Undoubtedly, at one point or another, every little girl has a dream of being a princess. Halloween after Halloween we put on our puffy pink dresses and plastic tiaras and feel exceedingly ravishing. Disney's princesses taught us what it means to be a princess and Hollywood's The Princess Diaries has only enforced our burning desires of becoming a real-life princess. The movies portray Mia's (played by Anne Hathaway) role of being a princess as this delightful, quintessential mantle. At a younger age, I was always stunned by how fabulous the princess life looked.
So, for all of you who loved The Princess Diaries growing up too, while it hasn't been officially confirmed that The Princess Diaries 3 is happening, the script has indeed been written. Back in January 2016, Chris Pine who played the role of Mia's love interest, Lord Nicholas Devereaux, vaguely announced through a Tumblr Q&A that our beloved series was getting a third movie. A fan-submitted the question "Don't you pray every night for a Princess Diaries 3??? BECAUSE I DO." to which Pine's answer was, "Have you been reading my diary???"
Gary Marshall spoke to People in March 2016 about the possibility of the third movie. He confirmed that Anne Hathaway is totally on board too! "I was with Anne Hathaway a couple weeks ago, it looks like we want to do Princess Diaries 3 in Manhattan," announced Marshall to People. Unfortunately, Marshall's plans were not executed, but it is possible that the third sequel will still be set in New York to honor his idea.
High Hopes for The Princess Diaries 3
I have high hopes for the hopefully happening (fingers crossed) the third movie. I feel strongly so because it would give Hollywood the opportunity to correct their poor message of 'nerd makeovers'. As I grew older and experienced the endless worries of body image issues and social anxiety, resulting in the 'pretentious identity', I created of myself on social media. I became confused by the messages the movies with princess stories were communicating to children – both girls and boys.
I would dream of the day when I found out that I was actually a 'real princess' from a royal family! Every girl has watched The Princess Diaries at least 10 times and my favorite scene is hands down when (Mia) Anne Hathaway gets a makeover. But, there is something off-putting about this scene. In The Princess Diaries, Mia's makeover takes place when she suddenly launches into the spotlight after being crowned Princess of Genovia. Looking back on the scene of her makeover and the overall message of the movie, I am left puzzled and with a mixture of emotions. Before her princess days, Mia was portrayed as a socially awkward girl with frizzy hair and glasses. She was made fun of and teased by the popular crowd for her appearance. Her makeover includes her getting rid of the frizzed hairdo and switching out her specs for contacts. The just of the makeover is to make her look 'pretty' – in accordance with the societal norms of beauty.
Societal norms are infuriating because growing up in this era I experienced the pressure of trying to look 'perfect' or else society would not accept me as 'beautiful'. Having this desire for approval based on your looks is popularly known as #goals. From her makeover, Mia does not only gain the approval and confidence she didn't have before, and her transition from 'nerd' to 'beautiful' earns her attention from the boy that wouldn't notice her before. This change perpetuates the defeating message that a drastic change in physical appearance is what makes the person of your dreams finally notice you and that boys should only notice girls based on their flawless hair and makeup and not their personality, which is nonsense. I feel that this is a wrong message.
This content encourages youth to have an unrealistic view of what beauty is. It strengthens the anxieties the youth face in this century – the anxiety of feeling worthless unless you have the perfect hair and makeup and your eyebrows #onfleek. Being a princess is suddenly all about looks. You cannot be special and feel like a princess unless you adjust your appearance. Natural beauty (Mia's hair) and personality (what makes nerds awesome) seem to be disregarded in The Princess Diaries.
In reality, we know that being a nerd is not as rigidly defined anymore. We also know that the nerd stereotype of taped glasses and untamed hair does not apply. Not all nerds look the same. As our world is moving towards liberalism and inclusivity, people are given the opportunity to feel empowered by who they are and there is more encouragement to feel beautiful in your natural body and feel accepting towards yourself. Nerds are cool, truly cool.
As a society, as a whole, we are definitely not there yet. However, I am hoping that Hollywood is realizing that the 'nerd makeover' ship has sailed. This may be wishful thinking. The Princess Diaries 3 should entail a new adventure where this incorrect message is recalibrated and rewritten into a moral the gives its audience the memo that love and acceptance of oneself and others is above societal standards.
So, let's get our tiaras ready because The Princess Diaries 3 shall be new and exciting! It may be some time till the third sequel gets made, but until then, we have time to rewatch the first two movies and drool over Mia's beautiful tiaras and dresses.