other people to rescue them.

For these people, I have something to share — my List of Empowerment. It goes like this:

  1. Don’t just sit around and wait.
  2. Get out there and make things happen.
  3. Rescue yourself.
  4. Write your own future.
  5. Decide your own story.
  6. Don’t make decisions based on a boy.
  7. Don’t choose your college based on a boy.
  8. Don’t do something desperate, like get pregnant, to keep a boy.
  9. Challenge anti-girl messages on social media.
  10. Think twice about compromising.
  11. Don’t give up.

Hey, I’m not trying to call anyone out here. After all, when I needed to take a photo for this blog, I didn’t need to go far. That princess pillow in the trash can to the right? Yep, that’s mine.

See what I’m saying? The message is everywhere. As we enter adulthood, I think it might be time to start getting real.

I’m not saying that you should not have a boyfriend or not get married in the future. But remember that life begins before marriage, not after.

We have so many opportunities, like travel and education. The path has been paved for us; we just need to decide to walk down it.

Explore and experience different things. Be open to different perspectives on life. Experience is knowledge. Life is too short to wait around; go and make things happen, milady.