Wednesday, December 28, 2011

#4 - The Princess Scarlet

So, who is this Princess anyway?
Princess Scarlet was raised in the Kingdom of the Roses and given every advantage in life, yet despite always having everything she could ever need or want, she is not a selfish or cruel person. She is warm and caring. This could come from her love of fairy tales and plays. Scarlet has never had adventures of her own, so she has tried to hear and experience as many stories and shows as she can. She knows and has seen every one that the Kingdom of the Roses has had to offer - some even several times. It is because of these tales that she believes that people can live out their dreams. She believes that "Happily Ever After" can happen if given the chance. She believes in true love. She is impulsive and daring - ready to see the world and all it's exciting opportunities. When her mother was still alive, Scarlet made a promise that she would pursue her dreams, but now, it no longer seems like that will be possible. The time has come to put aside the childish fantasies and do what is best for the Kingdom of the Roses. Her father, King Rose Petal, has chosen a handsome young Prince for her to marry. The marriage will bring together two kingdoms and allow the people to thrive. What is best for the Kingdom - for both Kingdoms - is to marry, and Scarlet has accepted this ... and then she goes for a walk in the woods...

Beloved as they are, some princesses and heroines of the past have not been the best role models for girls. Ariel went to some pretty serious extremes for some dude. Olive Oyl could try saving herself once in a while. Don't get me started on that Bella Swan mess. To me, the greatest heroines are the ones who can stand up to the challenges - be more than the damsel in distress needing the big strong brave man to save them. Rupunzel, (in the most recent incarnation in Disney's Tangled) dreamed of seeing the world and adventure, and once she was set on the path, she wasn't about to let anyone stop her. Belle in Beauty and the Beast was willing to take her father's place as captive. She was brave and strong despite the terrifying beast and situation. I suppose Princess Fiona in Shrek is an okay example of a strong female once she got out of that tower, but she was pretty set on being saved by a handsome prince instead of just busting out and doing her own saving, which she was clearly capable of doing. Plus, she was pretty forgiving of her parents from locking her up there to begin with, but I digress.
Scarlet is strong and capable. Yes, she dreams of love and a life like the fairy tales she knows, but when the time comes to rise up, she grabs that sword and shield, throws on a helmet, and marches off toward dangers unknown. Mulan, Velma (in more current Scooby Doo), Olivia of Twelfth Night, Lisbeth Salander, Buffy Summers - these are strong women who don't need men to do the dirty work. They'll do it themselves and do it better at times while preserving their femininity. Even Maid Marion in Robin Hood is portrayed as a strong fighter more often than not.
The best heroes, female or male, are proactive and aren't content to sit idly as the events that affect them unfold to determine the course of their life. They take a stand.
Over the course of the Princess Knight, Scarlet learns who she is and what she is capable of. She might not have thought she could, but once her heart and mind are made up, she is able to charge off into the dangers of the world without hesitating to save the day. I don't want my nieces and the females in my life to want to be the weak. I want them to be strong. So, I hope that Scarlet's determination is a good example for them and others.

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