I grew up in a loving family who constantly reminded me that my name meant princess and that I was a "very special young lady." So the other day at work when an older gentleman called me princess and pointed out that it's the meaning of Sarah, I replied that I already knew and tried not to be totally creeped out. When a strange man randomly calls you princess and then compares you to his first girlfriend it is in fact not a compliment. Being called princess at the age of twenty-four seems to loose the magic it held when I was ten and my grandparents did it. The incident did however serve as a nice reminder to treat myself a little kinder.
Like many little girls, I was obsessed with Disney princesses and the idea of being royalty. I mean come on, being a princess meant you could possibly rule a country one day; you also got to wear amazing ball gowns and fall in love with a charming prince. These days I hear people diss the idea of little girls admiring princesses. Some parents seem to think that wanting to be a princess means wanting to be a "dumb girly girl who is so weak she needs a man to save her."
I on the other hand, grew up with the Little Princess notion of princesses, which taught me that every girl is a princess. Being a princess meant being yourself because you are pretty, strong, smart and totally capable of being hopeful even after you believe you're orphaned and penniless. It never mattered how much money you had or whether or not your hair was always perfect, but how loving and compassionate you were towards others. All people are special in their own way. We all have something to bring to the table. Also if you pray hard enough you may be blessed with a super nice Indian neighbor with magical powers who can give you and your bestie fur lined robes and a fancy breakfast (this was my ultimate. there was nothing better than dressy robes and food in my child like mind).
Just look at how awesome the princesses are on Once Upon A Time. Snow White can shoot arrows. She's also mastered being a kind friend and loving mother, as well as being a total bad ass. Belle sacrifices her personal happiness to save her family/kingdom and then saves the day with her intelligence. She also does everything in heels, which baffles me; I mean seriously she scaled a mountain in wedges. In my mind this is slightly unrealistic, but if she actually were capable of this that would certainly cement her as totally kick ass woman. Not to mention Mulan who was a freaking warrior and fought besides men to defend her country. None of these women are helpless or shallow or need men to live their lives.
Princesses don't have to be perfect or conventionally beautiful. Being vulnerable doesn't mean you're weak. Wanting to fall in love and marry a prince doesn't mean you necessarily need a man. Being a princess means you're strong and you rock because you're a women and all women are special in their own way. Be kind to your princess self.