I am so over the “God’s princess” message. I (despite my love for pink things) have no desire to wear the dress, be in the tower, and wait for someone to rescue me. I know I am the daughter of the King, but what if we talked to girls in this next generation about being God’s heroine instead?
During an informal survey I conducted online, I asked women to name who came to mind when they thought “heroine.” There were many entries about mothers and sisters, tales of how we see their sacrifice and consistency. They have substance and grit and willpower, and those of us who have benefitted from those qualities are quick to give this title to those women. I already want to be in that camp.
I also heard names in my survey such as Amelia Earhart and Rosa Parks, Mother Theresa and Joan of Arc. Clara Barton and Esther and Corrie Ten Boom. Harriet Tubman and Elisabeth Elliot—the list goes on and on. What these women have in common are qualities we aspire to possess; they have stood up for who and what they believe in. (And we are taking note.)
When we emphasize being a princess, we risk the implication of greater outer beauty, while a heroine has a notable inner beauty and strength. People tend to admire the princess for her appearance, while a heroine is remembered for her actions.
Being a heroine means living what is, to you, an extraordinary life—not fulfilling someone else’s ideas of who you should be, but by making a life based on what you feel God’s stamped into your soul. My favorite heroines see their every day as an opportunity to connect with a larger world, one hungry to know there is more substance to life than reality television sells us.
This is real to me, as a woman, but even more so when I think about my daughters. I want to spend less time filtering what the world teaches and more time captivating them with a greater truth. I can’t avoid what they will see in the world, those messages they are absorbing through media and peers, but I can purpose to tell them about the grandmothers and the Corrie Ten Booms. I can remark more on their attributes than their cute outfits.
Here’s to a new generation of fairy tales.
Beth Guckenberger, bethguckenberger.com