I found a funny quote on instagram last night that I was completely on board with until I saw the line “treat her like a princess” and then my enthusiasm shifted gears to “meh”. My boyfriend reminded me of the time he called me princess and I informed him that I HATE to be called that. So it’s been on my mind this morning- am I the only person out there who has an issue with being referred to as a “princess”?
I’m not talking about being a little girl and playing make-believe in the backyard and pretending to be Cinderella, or Jasmine, or Belle or whatever other Disney character she chooses to be. I feel like as little girls our views on what a Princess was were a little skewed. She got to talk to animals and sing and dance and swim in the ocean and fly on a magic carpet. It was a fantasy. It was fun. As children we weren’t really aware of the difference between fantasy and reality- we just wanted to be entertained and have fun.
What I’m talking about is the helpless, meek, “bow down and worship me”, “cater to my every whim” ‘idea’ of a princess that floats around now. “Spoil me and call me a princess”. I’m selfish and privileged and I blow $5,000 on a scarf- I’m a princess. Bring me my food, clean my house, drive my car- do everything for me and treat me as if I’m made of glass and I don’t have a brain and I’m the most important thing in the world. Ew. Stop.
And the worst one (to me at least)- the condescending male that calls a woman princess. “Well princess, let me ride in here on my big white horse and save the day because you can’t do it on your own”. No, you just THINK I can’t do it (or don’t understand, etc.)
Maybe it’s because of how I was raised. We weren’t rich but we didn’t struggle for anything. My parents always instilled in us to work hard for what we wanted, though. Once we reached a certain age- the toy, or book, or movie, or game, or cassette/CD that we wanted had to be earned. Do your chores, make good grades, get your allowance and then go get it. I carry that with me now. Don’t give me a handout, don’t put me on a pedestal and worship the ground I walk on- I want to work, I want to earn it, I want to look at the things I have (and the things I’ve accomplished) and be like “Yes! I did this!” Treat me with respect. Don’t look at me like I’m helpless. If I don’t know how to do something, I’m going to ask for help. But give me the chance to do that.
I’m sure some females relish the idea of being treated like some royal, entitled, ethereal being that should be handed everything and waited on hand and foot so she doesn’t have to lift a finger. That’s fine. You do you, girl, and you be what you want to be. Don’t call me a princess, though. Don’t put me a pedestal. Don’t approach me with kid gloves. Treat me as your equal and treat me with the respect that I earn.
I’m a woman. That’s the only label I should be given.