Tiaras, anyone?

By Poison Ivy,

Have you ever worn a tiara? A generation of women today have, after several generations who thought them excessively formal and over the top. True to the Disney princess manner in which young girls are being raised in the U.S. today, many if not all of the recent crops of little girls have at one time or another worn a tiara. And you know that can lead to harder drugs, like wearing tiaras for real as an adult.

Formal opportunities for tiara-wearing abound for the young. Aside from Halloween costumes, there also are ballet recital costumes, first communion formal wear (pretty close to a ballet costume, actually, since there are usually yards of pure white tulle, plus the obligatory tiara), quinceaneras, sweet sixteens, “prom” (which used to be “the prom” but has now lost its article), beauty pageants and debutante cotillions (yes, they still have these), and finally, bridesmaids or bridal gown gear.

These are merely the formal social events in which females may play a leading role. A young girl or woman might wear a tiara as part of a family wedding or other big event, whether she’s the star of the show or part of the entourage, or not. I do not know if tiaras are being worn in clubs, because the only clubs near me are strip clubs (sorry; I live in a benighted state). I suspect that sometimes, with a little irony intended, young women do wear tiaras to clubs. Mostly, though, girls today wear tiaras with absolutely no irony. When one considers the Jersey girls phenomenon on television—a celebration of style that is smugly tacky and overdone—it is not hard to see that after the low-cut, skin-tight, leopard-skin clothes, the sky-high heels, the pedicure and French manicure, the applications of eyelash and hair extensions, and more (much more), slipping a discreet little tiara into all that teased hair would not even seem outré.

By contrast to all this excessive feminine display, most contemporary romances feature down-to-earth females as their heroines. Paranormal romances, still the hot trend, explicitly display Goth-inspired dressing on their covers, but nothing fussy or old-style Kelly Osborne. Those paranormal heroines carry swords and knives and guns, and wear black leather pants and simple tank tops that show their tattoos. They don’t wear false eyelashes, there’s no lip gloss or eyeshadow, and they’d probably skewer you with a sword for accusing them of doing hair extensions. Their Goth accessories do not include a schoolgirl’s uniform or a maid’s apron, so beloved of Japanese Goth. These action heroines are not wearing tiaras at any time.

The more moderate, standard romance heroines, those middle-class, middle-of-the-road girls, probably aren’t wearing tiaras either, because they aren’t quite confident enough to swing out with such an exaggerated display of their femininity. These are the girls who sometimes still have to be coaxed to try on a pair of sexy heels. Femininity is not the issue, merely the display of it. There simply is no universally accepted proper mode of dress for a woman anymore in our society. Women at the highest level, such as Hillary Rodham Clinton, Michelle Obama, Meryl Streep, and Aretha Franklin, don’t affect the same style even at the same events. Other notable public figures wear such a wide variety of clothes that it is clear that each woman today gets to create her style herself, influenced, of course, by her family and her social milieu and a host of other considerations.

Which leads me back to tiaras. Although the makeover is still a beloved rite of womanhood, turning an awkward, coltish young girl into a sleek swan ready for the plucking by some man of the world is not what romances portray today. Instead, they celebrate increased confidence. That’s where the tiaras come in. The heroine of a romance always does some growing during the story, which in some romances gives her the impetus or even the opportunity (perhaps delayed by a plot circumstance) to create a more complete adult womanly image. But does she travel the entire distance from, say, a mud-splattered horse trainer to a tiara-wearing girly-girl? Does wearing a tiara mean anything specific? I don’t have the answers, but I do know where to find the tiaras. Go to Mad Hattery.com for the greatest collection of royal, princely, ducal, and otherwise upper-crust tiaras you’re likely to find anywhere. Wearing these amazing jewels are genuine princesses. See what you think. Are you interested in trying one on?