It’s almost valentines and I have come to a startling revelation. Prince charming really exists. In the pages of fairytale books. Prince charming is a con. A story that girls are told as children so that they can grow up believing that there is Mr. Perfect. It makes a girl turn woman believe that there is a man out there just waiting to rescue her and make her his queen. So what if she has to kiss a dozen frogs to find her prince. One will respond to her magical kiss and turn into the prince of her dreams. Or she may be poor but one day there will be an invitation to go to a ball. She will transform from Cinderella into a modern, sophisticated woman and woo the prince. I think many a poor girl is clutching the book for Cinderella for dear life thinking one day I will be a princess. And she makes it happen; her determination to woo a prince has no bounds.
Anyway this is a guest post written for Sammy Kitoto. We, he, a couple of other writers and I have been writing a series of posts on the Good guy, Bad guy, Nice girl, Bad girl issues. This post wants to focus on the myth of prince charming.
Nowadays women all over the world run home after work, school or wherever to go watch soaps. Men have never understood the phenomenon of soaps. What is it that fascinates woman so much about soaps? Also the day millions of girls and women all over the world are reading romance novels and magazines. They get wowed by the men in the books, movies, and soaps who are so romantic. Especially the bad boy who hurts the woman but at the end says “I love you! I loved you from the day we meet. Can we get married and have babies!” Sigh it’s so romantic. It can bring a tear to your eye and soften the most hardened heart. Mine too.
Prince charming I think is a conspiracy by men starting from a couple of centuries ago to brainwash women into thinking that the perfect man exists. You don’t think it’s true. The brothers Grimm were the ones who wrote the fairytales that we read today. Most of the romantic books are published by publishers who are men and movies are directed and produced by men. Think of the great love stories. It’s a conspiracy I tell you.
Having gotten my heart broken you would think that I would never touch a romance novel or movie again. Wrong. There I was buying them by the bundle trying to convince my heart that true love does exist and it will happen. The books and soaps let women go into a fantasy land where men are perfect even when they are flawed. We get romanced alongside the female character in the story. At the end both of us, the character, and I are in love with the hero who maybe was a villain at some point. Romance reaches out to a part deep inside of us that wants to be loved.
Then we also model our list of requirements on what we read in the romance. Our man should be tall, dark, mysterious, handsome, and rich. Many women out there are gold diggers maybe we shouldn’t blame them. They are just trying to get the prince like Cinderella did. Or taking lessons from soaps on how to trap a guy. They want to live the ultimate romance lie of happy ever after as a princess.
I had my own list of requirements of what the perfect guy should be. There’s the usual general list and then the more detailed one. He should have a good heart, love God, be responsible, be my best friend, love kids, be financially responsible; he should make me laugh etc. I had the perfect guy so I thought. He had all the requirements in both the general and specific list yet he still broke my heart. That’s the thing it’s not a magical list that if the guy fits all your requirements that he is the one. That list and the fact that he fitted in so well made me believe he was my prince charming. It made me work on the relationship even when it wasn’t working. It was like I believed that I can make it work by effort and determination. Sometimes though you just have to let go when somebody breaks your heart over and over again.
I have thrown away my list and decided who needs it (if you believe that it you’re not as clever as I thought you are.) ok me wish I could throw away the list but it’s been deeply programmed inside me, a brain virus of some sort that resists cleaning. Its hiding in the boot of my brain computer, when you look for it in the obvious places you cant find it but its cleverly hiding itself only to pop up when least expected.
Anyway out of the personal detour guys need to understand that women have been brainwashed. It’s not apparent but its there. Maybe we need to be deprogrammed. We are like those spies who are sleepers when they hear certain words there is a certain action that they are supposed to take. I think our word is Prince charming or Mr. Perfect. That’s why we are always looking for that elusive man. That’s why we ignore the nice guy next door because he is not the picture we have of prince charming. Maybe that’s why we love bad boys because they are dangerous. They look like they would rescue us from a castle which has a dragon or save us from an evil stepmother or wake us up from a deep sleep.
I think Shrek which I love was a break from the normal prince charming saves the day kind of fairy story tale. How does an ogre save and then marry the princess? It is an abomination, something that shouldn’t happen. No wonder Shrek and Fiona were not having a happy ever after; somebody was trying to sabotage them. It is not proper for a princess to marry a normal guy (not a prince) then she goes on to marry that creature (disclaimer – I love Shrek).
So we need to get over the illusion or fantasy that prince charming presents. The question is how does one do that? How do you deprogram women who have been brainwashed since they were children that prince charming or Mr. Perfect exists. The thing is women prefer fantasies because in the cold light of day reality is so boring its depressing.