Wednesday morning, my friend and I auditioned to be Disney Princesses.
"Remember - you are all beautiful! But also remember, we are looking for very specific roles to be filled. We want the fantasy to be consistent for all of our guests."
These words echoed off the walls of the Hubbard Street Dance Studio in Chicago Wednesday morning as my friend and I got ready to be "type-cast" and "profiled" by two Disney Casting Directors who were in charge of the Chicago stop of the nation-wide Disney Casting tour. The chorus of giggles that echoed off the walls in response to the director's encouragements sounded like a harmony of birds chirping, and I felt like I had walked into an animated feature film.
Over the course of the next hour, my friend and I danced, smiled, twirled and posed with 84 other aspiring princesses for two judges who knew exactly what they were looking for - princess look-alikes. I knew going in that I wasn't made for a tiara and hoop skirt - I would rather build forts and mountain bike than play house as a youngster - but also knew that, even if we weren't chosen after a "poise and grace" dance routine as Rapunzel, Cinderella, Tiana, Tinkerbell or Snow White, that God promises me my worth doesn't come from how much of a princess I am by Disney's standards.
We are all created with unique gifts - and the girls who advanced in the audition definitely exuded Disney-esque beauty, poise and grace. As my friend and I walked back to the train with 60+ other "dejected" princesses, we discussed how the Hunger Games' Katness Everdeen might have responded in our situation, and were inspired by two dance students from Columbia College in Chicago who befriended us and informed us they were on their way to participate in a flash mob at the Marilyn statue by the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue. In that moment, we were reminded that there are plenty of gifts to go around, ranging from hip-hop dance (like the girls from Columbia), to arching skills (like Katniss'), to watercoloring to creative writing...and the list goes on and on.
One of my greatest role models, Beth Moore of Living Proof Ministries, wrote a blog post a few days ago about God's all-encompassing and affirming love for us, no matter what we look like or how we feel about ourselves. The lyrics posted below are written by Moore's good friend Christy Nockels - a solid reminder of God's promise to make us into who He desires us to be, no matter what we feel about ourselves. Reading these, along with Song of Songs 4:7, make me feel like a princess - and I can honestly say I will appreciate the Disney princesses a ton more next time I see them at the parks.
“I’m so concerned with what I look like from the outside.
Will I blossom into what You hope I’ll be.
Yet You’re so patient just to help me see.
The blooms come from a deeper seed that You planted in me.
Sometimes it’s hard to grow when everybody’s watching.
To have your heart pruned by the one who knows best.
And though I’m bare and cold, I know my season’s coming.
And I’ll spring up in Your endless faithfulness.
With my roots deep in You, I’ll grow the branch that bears the fruit.
And though I’m small, I’ll still be standing in the storm.
‘Cause I am planted by the river by Your streams of living water.
And I’ll grow up strong and beautiful, all for Your splendor, Lord.
So with my arms stretched out, I’m swaying to Your heartbeat.
I’m growing with the sound of Your voice calling.
You’re bringing out the beauty that You have put in me.
For Your joy and for Your glory falling.”
Written by Christy Nockels and Nathan Nockels, Copyright 2012 sixsteps Music/worshiptogether.com Songs/Sweater Weather Music (ASCAP) (Admin. at EMICMGPublishing.com)