When I was a little girl, all I wanted was to travel to Genovia, land of pears and perfect grandmothers. A lot like Monaco, a little like Hollywood, and nothing like reality. I recall searching an actual globe, moving my little fingers from country to country, to no avail! I guess I just couldn’t find it. Or maybe, as is the case, Genovia, of The Princess Diaries fame, isn’t real. A sad day for youths everywhere. (I know I’m not the only one who thought Genovia was a real place. I’ve discussed this phenomenon before.)
Genovia was the site of a fake-real, modern day fairytale. Didn’t we all want to wake up one day and find out that we were the rulers of a little known island nation? If it could happen to Mia Thermopolis, expertly portrayed by a young Anne Hathaway, why couldn’t it happen to me? Mia had never heard of Genovia! Maybe I was also the Princess of a place I’d never heard of! It could happen!
I remember wanting Genovia to be real so badly. If not for me, for some other little girl. At the time, it didn’t seem like a feminist statement, but as I think about it more, maybe it was Genovia’s seeming impossibility that drew me in. A girl, kind of like me– a bit smart, a bit silly, a bit self-conscious–, in power. What a thought!