March 21, 2011

{The Goddess Bride} Part Four: "Playing Dress-Up"

[excerpt from the upcoming book - The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride: How Princess Diana Exposed the 'Princess Myth' for All Women]

Is “feeling like a goddess” part of the allure of little girls playing dress-up? Not just their imaginations conjuring up ways to turn themselves into a fairy princess or princess bride; or a glamorous movie queen; or a bold and beautiful heroine; or a dazzling rock star, but is it in the act of dress-up play itself that they actually feel being divine, regal and goddess-like? I believe that we “remember” our spiritual origin when we’re babies and little children before that ethereal sense diminishes as life takes its weighty toll. But in this “between the veils” space we still have an awareness of the essence of who we really are. So perhaps in the games of playing dress-up, little girls are simply acting out their true divine nature.

I mentioned in an earlier chapter some of my own remembrances of playing dress-up as a little girl. Here’s something I wrote years ago about the intimate connection of costume with little and big girls:

I think that most women keep their little girl attraction for the mystique and drama of wearing clothes as an imaginative costume. My mother told me a story of how I never tired going up and down the stairs in our old two-story house in one of her long bias-cut nightgowns, saved from her trousseau. I remember taking such pleasure in how the silky fabric of the much too long gown would drag behind me, following me up the staircase, feeling as though it was some sensuous extension of my cosmic aura! What is it about the mesmerizing allure of the train?  Is it the appeal of the deeply feminine way it makes us feel, a certain inner and outer grandeur; or does it fulfill a fairy-tale princess longing; or something more primal, akin to the mating ritual of a rare exotic bird? 

In my former retail bridal shop, I enjoyed observing brides-to-be return to this little girl fantasy when trying on wedding gowns with trains. As they walked around, feeling the slight pull or tug of the train, they would twist slightly and look back to watch the fabric swish and drape and puddle. It was as if she was in a trance, like witnessing some mystical dance.  

A favorite story I shared with brides—borrowed from legend as well as from my own imagination—told how the train is like an extension of the bride’s presence, and on the day of her wedding, as she moves down the aisle, she ‘leaves blessings in her wake.’  Is this regal extension of a woman’s essence actually something rather divine and goddess-like that little girls instinctively know all about? Is it why “being a bride” has such a strong appeal for some women, thinking there is no other way to feel like a goddess? ~

[Other excerpts from "The Goddess Bride" chapter of The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride upcoming book can be found by clicking on "The Goddess Bride" in the Labels list below.]

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