I was driving along listening to the radio when out of the corner of my eye I saw the pink princess: the non-conformist. She was dressed in a sparkling pink dress, with a crown and a matching veil. She was part of a circle of kids who had their heads together looking at something in the schoolyard. I would tell her if I could, “Don’t change who you are…”
Something about the Pink Princess made me smile to myself. She was living life to the fullest. She was moving to the beat of her own music.
When she woke that morning, I wondered what made her want to dress like a Princess when all her classmates were in everyday kids clothes. It didn’t look like Dress-Up Day, and it wasn’t Halloween since it was a beautiful and sunny June morning.
I loved that the little girl had possibly woken up, saw her Princess costume, threw caution to the wind, and wore what she wanted to wear.
I can picture the kids now… there’d be some that would snicker and point at her, others who would gossip with their classmates (who hadn’t had the brilliant idea themselves.) But maybe, just maybe, one little girl in the class would come up to Pink Princess with the hanging head, grab her hand and say:
Then Pink Princess would smile at her, and they would become the best of friends, for life. Happily ever after, accepting one another.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t always turn out that way.
When I was in high school, I had a pair of green pants that I loved, and I thought they were five years ahead of the fashion trends in my remote town of Wawa, Ontario. I wore those pants proudly. Until someone made fun of them.
The pants went to the back of my closet, never to be seen again. But I loved the green slacks! In hindsight now, I wish I had had the confidence to wear them because I LIKED THEM. But instead, I conformed to the opinions of someone else.
When you’re a fifteen-year-old girl, you usually lack the confidence to live outside the circle of regular fashion practices.
Because at fifteen you REALLY care about what your peers think of you.
In grade eight there was a sad event that happened almost every time we went to gym class. Our teacher would ask two girls to be team captains and then let them pick a girl, one at a time until one classmate out of fifteen was standing alone. The same girl was always left by herself, with all of us staring at her.
I would cringe at the awkwardness of the moment, and the embarrassment of the shy girl no one ever chose first, second, third or even forth. I thought it was cruel. The solution was simple; line us all up and number us 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2 until we were on either team one, or team two.
Once in a blue moon, I was team captain, I would pick Kyna first because she was my best friend, then I would choose the shy girl.
Twenty years later, I saw her in another city at a mall. There she was in a circle with her husband and three daughters. Her teenage girls were beautiful, and they all seemed to admire their mother. I went over to talk to her, and she was still painfully shy. I wasn’t sure if she’d remember me. But she did.
She had become a non-conformist in her own way.
She had remained uniquely and beautifully herself. And she hadn’t changed from what I remembered her. But I wished when we were in grade eight, that I had had the confidence to tell her she was perfect just the way she was.
Have you been trying to change who you are to conform to the people around you? Is pleasing them and having their approval, important enough to pull you away from who you truly are – who God created you to be.
When someone told me about ten years ago, that I’m not supposed to wear white pants between fall and spring, I was shocked. Up to that point, I wore white pants when I wanted to wear white pants. I wondered who made up the rule and why are we all following it? Why are we conforming?
We don’t want to stand out and be judged, so we change who we are.
My husband Vance and I were watching a show about social conformity a few years ago. In the live scene, with a hidden camera, a girl comes into a waiting room and sits down. All of a sudden everyone stands up (actors) when they hear a beep. The young lady looks around confused. Then they all sit down when they hear another beep. She watches them do this for a few minutes. She asks why they are standing? But no one knows why – they just DO. After a few minutes, she joins in and gets up when she hears the beep. Eventually, none of the original people are in the room, but she is still standing when she hears the noise.
She has no clue why she’s standing, but she does it anyway.
I had a group of people over to my home for a potluck. I had put out the paper plate, plastic cutlery, and napkins. We had eaten our main course and cleared it away to make room for dessert. A woman asked me if I had smaller napkins for dessert. I told her I did have some small ones, but we already had a stack of napkins sitting there we could use. She said to me that it’s proper to use small serviettes for dessert.
I don’t know about you, but I’m wondering if the person who came up with that rule is still alive, I’d like to ask them why they were the ones who decided what size napkin I was going to use. My husband would tell you, he would prefer a large napkin to a small one, I’m hoping he can earn the title of “Rule Maker for Women’s Etiquette.”
As women, we can readily conform in all areas of our lives to those around us. If we moved to another country, we would adjust to their ideals.
But Christ said:
I don’t think Jesus Christ meant for us to disrespect a culture and their ideals. But he knew as Christians we would struggle with pleasing others instead of pleasing him. We would be conforming, when he has asked us to reflect his glory, which is different from the world’s standards.
The Pink Princess The Non-Conformist.
We were each created for a purpose. No two people have the same life-plan designed by God. Our careers, when or if we marry or have children, homeschool or not; is going to look so different from one woman to the next. But we tend to like to pressure each other to stay within the lines of conforming instead of embracing God’s unique plan for our life.
Have you been struggling with feeling like you may have stepped outside of God’s plan – to conform to someone else’s ideas and change who you are? Have you been inching along as a caterpillar and not becoming a butterfly? Might there be a Pink Princess inside you waiting to break free?
God did not design you to conform, he created you to shine brightly and reflect his glory. The best way to do that is to ask God to free you from wanting other peoples approval, so you can embrace his freedom to be the woman he beautifully-crafted you to be.
One who instead conforms to Christ, and is loving, gracious, kind and unique💗
Read another great post about the struggle to accept our bodies past age fifty: HERE