Snow White or Cinderella? Or perhaps Sleeping Beauty ...
When Halloween came around, it was always hard to pinpoint the exact princess costume that I wanted to wear. (I knew I looked good in blue, so it was usually whatever princess wore that color.)
As a young girl, I would twirl around in my ballet skirts, closing my eyes as "Someday My Prince Will Come" would sound from the television speakers. I daydreamed of living the life of one of those Disney princesses, being swept off my feet onto a white horse and galloping into the great horizon.
Although unrealistic by today's standards - as white stallions are hard to come by - girls, me included, still imagine men to be of the standard of Prince Charming. (And we fashion ourselves as fairy princesses.)
We are introduced to such ideals as young children and then carry them into our adult lives, expecting that prince to be out there waiting for the day he meets yours truly. We insist that our fortunes be realized and our stories end with the phrase "happily ever after."
Girls expect to be treated nothing short of royalty and are surprised when we receive much less.
Thus many a girl's standards are high and hard to reach. We choose not to look into reality, still looking off into fantasyland.
When looking for that perfect specimen of a man, it is hard not to sit and judge. In a second, my Simon Cowell-ness will come out, bringing a critical eye to the man candy available. Too tall. Too short. Wrong clothes. Did you hear that laugh? What is up with his nose? Did he really think that was funny?
Perfection has to be out there and nothing, not even time, is a real factor.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, adds up to the perfect ideal we had conjured up in our younger days. (As if any of us girls are of the purely pristine model, either.)
In a time period where the glass ceiling has almost lifted, our society has created a double standard for young women.
We should remain ladies, such as the princesses thus described, and be demure and innocent. Wait for that man of impeccable condition to walk through the door. Yet, we should also be ambitious as individuals and ruthless in our pursuits.
It's enough to drive one a bit bonkers.
I find myself asking: Should I pay for a meal every once in a while when out on a date? We make the same amount of money.
And: Should I wait and let him ask me out, or do I make the first move?
A princess would never commit such a deed (gasp at the thought), but a modern-day woman might be up for the challenge.
So the question I ask is, do we continue to provide such role models for children, and let them sort out the confused mess when they are older - or - do we cut out the fantasies completely and give them only stark reality?
The jury is still out for me.
I am a "women's lib" kind of gal - I expect equal rights and treatment. Yet, I still expect a perfect gentleman, a prince to be out there, and a fairy tale-ending reality.