i don’t imagine my princesses in the same way
others do, either kissing their husband and in
marital perfection or the cynical version where they are drunk
in the kitchen, living out their happily ever afters in
a haze of poor decisions, no,

i think cinderella becomes a fashion designer, i think
she stops smoking and takes back her name and
ends up making money and being a spokesperson
for abuse victims, i think right now if ella was alive
she’d be laughing over a pumpkin-spice latte and
her empire is the most body-inclusive in fashion

i think snow-white becomes an activist, i think she
studies genetics and i think she will allow
no person with a disability to go homeless, i think
whenever someone makes a joke about seven small men,
she whips around and asks them what exactly their problem is
because there is nothing wrong with
any of her friends

i think aurora is a sleep disorder doctor
and a psychologist, she uses hypnosis to help people
who can’t quite escape the thicket inside of their brains and
i think she’s working on developing a pill for people
with chronic insomnia even though everyone still teases her
about that one bout of narcolepsy and one day she admits
she actually was awake for most of it and just studying

i think ariel has shut down marine life poaching in
as many parts of her country as she can, i think that
she’s got teams working to clean up oil spills
and she’s building windmills in her backyard because
she’d rather have the “eyesore” than know someone is
drilling in her home, i think she has degrees in environmental
science and marine biology, i think she’s got a side project for scuba divers and oceanography and is devising a way for
mermaids to visit her land without giving up their tails

i think belle is a veterinarian and runs her practice
out of her father’s house
where his inventions have saved the lives of at least
ninety dogs and i think that she is a teacher in her free time
and has raised gaston’s eight kids to be nothing short
of polite and well-mannered and i think that she takes
frequent trips outside of her little quiet town but
always comes home again

i think jasmine is a feminist in every aspect, i believe
she works with shelters and soup kitchens and makes sure
nobody starves in her city ever again, i think she sets up
homes for homeless women, i think she marches in rallies
and has a school specifically for gifted girls that
were almost married off to strange men

see, i think when we cast these women as only a prize to be won
and that their life stops as soon as the credits roll, i think
when we joke about how everything went south
right after it all,
we’re telling girls, “you will regret that you ever fell in love
or believed in magic when you were small,” see
you can believe in happy endings, but believe too
in the princesses themselves,
believe that marriage isn’t the only goal
a girl can set for herself,

believe that if these girls fought to stay alive
when an evil queen was chasing them,
if they fought to give up their nature
for the chance of more adventure, if they fought
the sultan himself and society’s expectations:
something tells me that their happily ever after
isn’t resting on their laurels, something tells me
they’d seek just a little more,
something tells me that they’d keep fighting until
there is a happy ending for every single
little girl

believe in yourself, princess, and know that
even if you want a career and husband
and twelve happy children,
you are not deluding yourself of anything. it is
completely possible to actually have
everything

it is okay for you to want a job and a home
and a family and a kingdom. you are strong enough.
you would handle it.

please don’t let anyone
tell you
different.

—  sit tall today, my love. your dreams are valid and you are always good enough. // r.i.d
8

"An Englishman of noble birth, Edward was a young man with fine attainments. He was a scholar. He was a poet. Musician of rare ability. He had another face on the back of his head. Hideous as the devil. No one else could hear what it said, but it whispered to Edward incessantly of things only spoken in hell. He tried to kill it. Many times in many ways. But it wouldn’t die. He went mad. It was telling him to do things. Commanding him. Legend has it that even in death, the demon face was smiling."

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