Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why I Love the Princesses (and fairy tales in general)

In today's society, we focus a lot on doing instead of being. We must do something great, earn something great, having something great to show off, to be great. Our doing should be a reflection of our being but our doing should not be the measure of our being. I find this especially true in the world of women since the feminist movement.

The princess fairy tales (and most of those commonly referred to as "Disney Princesses") are given a lot of flack for portraying women who only sit around and wait for true love to rescue her from whatever peril she is in. She does not do anything (other than fulfill stuffy old values of cooking, cleaning, marriage, and the like, if that). But what I propose is that the princesses show us the value of being over doing, show us that to amounting to something great is attainable because we are all born great because we are. I propose that the princesses teach us values that make us better, stronger, more feminine women who are then able to engage the world and because our personhood is great, we can then do great things.

This is why I (have come to) love the princesses. I don't have to do anything spectacular and I don't have to look all over the place for my spectacular thing to do to make me great, I already am great and therefore can do great things, even small things in a great way (like Uncle Ben [Spiderman, in case you didn't know] says, "With great power comes great responsibility"). We must do great things precisely because we are great.

Herein lies the problem, though: how do we measure this greatness? What scale is there to tell me if I am doing great things? What is great to a person in desperate need will not be the same as to a person with plenty. Then do everything with all of your heart, all of yourself; do everything in love. That is the true measure of greatness--how much you open your heart to those around you and simply love.

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