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You Are Not A Princess

Against the Cinderella culture, a Catholic high school in Kentucky has a blunt message for young girls.

Youre not a princess, Mercy Academy says in a new ad created by Louisville, Ky. agency Doe-Anderson.

Dont wait for a prince, reads another. Be able to rescue yourself.

This message empowers them to move beyond that whole fairy tale idea and to write their own story in life, said Mercy principal Amy Elstone.

The Louisville girls' school with 550 students launched the campaign last week, with ads on websites, billboards and bus shelters. Elstone knew it might raise eyebrows.

We knew it was going to be risky going with this message, Elstone says. Our girls are growing up in a society where theyre told by their parents that theyre a princess, and our message is that theyre not a princess, theyre so much more.

Elstone doesnt want students to think they need to wait for their Prince Charming. 

 Thats what TV tells them and movies and Disney tell them, she said. We teach our girls to prepare for real life.

 That could include a prince, she said, as long as a student is writing him into the picture, Elstone said.

The campaign, Elstone said, is true to the schools mission of preparing girls for the 21st century.

And we think this holds true to the Catholic tradition and our ultimate goal is to produce women of mercy, she said.

So far, she has received only positive feedback.

Its been amazing, Elstone said. Weve been hearing people talking about it in the community. Its all over Facebook. It gets people talking. People are debating our message and applying it to their own life.

Mercy students enjoyed the campaign when the school ran it by them last year, she said. 

They all loved it, Elstone said. They said it is exactly what a 13- and 14-year old girl needs to hear.

A few girls, she said, teared up, she recalled, and said, Yes, Im writing my own story."

You watch the Hollywood romance movies and you see the happy ending and the guy always comes in and saves everybody and everybody lives happily ever after and thats not life.