The Reverse-Cinderella Syndrome
As little girls, we grow up reading fairy tales about beautiful princesses being rescued by their knights in shining armor. Deep down in our hearts, every little girl yearns to be loved like that. We want a man to give everything up for us, even if it means his life, to keep us safe and make us happy.
Rather than relishing in the fact that we already have one God-man who has done this for us, however, we unrealistically expect this same treatment to come from a person… an imperfect, flawed, sinful person who was not designed to solely meet all of our needs (only God can do that).
As teenagers, girls often expect boys to pursue them (rightly so) and for them to then bend over backwards to meet their every desire. I recently saw on the Facebook profiles of acquaintances with high school children the great lengths that teenage boys were going to to simply ask a girl to a dance: The phrase “Prom?” being constructed out of kid’s swimming floaties and secured with rope across a swimming pool or the letters of the word “Homecoming” being individually photographed and framed are just a few examples. Talk about putting unnecessary pressure on young men! As young women grow older, we often expect the proposal and wedding to be of fairy tale proportions. And once we are both residing in our “castle,” we can sometimes expect our husbands to serve us. I can attest to this because I myself have suffered from this twisted mentality on occasion.
If we have bought into this mentality and placed fairy-tale expectations on the men in our lives (as I regrettably have often done), once we have children we can often suffer from the reversed-Cinderella syndrome. “I used to be treated like such a princess, but now I am scrubbing the floors, folding the laundry, and changing the 20th diaper TODAY! What about me and what I want to do?!?!”
Our culture feeds into the princess mentality, starting at infancy and well into adulthood. When was the last time you saw a “romantic comedy” where the woman goes to great lengths to serve and encourage the man she loves? I don’t think I have ever seen such a movie. And, as much as I hate to admit it, the body of Christ is guilty of this at times as well. Even the author of a recent Christian fiction book I read seemed to be encouraging this type of expectation for young women and the men who pursue them.
No, I’m certainly not against playing princesses and reading fairy tales…but I think we always need to remember who that knight in shining armor really is.
Let the King be enthralled by your beauty. Honor him, for he is your Lord.
As women, God has called us to a life of service (as Proverbs 31 clearly indicates). The people we need to start serving first and foremost are those in our own household. This is hard, especially when it is so counter-cultural, and I personally fail at it daily. It is a daily choice we must make as women: to serve or demand to be served.
Let’s make the choice to emulate the one man in our life who was perfect and chose to give up everything for us. Let’s make the choice to serve our families with a selfless attitude.