Princess in Distress


As a child, I received my bedtime stories from Disney,
00:05
and at night, I dreamed to be a part of a whole new world
00:08
where Jasmine was singing… me.
00:12
From the age of three being told that I could be anything,
00:14
then growing up to realize that everything had a limit
00:17
for people like me.
00:18
Naive in my innocence, while being ignorant to the realities
00:23
of society but aware of the fiction and fairy tales
00:27
I declared myself a princess
00:30
without knowing that was wrong.
00:31
You see, I always wanted to be a princess, but the only parts
00:35
of their stories I related to was the distress because
00:38
in my life, there was no pot of gold associated with the colors of the rainbow
00:43
so I’m going to need people to stop telling that lie.
00:46
Like Mulan, I couldn’t thrive in a world where I had to hide my heart.
00:50
Every day I played a part.
00:51
My reflection couldn’t show who I was on the inside
00:54
because the outside world would disown me.
00:57
“Be a man.” They sang these words to control me.
01:00
You were born in the hands of your father to make you strong they said,
01:04
but at that age I saw Barbie as the place my hands belonged.
01:07
I liked pink.
01:08
My family thinks, “Where did we go wrong?
01:11
“This boys a fairy. We must beat him ’til it’s gone.”
01:13
They raised their hands, and in that moment my brown skin
01:17
now looks like dirt, and they can’t stand the trash nor come to terms
01:21
so I learned to hide.
01:24
Like Hannah Montana, I hid my life, but now I’m fighting
01:27
to take the climb.
01:28
Call me Cinderella.
01:30
I moved down the hierarchy.
01:32
I am now poor, without a father, and too black to receive one
01:36
in a magical form.
01:37
Bibbity bobbity boop, all I want there is no fairy godparent to save me,
01:42
just fairly odd parents that won’t let me be.
01:44
Like Ariel, my parents wanted me to conform, but my outsides
01:49
were in a desperate need to transform so I could swim away
01:52
from the life I was assigned and walk into my true state of mind.
01:56
You see, disguises don’t save lives. They end them.
01:59
You are not protecting someone by telling them to change who they are.
02:02
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know is the worst advice you could ever give
02:06
to a child that is different.
02:08
Like Anna, my heart had frozen over like polar ice caps.
02:11
Like Elsa, I slid into a kingdom of isolation
02:14
and transformed myself from a princess to a queen
02:18
because at this point it had seemed
02:19
like I was the only person that could ever love me.
02:22
So since society sees me as dungeons and dragons,
02:25
I learned to breathe fire.
02:27
And now I use words as my weapons.
02:29
No longer do I need a Prince Charming to rescue me because as you can see,
02:34
I slayed the enemy.
02:37
(cheers and applause)

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Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood

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