Shut It, Cinderella!: The High Price of the Princess Mentality

December 8, 2011

“A dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep. In dreams you will lose your heartaches. Whatever you wish for, you keep. Have faith in your dreams, and someday, your rainbow will come smiling through. No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.” 

Cinderella sang those words and they have been heard by young girls for decades.

Guess what Cinderella?

It’s all bullshit!

Yep, it is. While it may have worked out the way she wanted it, it is not going to happen to the 99.999% of us in the world. We can’t all be Kate Middleton.

As a young girl, I dreamed many dreams. I wished for rainbows and sparkly things. I wished to wake up one day and be a princess. Not the poor girl across the street from the tracks who only went to school because of a scholarship from the church.

While there’s nothing wrong with people who live on the “wrong” side of the tracks. And there is nothing wrong with going to a private school on scholarship. As a young girl, I thought I deserved better.

I can remember listening to the Disney Read Along’s on vinyl as a young girl. I was always entranced in the world as it came alive with the pictures and the audio. It was one of my favorite past-times. I have started to collect them again but it’s been awhile since I purchased one (obviously due to major money issues).

I bought in to the whole princess fantasy and I bought into it BIG TIME!

What did the Princess Mentality get me?

It gave me an unrealistic look into life, love and most of all finances.

We’ll just skip right over the life and love parts. My only comment is that I’ve pretty much made a mess of all that. But I’m working on it.

My finances are, of course a mess! I was on the poor side growing up, I didn’t have the brand new Reebok’s (shut up, it was the 1980s, they were cool then) like everyone else. I never had the “in” type clothes. I rarely went on vacation with my family. And I felt sorry for myself. I felt like Cinderella during the first part of her story, minus the whole slave labor and talking to animals wackiness.

I felt like I just needed to wish harder, wait a bit longer and my life would get better. I hoped for a “prince.” (Things went a bit differently for me, but that’s a whole other post.). I wanted that dream-like lifestyle. And I was going to get it to the best of my ability.

Credit cards were my solution.

I never even thought about it, I just started spending money charging on my credit cards. It wasn’t until I was thinking of a name for this blog when it occurred to me that the princess mentality was a huge part of my problem.

I hoped and dreamed for the day when I would become a princess and all my worries would be wiped away. I did become a princess but I’m not the Princess of Monaco or Princess of Whales. No, I became The Princess of Debt. Lucky me!

While I do believe that there is a place for fairy tales as a child, I think it is important to make sure our daughters (and sons too) are not getting swept away into the princess mentality. This is where financial education comes into place, making sure our children understand the need for saving money and the difference between a want and a need.

It is also important to teach our children not to wait “for our prince to come.” Rather, take life by the “you know whats” and make your dreams happen on your own. For me, it’s happening late in life but like most things, it’s better late than never.


Now: Go check out my post over at Budget’s Are Sexy! J$ is featuring my Side Hustle story!

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12 Responses to Shut It, Cinderella!: The High Price of the Princess Mentality

  1. Christa on December 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Good point! Girls and boys should be taught that fairy tales are just that: fairy tales. Glad to hear you’re turning your debt around!


    • Jessica The DebtPrincess on December 9, 2011 at 10:42 am

      I completely agree. We need to give them the tools to make it happen for themselves.


  2. Emily Guy Birken
    on December 9, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I have always hated the fact that princesses in the stories need to be rescued from their situations–either by a fairy godmother or a prince or even by an animated chandelier, if we’re talking Disney. We’d all do better, both emotionally and financially, if we learned how to solve our own problems. And it would help us understand that fulfillment comes from living life well, and not from romantic love (although that can be great) or lots of money and things (ditto).


    • Jessica The DebtPrincess on December 9, 2011 at 10:44 am

      I totally agree with you Emily! Of course I also needed to know how not to get into those problems. Cinderella was only part of the problem. (I’ve got loads of issues. lol)


  3. J$ on December 9, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Hey! Now ur sending me eye balls :) Thx! And happy weekend!


    • Jessica The DebtPrincess on December 12, 2011 at 11:12 am

      It’s all because I care J! You know I love ya! Thanks for the post last week!


  4. Corrin
    on December 9, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I’m guilty of this as well (my next post mentions how I feel like I deserve to “treat” myself and the guilt associated with it) and I tend to avoid the princess mentality with all of my nieces/cousins for this very reason.


    • Jessica The DebtPrincess on December 12, 2011 at 11:11 am

      I often said “I deserve this, I’ve worked hard.” But really if everything is shit and I don’t have a savings account or all my bills paid in full, I don’t deserve anything.


  5. Saturday sharing #3 | Daily Money Shot on December 10, 2011 at 8:32 am
  6. nat on December 11, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I find it ironic that the ad on the side of your page is for Crayola featuring Cinderella and a little girl dressed as a princess and the Zulili ad on the bottom features Tutu’s…


  7. Money + Lifestyle Roundup on December 27, 2011 at 8:01 am

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