I know an actress who’s had a pretty good run getting some nice roles over the last few years. My favourite part about her as an artist is how much consideration she puts into everything she does. Recently she got offered a job with an agency playing various princesses for kids birthday parties. At first she thought it didn’t fit with what she wanted to do with her life, but she gave it some thought and realized maybe it had more in line with her objectives than she realized. She had gotten into acting to impact people through storytelling, but she had always imagined that would always be through her work in film or on TV. She hadn’t until then considered the fact that as a princess to a fully believing group of live little girls, she was essentially improv-ing any story she wanted, so she signed up.
Before she could take the job she did have to go to princess school. This was a concept that we both thought was cool but when I asked her what they taught someone at princess school, she said that was the disappointing part. After the consideration she had given the job, she assumed they would discuss some of the philosophical issues surrounding the role they would be playing. She said they learned some good safety and etiquette issues, as well as how they could approach various difficult situations, but there was no philosophical discussion at all about what it was they were actually doing relative to the little girls they were visiting. She found that surprising. After all, they were going to parties filled with people who were going to be certain that they were very real princesses. To the children, a princess is literally a celebrity—and maybe one of the most whole-hearted and coveted she will ever have. With this awe comes an awesome opportunity.
My friend said she gave a lot of thought to what a little girl would feel like when she met a “real” princess. Anything your idols tell you has such power in your life. A positive comment from a beloved princess could literally be what sets a successful course for the child. Because the way the brain wires; if a little girl is told she is awesome and capable by someone she respects wholeheartedly, and she believes it for long enough, that self-identity will become difficult to change and it will become the base wiring for her personality. And by the time she realizes there aren’t really princesses (at least not ones that would come to birthdays), by then the brain wiring will be in place and that confidence will be built right into her.
Recently my friend was arriving at a little girl’s birthday party in a park. She got out of her car and was walking through the park toward the party when another little girl (not from the party) spotted her and bolted over. She was thoroughly amazed. She gave my friend the Princess a huge, long hug and then she backed away with a smile full of wonder nearly exploding off her face. My friend knelt down and looked her in the eye and asked her her name.
“Madeline,” she said.
“Madeline!? What a beautiful name! And you are such a wonderful girl! I love your beautiful blonde hair and your smile. And I can tell you have a beautiful heart, and a beautiful heart is what turns a girl into a princess. I’m so glad we saw each other today. You have a wonderful day Madeline!” Madeline gave her another giant hug and smiled that exploding smile and then they waved their goodbyes.
Now, everyone reading this knows that later that day Madeline tells this story to everyone she knows . And maybe her brothers or someone else can try to rain on her parade, but it won’t work—because she knows she physically met the Princess. And so she’s going to just be floating. She’s going to fully believe that Madeline’s a beautiful name and that she’s beautiful inside. She will feel worthwhile and meaningful because she believes she is. And no one can take that experience away from her.
It’s a shame they don’t talk about stuff like this in princess school. I’ll bet a lot of the women doing it would love to feel the radiant joy of connection that comes with inspiring another person’s soul. And those simple interactions could easily change the course of a person’s life. So make sure you take your opportunity to point things the right direction if you’re ever someone’s “princess.” Because if you cause someone to spend enough of their young life believing something great about themselves then that becomes their natural setting. And it’s a wonderful thing when the wave of a Princess’s wand can actually help make confidence and self esteem a reality in a grown woman’s life.
Be kind to each other. It can be tough out there. We can all use some back rubs and princess encounters. Now go and make your day better by improving someone else’s. Love you. ;-)