My six year old daughter is enamored by all things princess, thanks to the peer pressure from her comrades at the educational institution as well as the general marketing that seems to think girls 4-whatever age should be in love with princesses. I admit this love of being a princess is a hard one for me to swallow, I have thought long and hard on my own childhood and I barely recall a desire to be a princess, nor do I care for the sickly saccharine pinks that are peddled to girls today. I was more of a let’s be an explorer type, going so far as to fashion my own detective agency when I was a kid and searching for clues at the abandoned house across the street from where I lived. I imagine if a parent let their child walk around an empty house today, they’d be strung up by the mommy brigade.
In addition to the love for all things princess, my girl has been asking more and more about love and the idea of falling in love and all that romantic junk. Which having sat and watched a few shows that are marketed to kids today, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Needless to say, I am once again back to the delicious to me idea of just pulling the plug on the TV, but that’s a story for another time.
Love… from the time we are little kids we hear about this concept, this thing, this emotion. We spend so much of our resources seeking it, but what does it really mean? Love has so many faces that it reveals to us, it’s the pure love a mother has when meeting her baby for the first time after giving birth. Love is what allows us to tell adult kids we will help them financially when we really want to tell them, screw you! Love is what makes you throw all caution to the wind and start planning a wedding to someone you have only been dating two months. Love is what keeps a couple together when the unthinkable happens.
In our culture we love the concept of love; half the songs ever written seem to be about love. We are told all we need is love, hell if you are a rap mogul named Jay-Z, mere hours after your wife gives birth to your firstborn you pen a song proclaiming your love to your child for all to hear. Love when it works is amazing but frankly what about when love no longer works?
Love sometimes simply stops, sometimes love becomes distorted and becomes a passionate hate that can destroy all. Sometimes love simply is not enough and when love ceases to fill our cup to the top, that is the hardest of all in a society that indoctrinates us from an early age that love is what we need.
I am convinced that we have it half right, love is important, we do need love but the most important love will not and cannot come from a charming Prince or Princess. The love we need most is love of self and that is the type of love I would like to see peddled, a love that keeps us happy and content with ourselves no matter what. When you have love of self and are confident and secure in that love, you can face down anything and anyone and emerge intact unlike this sappy sweet love the media sells us that says we are not complete unless we have a partner.