PRINCESS OF EVIL
About a year and a half ago my dad had a bunch of our family’s home video cassettes converted to dvds as a birthday gift for my mom. Now, trapped in quarantine, I decided to dig up the tapes as a hopeful source of entertainment. While sifting through the recordings, I came across one featuring a much younger version of my sister, brother, and myself decorating our Christmas tree where I decidedly state, “My name’s Princess!” to which my sister responds, “No it’s not. If you were a princess you’d be the princess of evil.” As my seven-year-old self would have attested to, she probably wasn’t wrong.
The idea for the Princess of Evil stemmed from a singular thought: “how far have we come?” I grew up during the downfall of the Disney princess. Throughout my childhood they were adored, by my adolescence they were condemned. One day I was dressing up as Belle on Halloween for the fifth year in a row and the next day Keira Knightley was banning her kid from watching Cinderella. The switch was flipped. Looking back on them now, it’s easy to recognize the original Disney films as sexist; however, that unfortunately doesn’t mean they were inaccurate portrayals of the treatment of women. Despite the fact that a younger generation now has the opportunity to watch strong female empowered films released by Disney– they are still fairytales. They are not yet our reality. And in typical magical tale fashion, they can easily sweep us up by giving us something we want to believe in. But could it not be said that in many ways the old Disney dynasty is a more accurate reflection of our current state?
This evening, the President of the United States appeared on my television screen for a daily briefing regarding Coronavirus. The man sitting in the Oval Office being the same man who once said of women, “I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ‘em by the pussy. You can do anything.” That line has always stuck with me. You can do anything. Regardless of politics, it is my belief that there was a grave disservice done to the little girl in this film by allowing a man who had already abused the small amount of power he granted himself as a self-proclaimed “star,” the opportunity to lead our nation. A man who refers to people whose views differ from his own as “evil.” And when discussing the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, he went so far as to refer to Kavanaugh as a, “flawless person,” saying to the audience, “It was a disgraceful situation brought about by people that are evil.”
To that, I say I embrace the title bestowed upon my seven-year-old self. Whereas when I first watched my family’s home video I questioned what it is to be evil, I now believe evil is a state of mind. As any word, it can be redefined over time. If at this time evil is change… if evil is equality… if evil is respecting one another as human beings– what’s so bad about being evil? As confirmed by my on screen talents, there is no denying I was a bad princess, but that wasn’t such a bad thing. Through this film I hope to contribute in some small way to redefining royalty in today’s culture by giving all little girls the opportunity to be raised as strong princesses of evil.