Consistently throughout our childhood, girls have been drip-fed the idea that we need to be swept off our feet by some perfect prince who is entirely flawless. Companies such as Disney have begun to amend the standard fairy-tale concepts that Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella highlighted, releasing movies that follow a more modern train of thought, like Frozen and The Princess and the Frog. Here, the heroines do a fair bit of rescuing themselves.
However, I can’t help but wonder whether the idea of being rescued has been so drilled into our minds, that many girls still pine for this, instead of recognising the archaic, male-dominant attitude it promotes.
I used to be one of them – a hopeless romantic who, like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, would have loved nothing more than for the white knight fantasy to play out. I filled my head with Disney fairy-tales, romantic music videos and movies, creating delusional dreams that reality could never compete with.
It took a lot of hard lessons for me to suddenly realise that the reason I was so desperate to have this perfect fairy-tale, to be loved and rescued by my perfect man, was because I was completely dissatisfied with who I was alone. I wanted to be ‘rescued’ because something within me was telling me that I simply wasn’t good enough to rescue myself. Pretty sad. This is a belief women were expected to have in past days of severe patriarchy, not now, in the 21st century where feminism makes bigger stands and more breakthroughs every single day.
I thought that I could hardly go about thinking myself a feminist when I was secretly waiting impatiently for a man to spring into my life and ‘rescue’ me. Yet, there is no reason why I can’t still be a hopeless romantic and enjoy watching the romance dramas and listening to the classic love songs.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a guy- it’s perfectly normal. But there is something wrong with wanting him that much that your sense of self-worth actually depends on it. Men love to sweep girls off their feet, but girls in turn can sweep men off their feet, and damn right, girls can sweep themselves off their feet too!
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching I really felt strongly about posting this blog as I know so many girls up and down the country feel pressurised to procure a date for what is apparently the most romantic day of the year. Depending on a man to give you a boost traps you. Think about it, Snow White was trapped inside a glass coffin waiting for her prince, Aurora was stuck in an eternal slumber and Ariel lost ownership of her own voice in the three days she attempted to get Eric to fall in love with her.
How can you truly be ‘you’ if you’re so obsessed with the idea of someone else being the hero of your own life.
I’m my own white knight, and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have it any other way.