Watching The Princess Diaries As An Adult

by Olivia Deramus

The Princess Diaries is a classic – if you haven’t watched Anne Hathaway trip over some bleachers, you haven’t lived. Watching the film as an adult, I’ve learnt some lessons that can transfer across into everyday life. Here’s what I’ve learnt – Princess Diaries style.

1) You can’t run from your problems.

As relatable and charming Mia is, she keeps running away! Girl, hiding in that tower isn’t going to fix anything. Especially because most of us don’t have a real tower to lock ourselves away in. If anything, things seemed to get worse when she pulled this stunt. And this is the same in real life. The only way past our problems is through them. Choices made out of fear, i.e Mia not wanting to accept responsibility because she’s scared, don’t help her and they ultimately won’t help us in real life.

2) Advocating for yourself is essential.

When Mia does finally confront her fears, despite being a princess, there’s no one who can speak for her but herself. That speech embracing who she is and accepting the throne would have sounded silly coming from anyone else. This is true for our own lives too. If you don’t tell people who you are, what you want, and how you feel – how can you expect them to treat you the way you want to be treated? Or for that matter, get what you really want from life.

3) Go for the less obvious choice when it comes to dating.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Michael was the hotter one of the two boys trying to get Mia’s attention. But beyond that, the thing about Michael is that he wasn’t acting like a damn peacock. The blonde ken doll who took up most of Mia’s attention however? Yeah, attention was what he strived for, and he treated Mia badly. Plus, he wasn’t that attractive in the end anyways. The point of this part of the ramble is that, in the movie and in real life, the guy who’s a little quieter is usually the one who has the capacity to be something to you. Nerves shows he cares, smooth confidence suggests you’re getting played.

4) It really isn’t about what you look like.

Even when Mia has her “makeover”, this doesn’t immediately transform her life. She’s still dealing with the same problems, she’s still getting bullied, she still feels insecure. She had to grow into herself to stand up to the mean girl. Shiny hair wasn’t the magic bullet that made her happy. I think this really hits on a lie many of us buy into. That if we just lose the last ten pounds or reach some unrealistic ideal that we’ll finally be happy. Well this isn’t the case in this movie and it isn’t the case in real life. Happiness comes from the work we do on the inside.

5) Fame isn’t what will make you happy.

When I was first watching this movie, I got a tiny bit envious of the mysterious grandmother who tells her that she’s destined to be a princess. I wanted a shortcut to being special too! Except here’s what I love about The Princess Diaries – the princess thing really isn’t what makes Mia special. Yes it’s exciting, but it’s also more of a problem to sort out than a ticket to a shiny new life. I think this is an important lesson to take away, considering the social media age we live in. I see so many people on Twitter saying, “oh it’s my dream to make it to 3,000 followers” or some other number. As if having x amount of followers will transform our lives in any real way. So do your thing, work on yourself, and embrace what makes you special that doesn’t come with a camera your way.

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