It’s got to start with the clothes.
You know the ones I mean. Long, flowing gowns in jewel tones. Unbound tresses. Bare feet on a soft carpet of wildflowers. Unicorn optional.
All women recognize a goddess when we see one. Beyoncé on that bed of flowers baring her twin-filled belly? Goddess, for sure.
But a woman doesn’t become a goddess overnight.
Most of us have to borrow the gown until we’ve earned the right to wear it.
Take Beyoncé. She had to channel Sasha Fierce until she was confident enough to take the stage as herself, in all her human glory.
It’s tough believing you have the right to be a goddess.
Other women get to be goddesses by virtue of talent or looks or confidence.
If you’re ordinary, there’s no way you’d sit back, half-naked and pregnant, on a bed of roses. Or swan about in the forest picking flowers with an emerald cloak trailing behind you.
Ordinary women belong in offices and homes and coffee shops. They’re punctual, responsible, and down to earth.
Which is a shame, because goddesses get all the good stuff.
Goddesses attract princes. Men with golden locks that fall to their shoulders, blue eyes like lakes, and a broad-backed horse with room for two.
Goddesses are adored. Little girls want to be them. Paparazzi want to snap photos of them. Fans can’t leave them alone.
Goddesses know they deserve it. They’ve left behind self-doubt. They’ve earned their power. Self-loathing belongs to another life.
How could a normal woman dare to dream of goddesshood?
Because that’s who you already are.
You were born with this power in you. You can see it in other women because it’s already inside you. The goddess is femininity embodied. She is who we are, with all the doubts and fears and human frailties are scrubbed away.
Every little girl knows this. Except, in girl culture, the #goddessdrive is channeled into #princessdreams.
Inside every little girl is a princess who knows her power. She knows she was meant to do great things.
She knows she’s bigger than her parents and teachers allow her to be.
She knows she was born to wear a crown and command crowds.
But then she gets older. She learns that it’s silly to pretend to be a princess. After all, she’s just a girl. Her daddy and mommy aren’t really King and Queen. She’s no better than anyone else.
So she exchanges her princess gowns for tight jeans and midriff-baring tops. She throws away her silly plastic crown and begs her mother for red lipstick. Being sexy is a form of power everyone recognizes. They won’t see the princess inside her, but they’ll applaud her prettiness.
A world without goddesses is a world where looks are the only valid currency. Where a girl can never be more than she is. Small, imperfect, and all too human.
Listen to the world, and it will tell you there are no goddesses. Fantasies are for fairy stories. Real life is work. You don’t get paid to show up in high heels and beautiful gowns. Your job is to do what women have always done: be nice, say the right things, smooth things over, and help men.
It’s one of the great sorrows of the world that not all men can recognize a goddess like a woman can. Compare the girly calendar in a mechanic’s shop to a teenage girl’s Pinterest board or Tumblr blog. Girls pin images of Marilyn Monroe, Rosie the Riveter, Joan Jett and J.Lo. They know what feminine power looks like.
And there’s nothing a teenage girl wants more than to know her own power.
Without it, she won’t have the strength to resist becoming what the world expects of her.
Ten years later, when she looks at her tired face in the mirror, she’ll no longer see a princess. She’ll see someone trapped by all the roles she’s expected to play. Girlfriend. Daughter. Citizen. Employee.
She needs Beyoncé.
She needs to remember what is inside her.
She needs to remember the crown she cast aside.
As a little girl, she dreamed of princesses, castles, and balls. Now, as a woman, she’s earned the right to step into her goddesshood.
A goddess is a grown-up princess. She’s a woman who’s found her truth. She’s reclaimed the part of her that’s wild, feminine, alive and free.
And she’s vowed never, ever to abandon herself again.