For ages, girls have grown up with shows where the female is reliant on the male—the prince, the doctor, the lawyer who sweeps her off her feet, the list goes on. It wasn't until recently that the notorious happily-ever-after-hub, Disney started to scale back on its traditional storytelling, instead leaning toward more empowering anecdotes about women (like that of The Princess and the Frog).
But there's still this expectation that all girls should act like princesses and rely on men for happiness. One all-female Catholic school in Kentucky is hoping to change that ideal and make it realistic and reflective of what girls can do on their own.
"We wanted to really get the message across that Mercy [Academy] students have the power to write their own stories,” Amy Elstone, principal at the school, told Yahoo Shine. The ad slogans certainly speak for themselves: “You’re not a princess. But you can still rule the world,” “Mirror, mirror on the wall. Be more than just the fairest of them all,” and “Don’t wait for a prince. Be able to rescue yourself.”
The best part is that the campaign isn't just for show. The school actually does aim to help its students become independent, accomplished women. Entrepreneur courses where students start their own companies and hands-on chemistry classes where they help clean up a simulated oil spill give the girls the skills they need to act, not just observe.
But there are plenty of factors working against the young girls; there will probably always be romantic comedies where the woman is, in so many words, saved by her knight in shining armor. And don't even get us started about the wedding industry—women are expected to dream of their wedding day their whole lives, but what if you don't get married? Are you missing out on "the best day of your life"?
We hope this school's message resonates with the teens it's aiming to recruit. Ultimately, we imagine that the women they churn out each year go on to do great things.