Who was your favorite Disney princess growing up?
I dreamed about being Ariel, but I scrapped that when I discovered that no matter how many times you wrote to Santa, he couldn’t get you red hair and a fishtail for legs.
The polyester alternative I made my parents buy before Halloween just didn’t cut it.
Add me to the list of people who:
- got bullied in middle school.
- thought she wasn’t pretty because she didn’t look like the people on TV.
It took getting into the real world and embarking on this journey of self-discovery for me to realize why A Little Princess is considered a classic. It took me that long to finally get to a better place.
Every girl needs to know that they are worth it, that they are princesses in their own right. No matter what they look like. No matter what they’re going through. But instead they get airbrushed images of girls who society thinks won the genetic lottery. And they’re conditioned to believe that that’s what’s attractive.
We’re trying to achieve a standard that doesn’t exist.
Yes, the recent campaigns like Covergirl’s #GirlsCan and Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches are a step forward. And we have music in the mainstream that is bashing that standard and people who are speaking out about the importance of the media and the role it can play in mental health. But recovery is a constant process. You can’t just listen to one song or read one book and be fixed. Recovery starts with your beliefs and working from the inside.
Image Credit: Pinterest
The good news is that you CAN take steps to becoming a real life princess without having to invest in plastic tiaras from Party City or jetting off to the UK to try to marry into the British monarchy. It’s not going to be easy. But you can learn to love yourself. And in loving yourself, you’ll begin to feel like the princess you were born to be.
1. Be Belle
Belle kept her nose in a book; we tend to keep our eyes on screens. And sometimes those screens show us things that make us as jealous as Maleficent. One in three people felt worse after visiting Facebook, according to the Huffington Post.
One in three people.
Snow White’s stepmother’s jealousy turned her into mush under a rock slide. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather take time away from the Internet on a regular basis than have jealousy eat at me until I end up under a pile of boulders.
I’m not telling you to go on a social media fast. I’m just suggesting that you take steps to experience the world beyond the confines of your computer screen.
- Un-friend or block people from your Facebook feed if you don’t want to hear from them.
- Download SelfControl to prevent you from browsing Pinterest if you must work from your computer.
- Put your phone in a locked safe (or something similar) to eliminate the urge to check Instagram. Out of sight out of mind, right?
As Belle would say, “There must be more than this provincial life”
Go out and discover it.
2. Think Happy Thoughts
Yeah, I know. Easier said than done. There was a lot of doubt surrounding Barrie when Peter Pan was originally published, but he was onto something when he said, ” The moment you doubt you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” Yes, it sounds like woo-woo, but thoughts have a frequency you can actually measure.
According to the documentary The Secret, “If you’re complaining of how bad it is, what you’re creating is more of how bad it is.” In other words, if you think about debt, even if you think, “ I don’t want to be in debt anymore,” you still send out the thought of debt. The Law of Attraction sees that you are focusing on debt and brings that to you.
I don’t know about you, but after watching that documentary, I’m working on being more like Peter Pan.
3. Melt For The Right People
What Disney protagonist didn’t have a faithful sidekick?
YOU are the protagonist in your own movie called Your Life. Sure, your protagonist might not be a cute talking dragon or a snowman, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t offer you advice or support. Cinderella didn’t make it to the ball on her own, right?
Do the people you hang out with make you feel happy and supported? Or do they make you feel like they don’t care about you? If it’s the latter, take them out of your life.
Friendships take work, just like any other relationship. But you shouldn’t have to spend a lot of energy proving to someone that you should be in their lives if they don’t reciprocate.
The people who want to stay in your life will put work in to be there. Cherish those people and reciprocate where you can.
4. Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide
While we’re on the subject of sidekicks, I’d say Jiminy Cricket was a good one, wouldn’t you agree
Sure, he and Pinocchio didn’t always agree on the best way to do things, but when Pinocchio got himself into trouble, he always tried his best to give the best advice he could.
Not everyone does things the exact same way. But just because someone tells you that something’s right, doesn’t mean that it’s right for you. What worked for you parents or friends may not work. You know yourself better than anyone else.
I’m not saying to throw every piece of advice you get out of the window. But don’t ignore the voices in your head, even if they go against what everyone thinks you should do. Mulan’s father would have died if she had listened to what was “right” and stayed where she was.
YOU have the same power. YOU get to call the shots.
And finally, probably the most important one of all…
5. Treat Yourself Like A Princess
No princess got to her happy ending without having to overcome a few obstacles, right?
You’ve been through the ringer. You’re still recovering. But the fact that you’ve been through the this should tell you something.
The fact that you made it out of this alive says that you are strong. It says that you are resilient. It says that you are worth recovery. It should tell you that you have the courage to admit when you need help. There aren’t that many people out there who are brave enough to readily admit that they need help.
Yes, I am aware that I’m parroting Demi Lovato right now, but what she says is true. You are a warrior. You are strong, and you are beautiful. You don’t need a Prince Charming to save you. It might be hard to believe all the things I’m telling you right now, but if you take care of yourself, you’ll start to feel like a princess.
So HOW do you do this?
- Tell yourself that you’re beautiful, that you’re powerful, that you’re strong, that you have something to offer the world (or whatever positive affirmation resonates with you) until you start to believe it.
- Eat well.
- Pamper yourself
- Honor your inner voice
- Consume media that makes you feel good.
Do what feels right to YOU.
What do YOU do to pamper yourself and reclaim your self-worth? Let me know in the comments below!