I have always hated the meaning of my name: princess. There was always something about that word that incinuated weakness, where I would picture this wimpy little posh girl with fake ringlets and too much tulle waving her wand around. Weak. Lazy. Gross. It didn’t help that I had natural ringlets either. In thinking about it now, random strangers would comment on my “Shirley Temple” hair, say I looked like a princess or was a ‘pretty girl’. No comments about my personality, my brain, my talents. Just my princess hair.
We are starting to come away from this idea of celebrating little girls based on their looks. There are lots of blogs lately around how to compliment a young girl without mentioning her face, hair or clothing. Comments like admiring her intelligence, her maturity, her attributes in physical ability like how fast she can run or how cool it is she is doing skateboard lessons.
This isn’t some kind of gender neutral stance I’m taking. Not at all. I’m just glad we are starting to realise there is more to women than their looks. But how far have we really come…?!
The pornography issue, the number of women in human trafficking, the current confusion around whether gender is socialised or exists before we learn expectations and societal norms- all these things have never been as heightened as right now. And I don’t mean in awareness or acknowledgment, which has increased. The actual numbers of victims taken into the world of human trafficking is higher now than in any other period of time in history, and unlike previous times, we can’t hide behind naivety or ignorance as we know it is happening. We just choose to turn a blind eye.
Back to this idea about princesses. I can say I am slowly coming around to my name’s meaning. Slowly. But I have had to change my own definition of it. I have challenged the truth I thought about princesses and rewritten it’s application for myself.
I now associate a princess definition around worth. The idea we were each born with a crown. Worth. Belonging. Royalty. Unique.
A real princess knows who she is because she knows who’s she is. It’s the family she is born into that gives her affluence, position, worth. We all love fairy tales where the main character doesn’t realise they are royalty as they were taken or hidden from birth, yet always have a deep knowing that something is missing: a longing for more. And we celebrate the happily ever after as she discovers her identity and finds her true worth. I sense we all have a similar deep knowing and longing for more. I believe we find it within our identity too.
I wonder if your crown is straight? Are you even wearing yours? Have you taken it off, or has it been taken from you? Has it fallen over time through the knocks of life? Has it been damaged or discarded? Have you even realised you had a crown to wear?
If we truly knew who we were, our response to everything would change. The one thing that seems to be most deeply impacted is our identity. I think that’s actually always the target. And the arrows so often get through.
The arrows need not get through.
The other picture of a princess I have now aside from wearing a crown is carrying weapons. Warrior women. I’ve spoken at length about this before: the last couple of blogs focused on Wonder Woman and her tribe of warrior women, all royalty, from a royal blood line. All adorned, not in tulle and wands, but in leather, armour and arrows.
This is “Hehewuti”, it means “mother spirit warrior”. When I got this tattoo, it rewrote the meaning of my name. This is me. This is a princess. A warrior princess. It also represented the most difficult time I have had to walk through as a mother, in dealing with a traumatic experience of one of my daughters. It birthed in me my mother warrior spirit as I walked my daughter through the fear that was written from within that trauma.
But we walked through.
The arrow did not penetrate. The wound was healed. We walked through into complete restoration. But it was a fight. It was hard. We battled with the lies for a while. But we won! The arrows no longer get through. We fought for truth. For the truth of her identity, of my identity.
You are worthy. You have a crown. You are strong, capable, free to fight for truth by challenging the lies.
Be who you are. Find your identity. Find within you the warrior woman you were born to be. Pick up your crown, take it back, put it back on. Your crown and your weapons.
The arrows of lies don’t penetrate when we hold arrows of truth
Only one arrow prevails. Make sure it’s yours!
Let me finish how I started, with the same picture. Wear your crown regardless.
Regardless of what happens, what has happened, what will happen. Let your identity remain. Be you. You have worth. Regardless worth.