A small Catholic preparatory academy for girls started an interesting ad campaign with some very appealing slogans:
“You are not a princess”
“Be more than the fairest of them all”
“Prepare for real life”.
These are great ideas in a world where entitlement is rampant. It brings up the notion that hard work is key to success and you are in control of your own success. The article is written by a surprised journalist that these ideas exist in Catholicism, but it’s been age old and time-tested. I’m just glad it has captured the attention of people that it is here!
I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this one. On one hand, I think people need to learn hard work and motivation is the way to go towards success. On the other, I encourage the little girls in my life to revel and love beauty, joy and hope. The stuff of fairy tales. Yet, in that light I think it stands well. Perhaps the key here is that fairy tales aren’t impossible like it is portrayed usually. I believe the ordinary everyday is a fairy tale. Where we raise children and minds towards holiness, goodness and God. So true, you are not a princess. Technically, we are daughters of God, and therefore not really the ordinary sense of princesses, in the typical castle with lots of servants, that type of thing (which the ad indicates is their definition of princess that they are rejecting). We can’t sit around and wait for life to happen, for opportunities to be delivered to us neatly wrapped up in a bow. We have to work hard towards loving God and building our lives with our families, our husbands, our children, and we need to get our own fairy tales. With God’s generous gifts. As St. Catherine of Siena said, “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.” If I am a daughter of God, well then by the grace of Him, I’m going to act like it. Life is a fairy tale, as long as God writes with me.
But fairy tales and happy endings come to the hardworking and long-suffering Cinderella and Snow White and the unconditional loving Belle who don’t expect to be taken care of, rather to give themselves first. Fairy tales don’t come to the spoiled, pop-culture “princesses” that feel they are entitled to a fairy tale. To paraphrase an old Bible passage: “If you love your life, you lose it…if you give your life, you find it.”