An article in 2016 about a young girl’s inspired choice of princess outfit for her ballet class captured my imagination back then, and still does to this day.
Ainsley Turner from North Carolina, responded to her Holly Spring’s dance school’s Princess Week, by choosing a head-to-toe Hot Dog costume.
Ainsley’s outfit choice turned her into a viral hot dog – news outlets across the world celebrated this young dancer’s bravery to be different and forge her own sausage-inspired path in a sea of traditional tutus, sparkles, and pastels. As noted in the Huff Post article ‘perhaps Twitter user Jillian Ackerman summed up our feelings best, “In a world full of princesses, dare to be a hot dog.”
The wholesale celebration of Ainsley’s fearless statement is fabulous. She likely walked taller, and felt way more confident in her decision to take a path less travelled, due to the resounded applause of her ‘screw you princess theme’ attitude.
So…. inspired by the little girl who stood proud as a small good in a sea of Disney rhetoric, my question is ‘Would you dare to be a Separate Sleeping Hot Dog in a culture of Couple Sleeping Princesses?’
I’ve written before about why we (as humans) have a need for social acceptance. Being part of, and welcomed into ‘the pack’ is deeply embedded in our DNA. We crave acceptance and validation, and can feel out of kilter, or even rejected, when we don’t receive validation sought – either explicitly or implicitly. There are a few of us–like Ainsley–who simply don’t care. Those folk are self validating – and I am so jealous of them.
I have total peace with my separate sleeping arrangements – and to be honest, am quite proud of them. But there are still many aspects of my life where I need approval from friends, work colleagues, and society in general, to feel okay about myself.
Some days I’m on top of the inner turmoil, but to be honest, sometimes I lay awake at night, wracked with crazy thoughts about whether a friend approves of what I’ve said or done, whether my boss likes me enough to trust my work, whether what clothes I wear are fashionable, and a whole range of other irrational thoughts about my life and my choices gaining approval and acceptance.
I seriously often think about Ainsley and her joy in doing what she wanted to do. Another shot from her day as a dancing hot dog shows how proud and happy she is in her outfit.
So are you desperate to be a Separately Sleeping Hot Dog Princess?
Are you dreaming about the day you can head to your own room for a quiet night’s sleep, with the temperature you want, the bedding you want, the light and sound at the right levels for you, and the peace to know that you can do so without fear of judgement?
If you do want to sleep separately, you may need to ignore what others think. You may need to shed some self doubt you’re carrying around and believe what you are doing is the right thing. You might need to put on some blinkers and ear muffs, and walk right past people who are casting doubts on you, or your relationship, because you are doing something that (as yet) isn’t mainstream – so it’s challenging THEM.
The bottom line…. you might need to be a Hot Dog Princess!
Go get that outfit and stand proud! (Or lie in a bed by yourself in a bedroom that meets your every sleeping need)