Once upon a time there was a little red headed girl who would twirl in a mirror, and wonder when she would be told she was a princess to be whisked away to the ball to meet a prince.
When I was younger I would watch every Disney film and dream of one day finding my prince charming and live happily ever after with my beautiful horses.
I wasn’t the only one, and as time went by, that dream didn’t fade.
I even dressed up as a princess my senior year of college -- tutu and everything.
It would be so glamorous and easy, and instead of ending the night passed out in my bed, I could just say I was put under a spell by a wicked witch.
I was recently watching the new live-action "Cinderella" movie, and while I absolutely cannot deny I would still love to be rescued by Richard Madden on horseback (I mean, he’s Robb Stark), it became blatantly apparent that this is not only no longer my destiny, it is no longer my dream.
My life is not perfect, and I spend more nights with Pizza Hut and my two non-talking cats than I care to admit, but honestly, that sounds better than going to a ball.
I am making things happen on my own without the help of a fairy godmother, charming prince, woodland creatures, a beautiful singing voice or royal bloodlines.
I was never in a palace or in the ashes.
I am from Fairfax, VA, and thank f*cking god. Growing up, my parents never placed a premium on beauty or scrubbing the floors until they gleamed.
It's true, I did wish I had maids and woodland creatures I had at my beck and call, who wouldn’t?
However, that was not my destiny, and my parents focused more on my grades and me contributing to society, rather than marrying me off.
As a result, their lovely 23-year-old daughter is a full-time employee in public relations, is training for a marathon and has her own health insurance -- no fairy godmother needed.
I have never had a deep, long sleep.
My deepest sleep happened after I stood for 46 hours straight in a symbolic gesture for the fight against pediatric cancer, and I was only out for 16 hours after that.
I don’t have time to sleep all day.
On weekends, I am usually up early (before 7 on Sundays) to run about five plus miles, then get ahead on work for the week and do various errands I cannot do during the week.
If there is time, I am not ashamed, I nap. Napping is glorious and possibly one of the few magical aspects of my real life.
I do not attend balls to meet men.
When I go out to meet prince charmings, although recently it’s been more frogs than princes, it doesn’t start with a formal invitations handed out by a squire.
Rather, it’s one of my friends saying, “Hey, I’m bored, you wanna go out?” There is no beautiful ball gown; I slip on some jeans and a cute shirt.
I don’t have the fairyland creatures help me dress, unless you count my cats eating my hair ties as “help.”
There are no fairy godmothers to call me a carriage, just an uber driver to pick me up.
All eyes are not on me when I arrive, but rather on the bar where the magical potions of liquid courage are brewing.
And it’s not the stroke of midnight that tells me it’s time to go, but rather last call that directs me to the nearest McDonald's.
No “prince” has ever scoured the “kingdom” looking for me the next day, just some texts saying, “Hey, wanna hang out?” or “What are you up to tonight?”
The next morning you will not find me singing songs of the love I met last night; you will find me on the running trail sweating out the large fries I inhaled the night before.
I perform my own "bibbidi boppiti boo," so to speak.
The older women in my life aren’t evil.
I cannot deny I am beautiful in that sense of food stuck in my hair and wrinkles in my outfits.
However, I do not have any older women in my life who envy it to the point of trying to feed me a poisoned apple.
I have to say, this is a welcome difference between me and Snow White. Though my voice may not bring a Prince Charming, there is no evil woman asking a hunter to cut out my heart.
The older women in my life are not something for me to fear, but rather something for me to admire.
My mother never tried to hide me from the world; she took me out and showed off what the world had to offer me.
There has never been an evil stepmother, jealous queen or snarky sister, but rather a supportive cast of characters who have molded me into the woman I am today.
Thanks to them I am a precocious young adult, who is up for adventure and dares to write her own storybook ending.
I can show myself the world.
I may never be able to stop myself from singing along to “A Whole New World,” however, unlike Princess Jasmine, I don’t need a magic carpet and a street rat to travel and explore with.
I have been from coast to coast by myself, and if I had waited for someone to show me that, I would’ve missed out on some very cool opportunities.
I plan on going to Europe when I have the money, and have updated my passport. I will not wait for a man to go with and am not planning on singing on my airplane ride there.
I am loud and proud.
I have never had the light and airy voice of a princess. In fact, I think my voice dropped before a lot of the boys' in my school did.
I have a loud voice and an even louder laugh.
When I get excited about something that voice gets even louder, and I often have my coworkers calling me, saying, “I am in another room and I can hear you clear as a bell.”
If you met my mother you would see it runs in the family. I swear, I say things that are politically incorrect and I sometimes offend people.
I would rather have the freedom to say what is on my mind than to have a voice as light as a feather and a giggle that sounds more to that of a 3-year-old girl.
I am loud and I am proud. I am woman, hear me roar.
I don’t sing about my problems, I fix them.
In the movies, the princesses sing about a woe she has, mostly being trapped in a castle of sorts (metaphorical or not).
In all fairytale fairness, their voice does bring along a shining white knight, but if nobody showed up, would the princess continue to sing?
If a princess sings in the woods and there is no prince around to hear her, is she still going to have a happy ending?
I will not sing about how I have to work late, save money to move out or fix my car. I am going to get my projects done and save little by little until I can fully stand on my own.
I would rather find a solution than write or sing about my woes.
Heck, I can just whistle while I work.
I am who I am and that’s that.
Up until now, I am sure a lot of people reading this article are saying, “Yeah, but what about Mulan?”
True, Mulan doesn’t fit the stereotypical “Disney Princess,” however, consider this: She had to change herself into a man to accomplish the things she wanted to.
She wasn’t “true to herself” and her reflection didn’t show who she was deep inside, because inside that armor, she had lady parts.
I am true to myself and never apologize for it. It is still a man’s world out there, but I am not going to pretend to be something I am not to get ahead.
I will just continue to do the work on my own and little by little chip against the stereotypes young Millennial girls have. What other choice do I have?
I could pretend to like the thing my boss likes and chat him up, or he can promote me based on my work.
Which would you choose?
Happily ever after...
So there you have it, the reasons why I am not a Disney Princess, and I am positively happy about it.
It would be nice to have a handsome prince to stare at, a fairy godmother to magically make me beautiful and a lovely singing voice.
But I am willing to trade all of that for a life I am building on my own.
I am not from an enchanted palace, can’t rally the woodland creatures to do my hair and certainly can’t sew to save my life.
However, I can run 13 plus miles, write a pitch and have a college education. I am not a Disney princess, and that is my happy ending.