Princess Rule #1
First off, a princess knows what they want and is not afraid to work hard and take chances in order to get it. Let’s make Cinderella our example for what not to be for this rule. When we first meet Cinderella she’s singing about how “a dream is a wish your heart makes”, but nothing is really said about what her dreams are. In fact, before the invitation to the ball she seems content to suffer under the indignities her step-family impresses on her. While there is something admirable about making the best out of a horrible situation, you’d think she’d make some plans to get out of the situation. What if an invitation to the ball never came? Would she have lived out her life in servitude to her step-mother, watching her horrendous step-sisters marry and have horrendous children. Maybe she would have eventually snapped, and stabbed her step-family to death with a hairpin, starting with the awful cat. Actually, that would have been an interesting movie. Really though, the girl doesn’t seem to have any ambition in life, it was all sort of convenient that things worked out for her. She is swept along by the events in her life and while she excepts each turn with grace and dignity, she really is a lovely girl, you can’t help but feel as if is destined to be controlled by one person or another for the rest of her life, which is certainly not something anyone should aspire to. 1
The next generation of princesses show a bit more ambition. For example, Belle clearly wants “more than this provincial life”, which I am taking to mean not marrying Gaston (despite his manly chin), forgoing any chance of adventure and losing any sense of herself. She’s got a sense of what she wants but absolutely no idea how to get it. If not for her father taking a wrong turn, there is a strong chance that she would have ended up trapped in a life she never wanted by a far more determined individual. (Seriously, Gaston was going to have her father committed to an asylum in order to marry her.) The third generation finally gets it right. Mulan is probably one of my favorite princesses of all time. She knows what she wants, to bring honor to her family name and protect her father, and she takes initiative and chances in order to achieve her goal. When she fails to make a good match, which is the more traditional route to honor, she up and joins the army, becomes a kick ass soldier and saves all of China. Wow. If my daughter wanted to be like that I would be super proud. I definitely think knowing what you want and being willing to go after it is trait a princess should have.