So last night a friend and I went to see the Russian Ballet’s performance of Cinderella here at Mizzou. Before leaving for the show, I texted my friend and asked if we could get dressed up for it. It was, after all, a theatre performance, and that is something one should look nice for. She agreed, so I shed my jeans and sweater and pulled on tights and a dress. Words could not describe how good that felt. The freedom of being in the dress nearly brought me to tears.
Those who know me know how I feel about skirts and dresses. If it was possible, I would wear one everyday of my life. But since it is freezing and snowy and otherwise despicable outside, I haven’t been able to for almost two months now. I’ve been stuck wearing jeans, which in my opinion are very uncomfortable and binding and not at all flattering on me. Wearing a dress makes me feel beautiful.
For most of my junior and high school years, I suppressed my girlish qualities and tried to be a tomboy. I thought I had to be tough; I couldn’t be weak or vulnerable. I built a wall up of feminine masculinity to protect myself from getting hurt. Part of this stemmed from outside sources, and part of it was my longing to be one of Peter Pan’s lost boys. I thought that being a boy was better. All the boys I knew were confident and strong and outgoing, something I thought I should be.
But try as I might, I wasn’t and could never be a boy. My freshman year of college was the first year in quite some time that I felt comfortable enough to be my true self. Maybe it was because no one here knew the old me, or maybe I was just too tired of wearing the mask. Something though made me let go of my fears and step out as me. The true me.
Now everyone lovingly teases me whenever I dress up for no reason. Dressing up makes me feel good. It makes me feel like a princess. I wear a necklace everyday with a crown on it to remind me that I am still a princess, even if I don’t have a prince. That may sound silly, but I love it. Because I am a princess. And I deserve nothing less than a prince.
Whenever I feel bad about being so girly and emotional and vulnerable, I remember that if God wanted me to be a boy, he would have made me a boy. But he didn’t. He made me a girl. A wonderfully girly girl who loves pink and cries at the end of cheesy love stories and thinks a froofy skirt and cardigan is the best outfit ever. He doesn’t just think I’m endearing; He thinks I’m captivating. The title of this post is my favorite verse in the Bible, Psalm 45:11 (that entire chapter is amazing, but that verse in particular is my favorite). It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, God loves me, just the way I am, which is so much better than any compliment someone else could give me.
Being at the ballet last night, dressed to the nines and excited to see one of my favorite stories told out through dance, I couldn’t help but smile at all the little girls sitting around me. They too were dressed up in pouffy dresses, their hair was done up into pretty buns, and their little purses and shoes matched their outfits perfectly. They all sat there (most of them had American Girl Dolls in the seats with them, which brought me back to my childhood) with wide-eyed anticipation. When the show started, I smiled as I saw their gazes glued to the stage. They were mesmerized, filled with wonder.
To those little girls, I hope you never lose that sense of wonder. I hope you always want to dress up and go to ballets. I hope you will always remember how beautiful and wonderful you are. And most of all, I hope you never doubt your value or who you are. You are all princesses, even if you don’t have a prince.