Why I Am Not A Princess

I’m not one for beauty pageants, but I’d like you to meet Angelica Galindez, winner of the title Miss Philippines Water 2014 in this year’s Miss Philippines Earth USA pageant.

Notice anything that might set her apart from most pageant winners? Galindez is bald due to alopecia which led to full hair loss by the time she was 15.

“As I grew older, I came to terms with the fact that my hair wasn’t growing back, so I decided to own it. … I decided that this could be an opportunity to show the world that girls like me could be classically beautiful, too.”

She’s a striking looking young woman, and she has a great perspective on life if her chosen profession is any indication. She’s a hair stylist.

Princessified World Leaders

David Trumble is a talented artist who wanted to expose our society’s penchant to reduce women, no matter how complex and well-accomplished they may be, to beauty icons. So he came up with a series of drawings of famous women as if they were Disney princesses.

Here’s how he imagined Harriet Tubman would look if she were envisioned as “Abolition Princess.”

But he didn’t stop there. He came up with a whole universe of characters: Gloria Steinem, Anne Frank, Hillary Clinton, and more (wait until you get a load of Jane Goodall kneeling with her binoculars). Trumble explained that his satirical drawings are meant to ridicule what he sees as the Disneyfication of women.

“Our children come to role models through fiction before anything else. We shouldn’t have a heroine’s individual greatness squeezed into one archetype.”

Good point. No one  – great or small – should be squeezed into anything.

The School for Non-Princesses

One school has a blunt message for the girls in its student body: “You’re not a princess.”

According to the article, Mercy Academy Principal Amy Elstone said,

“We  knew it was going to be risky going with this message. Our girls  are growing up in a society where they’re told by their parents that they’re a  princess, and our message is that they’re not a princess, they’re so much  more.”

How true: they are so much more.

True Royalty

I think we fantasize about joining the ranks of royalty through beauty pageants, Disney characters or even just being Daddy’s Little Princess [gag reflex just kicked in big time] because we know there is something to this royalty thing. It’s built into our soul, it’s a longing that will be with us for eternity, and it’s all because of who God himself is:

The Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. (Jeremiah 10:10.)

We not only get to spend eternity with God in his kingdom; we live there as royalty.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10.)

Beauty pageants, cartoon princesses, even actual earthly royalty are nothing compared to the merciful gift we are offered in Christ.

***

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22 Responses to Why I Am Not A Princess

  1. Tim does mean I’m not a frog waiting to be kissed by a beautiful maiden to turn me into a handsome prince. Better not tell my wife, she will be deeply disappointed.

    The truth is that is exactly who we are though, we are not the prince, the princess, the hero, the knight in shining armor or the wonderful queen, we are indeed the frog, the ugly beast that the only deserving prince chose, chased and rescued and now calls us his treasure, HIS beautiful bride as he kisses us and waits to adorn us, who were once ugly, who have been made his bride with the most beautiful wedding dress ever.

    Now that is mind blowing.

    • Tim says:

      I’d say we may have once been frogs, but we are now made beautiful because of what our King has done. There’s no need to think myself ugly any longer, because the Bible says I’m not; I’m beautiful, and I’m a members of royalty now. So are you, Pat!

  2. Erica M. says:

    On the other hand, I do like the image of Hillary Clinton skipping across the White House Lawn singing to birds. 😛

  3. The Simple Italians says:

    Great insight! In Christ, we are so much more! And so easily settle for second best.

  4. Aw, man! Where’s Gloria Steinem’s push-up bra and cleavage?

    The problem isn’t little girls wanting to be Daddy’s Little Princess [gag reflex? — and then you go on to say that wanting to be royalty is built in to our makeup?], but that we generally have a truncated view of just how powerful princesses are created to be. I appreciate what this artist has done to cause us to question this aspect of our culture. Hmm, maybe “Daddy’s Little Princess” should cause a gag reflex, ’cause I’m Daddy’s Big, Powerful Princess.

  5. Jeannie says:

    That story of the pageant contestant is inspiring; she’s a great role model. I agree that we have that sense of royalty built into us, but we’re tempted to settle for so much less: popularity based on looks, possessions, and other fleeting things. But being a child of the King looks so different, which is why prettifying all of those famous figures IS kind of laughable. This makes me think of the song “Servant King,” which my husband and I had as one of our wedding songs: “This is our God, the Servant King, He calls us now to follow Him, to bring our lives as a daily offering of worship to the Servant King.” That is what being a prince or princess means: living a life of love that flows from our position as totally loved and safe in God’s grace.

  6. lauradroege says:

    This blog post made me thinks of several different things (as usual!)

    At our old church, there was a young woman with this same type of condition. She also had a great perspective on her baldness; once I heard that she used to be in the bathrooms with the other teen girls while they were primping, and she’d jokingly ask if she could borrow a brush?! It usually took the other girls a second to be startled into laughing with her about it.

    A few years ago, I was shopping with my daughters for new bedspreads and my younger one (probably about 2 at the time) wanted a totally pink one that read “Princess” on it. I refused to buy it, even knowing that she couldn’t read the word. I just don’t want her buying into the “I am a princess” idea. I see it in the Christian subculture all the time: young girls are told, “You’re a princess because you’re a child of the King,” and I’m afraid that they’re missing the REASON they’re princesses. It has nothing to do with us, what we can/can’t do, how pretty we are, how ladylike, etc.; it has to do with who we are in Christ. I worry that my daughters will hear the “you’re a princess” idea, associate it with the world’s/Disney’s version of princess, and forget the “in Christ” part. At their ages, I’m not sure that they truly understand such a distinction because it can seem rather abstract. So I just can’t bring myself to buy “princess-y” stuff, whether it’s Disney or “God’s Little Princess” type of things. (It helps that neither are girly-girls and both prefer sports to more stereotypically female play things.)

  7. Aimee Byrd says:

    I love where you went with this article, Tim. And it is good to see some brave souls responding to the Disneyfication of women!

  8. lauradroege says:

    I know I’ve already commented, but I just found this story on CNN. It’s about a middle school girl with alopecia who decided to tell her classmates about her condition. She made a documentary about it, and the administration allowed her to show it at school. She was tired of wearing wigs, she told her mom, and just wanted to be herself around her friends. Quite brave for an eleven-year-old! Here’s the link (hope it works): http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/27/health/irpt-student-alopecia

    • Tim says:

      Laura, that link is wonderful, and I especially like the slide show at the top showing her up front answering questions after the students saw the documentary. Thanks for coming back and giving us this. (And you can comment as much as you like, you know!)

  9. Khristi says:

    Reblogged this on The Misinterpreted and commented:
    SO GOOD.

  10. As usual, you gave me a good laugh and caused me to think. “I think we fantasize about joining the ranks of royalty through beauty pageants, Disney characters or even just being Daddy’s Little Princess [gag reflex just kicked in big time] because we know there is something to this royalty thing.” Having been in (ahem) a beauty pageant (eons ago), and having realized I could have invested my time in infinitely better ways (and avoided much embarrassment), I appreciate this perspective. I remind my daughters everyday of the importance of having beautiful minds and feet (Is. 52:7). Thanks, Tim!

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