I remember as a little girl being enamored by Disney princesses. My favorite was Pocahontas. I not only wanted to be her, but I also wanted to marry the ever-so-charming John Smith. Looking back and being surrounded with little girls now as an adult, I’ve noticed an unhealthy message that is said to girls often due to popular fictional princesses.
These characters tell us that if we’re pretty or patient or kind enough, a handsome prince is going to come and save us. Cultural society is ingraining what Laura Vanderkin calls the princess problem.
She says, “…I think the problem is that the popular princesses lack what psychologists call an ‘internal locus of control.’ This is the belief that you are responsible for making your way in the world.”
This lack of responsibility can affect females in their work, financial, romantic, and home life. It hurts their independence and self-worth.
And from my experience, this “princess” mentality is quite normal. Just last week, a friend in her mid-50s, joked as she got out of my car saying we need to find me a rich man due to my adventurous lifestyle. In moments like these, Cher always comes to mind when she said in a late 1990s interview:
“My mom said to me,
‘One day, you should settle down and marry a rich man.’
I said, ‘Mom, I AM a rich man.’”
Do we want our precious girls to be thinking that a man is going to come and save them? Of course not. Du’h! But unfortunately, due to cultural norms and sometimes without knowing, we promote the princess mentality to our girls and other female peers.
I strongly believe that change starts with each one of us. We need to set an example that girls (and women!) don’t need to rely on a spouse to be ‘saved’ or have worth. We can take ownership our lives in all aspects of life: personal, and especially, professionally.
This is why I’m proud of the work we do here at Wild Web Women – we empower women and teach them how to elevate their online business and make their own money, Honey! We are cheerleaders, teachers, and advocates of women who take businesses by the horns like the badasses they are. No prince charming needed.