Princess-diana

Battling The Princess Myth: Why You Don’t Need Rescuing

Few words have uglier connotations to me than “princess”; for life ain’t no fairytale and if you are desperately waiting and hoping for a white knight to rescue you, you’re just setting yourself up for misery and disappointment, sister.

RELATED: Self-Compassion: The Importance Of Being Kind To Yourself

Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo – I call bullshit. Personal power comes from a healthy self-esteem whereby you take responsibility for your life and make positive, empowering life decisions. You and you alone are responsible for your own self-care and happiness. Repeat after me: I am no one’s prize; I am nobody’s princess!

However, the princess myth and Cinderella-worship is so powerful and pervasive in modern-day culture, it’s everywhere we look: it’s rife in movies, women’s magazines, clothes, books and little girl’s fashion accessories, for starters.

And witness the public’s endless fascination with the real-life fairytale of modern-day princesses such as that of Mary Donaldson and her Danish prince and Kate Middleton (pictured at right), aka Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William, with the couple recently welcoming their second child, Charlotte, into the world.

princess myth, healthy relationships, kate middleton

I felt a cold stab of fear in my feminist-heart recently when my Cinderella-loving three-year-old daughter announced that she too wanted to “grow up to be a princess.” I allowed myself a small lecture to her about being in charge of her own destiny, before happily handing her her mock diamante tiara from the dress-up drawer and letting her indulge in the age-appropriate fantasy.

So, why is the princess myth so damaging to adult relationships? I turned to Brisbane psychologist Kobie Allison, 31, for her interesting insight into the issue. The psychologist/director of a private practice – which specialises in children, teens and families and acute and complex trauma – says the wish of wanting to be taken care of or “rescued” by another can stem from co-dependency.

“Co-dependency is a learned behaviour which can be detrimental to relationships as it affects an individual’s capacity to have a healthy, balanced mutually satisfying relationship,” Kobie says.

“One symptom of co-dependency is that one partner is generally the caretaker, fixer, rescuer, controller or safeguard. Thus, the partnership is built on “caretaking” instead of a love sharing. A healthy relationship helps each individual grow their self-esteem, self-confidence, sense of self-worth and self-reliance, which are all part of developing a healthy sense of self-love.”

princess myth, healthy relationships, kate middleton

To ensure both you and/or your daughters don’t fall prey to the princess myth, here are the psychologist’s top tips for healthy relationship behaviours.

Top five signs of an co-dependent and/or addictive relationship

  • A feeling of not being able to live without the partner.
  • Loss of self-control and low self-esteem: looking to partner for validation and affirmation of self-worth.
  • Making fewer decisions or plans: waiting for the partner to tell you what to do.
  • Rushing things, like sex or marriage, so as not to lose the partner.
  • Using drugs or alcohol as coping mechanisms.

Top five signs of mature love

  • Develops gradually through learning about each other.
  • Sexual attraction is present, but warm affection/friendship is central.
  • Characterised by calm, peacefulness, empathy, support, trust, confidence and tolerance of each other – there are no feelings of being threatened.
  • Is based on reality not a princess fantasy of being “rescued.”
  • Partners have high self-esteem and can make strong, independent decisions; each has a sense of self-worth with or without the partner and feels complete even without the relationship.

Top five important qualities to look for in a prospective partner

  • Is not involved in other love relationships and is open to being in a relationship with you.
  • Is well over heartaches and has not just recently broken up with someone else.
  • Has time to devote to the relationship and is close to you geographically: in your city or state.
  • Has high self-esteem; treats himself and others well, even if they are strangers.
  • Is compatible with you in terms of social values and beliefs.

 Images via theatlantic.com, marissabracke.com, hercampus.com

May 29, 2015

Remembering Oscar de la Renta

Fashion legend Oscar de la Renta has passed away at the age of 82. The designer was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and passed away earlier today.

The Dominican designer crafted couture for every woman in the upper crust, from Jacqueline Kennedy and Princess Diana, to Sarah Jessica Parker and Taylor Swift. Most recently, he designed Amal Clooney’s wedding gown in which she famously wed actor George Clooney in September.

daily lifeAmal Clooney and Oscar de la Renta

oscardelarentaSATC Carrie Bradshaw‘s favorite designer was featured in the famous Vogue wedding shoot scene in the SATC movie, and in the episode where Carrie dates ‘The Russian’.

sueprmodels
On the runway with supermodels (from left) Eva Herzigova, Naomi Campbell and Gisele Bundchen

redcarpet
Amy Adams, Academy Awards 2013; Freida Pinto, Cannes Film Festival 2014

lizaaudrey
With Liza Minnelli (left) and Audrey Hepburn (right)

ibtimes
Sarah Jessica Parker in a “signed” Oscar de la Renta gown at the Met Costume Institute Gala, 2014

swiftnyongo
Dressing the younger generations: Lupita N’yongo (left) and Taylor Swift (right)

stylebyyellowbutton.com
With Princess Diana

Images via Vogue UK, Daily Life, Daily Mail, stylebyyellow.com, ibtimes, elasticity.blogspot, InStyle, Pop Sugar

October 21, 2014

Naomi Watts Opens Up About Diana

Naomi Watts was always anxious about the reception her new film Diana would receive – and rightly so. Weeks before the savaging critics bestowed on the film at the world premiere in London recently, Naomi hinted, “I might go into hiding. I might have to leave the country.”

She mightn’t have left the country but Watts did storm out of an interview with BBC radio presenter Simon Mayo when she became uncomfortable with his line of questioning regarding the film. Mayo tweeted “A first for me and @wittertainment as Naomi Watts walked out of an interview! She seemed a tad uncomfortable with the questions. Shame.”

The 44-year-old actress thought long and hard about taking on the role of the iconic late Princess of Wales. Watts knew the biopic, which focuses on Diana’s romance with London-based Pakistani surgeon Hasnat Khan, was always going to ruffle feathers.

Aside from the predictable onslaught from the UK press, Naomi had the Royal Family itself to consider, in particular Princes William and Harry.

Having lost a parent at a young age – Watts’ estranged father, sound engineer Peter Watts, died of a suspected heroin overdose when Naomi was 14 – and also being the mother of two sons Sacha, 6 and Sammy, 4, Naomi considered not taking on the role, wondering how the Princes would feel about it.

“That’s always the big thing in my mind, you know, would they approve?” said Naomi, in a recent interview.

In another interview, Watts said she “found herself constantly asking for (Diana’s) permission to carry on” in the film.

“I felt like I was spending a lot of time with her. There was one particular moment when I felt her permission was granted,” Naomi revealed in another interview.

Such is the obsession of all things Diana, Watts gained insight into the desperate lengths paparazzi would go to, simply to capture a precious, money-making snap of an actress playing a princess who died tragically 16 years ago, with her lover Dodi al-Fayed, when the Mercedes in which they were travelling slammed into a pillar in a Paris road tunnel, while being chased by paparazzi.

“It was definitely not normal.” Said Watts.

As one of the most famous women of our time, with every part of her life documented, scrutinised and watched, literally, under a media microscope, very little is known of Diana’s relationship with Hasnat Khan – a man who is described as her ‘real love’ by those close to the princess.

Khan has described the film as “completely wrong” and “based on gossip.”

Khan refused to participate in the making of the film, just as he avoided the media during his relationship with the princess and after her death.

Watts defended the scenes that take place between Diana and Khan.

“Someone was going to tell this story eventually. Liberties had to be taken and poetic licence. Actors bring nuance to it and, because it’s not a documentary, I think it was OK to do that.”

Diana opens in Australia on October 10. 

What do you think of Naomi Watts playing Princess Diana? Will you be seeing Diana the movie?

September 12, 2013