May 19, 2013

The Making of a Queen

I wrote this song a couple of years ago but haven't shared the music until now.  I'm bringing it out in response to the discussion of our cultural obsession with disney princesses.  I love the article and picture essay of the 5-year-old aspiring to be like real women in history.  I think it is important for us to give our daughters realistic goals for their future.  Not everybody can be like Kate Middleton and marry a real prince.  But in a free country, every little girl can aspire to live happily ever after.

There are messages in the movies that I don't agree with.  Ariel runs away from home.  Belle falls in love with her captor (no way of telling this story without incorporating that element, unfortunately).  I'm not going to address those elements today.  The criticism I want to address is that of the Disney princess movies often ending with marriage.  Marriage is placed to represent that they lived "happily ever after", setting girls up for disappointment in life if they never marry. Can girls find happiness in adult life without marrying?  Of course they can.  Can they achieve great things without a husband?  Of course they can.  Indeed, the princess in history that I most admire never did marry.  Instead she became a great Queen who brought such prosperity to her country that the Elizabethan era was named for her.  Naturally we should not teach our daughters that everything depends on their becoming a wife someday.

But I don't think the princess stories teach that.  They tell a story of a girl who finds happiness in finding their true love- someone to share their life with and establish a family.  There's a big difference.  I have to wonder, what are we teaching when as a society we lash out at something so beautiful?  With the disintegration of the family, with broken marriages, single mothers dependent on welfare, and falling birth rates that threaten whole nationalities, we would do well to remember the example of these princesses- to marry.  Certainly we can't all marry a prince or a rich Mr. Darcy though we would all love to, but finding a good husband is a realistic goal for most little girls when they grow up.  Not unreasonable at all.

I love the lesson my parents taught me when I was small.  I wasn't taught to dream of being a princess someday.  I was taught that I AM A PRINCESS.  I am a princess because I am a daughter of God, the King of Heaven and Earth.  Therein lies my great worth.  Therein lies the worth of every little girl.  My biological father is also a king.  He is the king of our home and he rose to the occasion.  We are to be agents unto ourselves, every man a king, every woman a queen of that which falls under our jurisdiction.  If my father is a king then, I am a princess.  I wasn't taught to wait around for prince charming to come.  I was taught that if I want to marry a prince, I would have to be a princess.  I would have to act the part, to educate myself as a princess should, and to be the best person I could be.  That's what being a princess meant to me as a little girl.  When I went through the temple I gained an even greater appreciation of this principle.  In the walls of the temple, during the temple endowment, members are ordained to become kings and queens, priests and priestesses.  This blessing will be realized as we prove our faithfulness in this life, a blessing and reward we have to look forward to.

When I wrote this song, I was reflecting on the Relief Society Theme, which states that we find nobility in Motherhood.  It was shortly after my second child was born, a time of rejoicing in my life.  Whether or not a woman becomes a mother, we can all find nobility in this calling.  I don't want my daughters to feel deprived if they don't marry in this life because I believe as we are taught, that many of these things will be straightened out in the life to come.  We do believe that to attain the highest degree of glory, women AND men must have a spouse sealed to them in the walls of the temple.

I want to teach my daughters that while there is a need for botanists, nurses, teachers, anthropologists, and a host of other careers, what the world needs now more than ever is good mothers.  Mothers who know their own worth, who know the worth of their children, and who instill virtuous character sufficient to overcome the challenges of our day.  Mothers who love their children, spend time with them, and instill a moral code as only mothers can.  Glenn Doman teaches that mothers make the best mothers, and I wholeheartedly agree.  If children are the world's most valuable resource, then it stands to reason that motherhood is the noblest of professions, one worthy of admiration and respect.

That's my bottom-line takeaway from the princess culture.  There are many important things for us to teach our daughters.  Academics are important.  But let our girls wear the pretty dresses if they want.  Let them wear pink.  Let them dream of marrying a good man someday.  The more dreams like this that come true, the better off our world will be.

The Making of a Queen sheet music pdf


Shian said...

Tamsyn, this is beautiful!

Tamsyn Spackman said...

Thank you! :)

Tamsyn Spackman said...

Addy 52 weeks ago:
Just for your interest, Queen Elisabeth I was an adulteress. There is proof.

Ashly 52 weeks ago:

TamsynSpackman 52 weeks ago:
There's a lot of controversy over the Seymour episode, if that's what you are referring to. But no proof- she was declared innocent at the time. Certainly if she was guilty, she changed her ways afterwards. Elizabeth was a fast learner. This during her girlhood long before she ascended to the throne.

Addy 52 weeks ago:
Henry VIII died in 1547; Elizabeth's half-brother, Edward VI, became king at age nine. Catherine Parr, Henry's widow, soon married Thomas Seymour of Sudeley, Edward VI's uncle and the brother of the Lord Protector, Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset. The couple took Elizabeth into their household at Chelsea. There Elizabeth experienced an emotional crisis that some historians believe affected her for the rest of her life.[21] Seymour, approaching age 40 but having charm and "a powerful sex appeal",[21] engaged in romps and horseplay with the 14-year-old Elizabeth. These included entering her bedroom in his nightgown, tickling her and slapping her on the buttocks. Parr, rather than confront her husband over his inappropriate activities, joined in. Twice she accompanied him in tickling Elizabeth, and once held her while he cut her black gown "into a thousand pieces."[22] However, after Parr discovered the pair in an embrace, she ended this state of affairs.[23] In May 1548, Elizabeth was sent away.
However, Thomas Seymour continued scheming to control the royal family and tried to have himself appointed the governor of the King's person.[24][25] When Parr died after childbirth on 5 September 1548, he renewed his attentions towards Elizabeth, intent on marrying her.[26] The details of his former behaviour towards Elizabeth emerged,[27] and for his brother and the council, this was the last straw.[28] In January 1549, Seymour was arrested on suspicion of plotting to marry Elizabeth and overthrow his brother. Elizabeth, living at Hatfield House, would admit nothing. Her stubbornness exasperated her interrogator, Sir Robert Tyrwhitt, who reported, "I do see it in her face that she is guilty".[28] Seymour was beheaded on 20 March 1549.

I got this from Wikipedia. You know that if she had admitted to this that she would have been beheaded as well. Why wouldn't someone use everything in their power to proclaim innocence if death and shame are the result?

TamsynSpackman 52 weeks ago:
I am familiar with Elizabeth's story.

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