Ever wondered how to raise the perfect LA Princess? Have you heard of the phenomena I like to call The LA Princess? The LA Prince exists too but in merely a shadow of their counterpart. Let me explain.
Firstly, welcome back after a bit of work and a great Thanksgiving break.
Thanksgiving is America’s longest long weekend (they don’t take the Friday and Monday off like we do in Australia and other parts of the world). And, because they’re giving thanks, it’s time to be with family and friends so it’s the biggest weekend of the year when it comes to travel. (Did you happen to catch this story about how busy it was on the roads in LA?)
If you’re playing along at home via Facebook and Instagram, we took a road trip to Utah. More about the travelog in the coming days (or weeks as the case might be!). I will just say though that it is indeed a spectacular part of the world.
Leaving behind the LA Bubble
I’ve decided that leaving LA bound for other parts of the US is good for the soul. It’s so easy to get caught up in the LA bubble we find ourselves in. And this is despite us trying to keep all eight feet on the ground. It’s not until you set foot outside the bubble that you realise you’re getting sucked in.
When we lived in China we used to call them “Get-out-of-China” holidays. This was simply because day-to-day life could be extremely difficult, constantly trying to navigate a world where the culture and the language are so so different from yours and extremely difficult to navigate.
The LA Princess Syndrome
Before I left LA I’ve been noticing the phenomenon I like to call the LA Princess syndrome. The LA Princess is unique in so many ways. And in other ways she is not new to you at all.
Perhaps the original LA Princess in my time was Paris Hilton (ironically went to the same school as my kids). She has been superseded by former bestie Kim Kardashian. And so, per the “Reality” Show, the Kardashians have big part to play in ensuring the LA Princess is alive and well.
But you don’t have to live in LA to be an LA Princess. From the comfort of wherever you are in the world—coupled with reality TV and Snapchat (don’t you know Instagram is for old people?! And yes I have a Snapchat account but still don’t know how to use it) you can raise an LA Princess.
Not unlike Sydney, LA is a melting pot of many cultures. And, like Sydney, there are many wealthy people around doing incredible things. But there is still somehow a difference. It’s difficult to put my finger on but it’s here.
I look to two friends as examples: both not from here, both wealthy with celebrity parents yet their children do not suffer from LA Princess syndrome. They must wander what on earth they’re doing wrong.
Controversially (or not) I think the bulk of the responsibility comes from the parents. (Shock. Horror).
Thankfully so many of my friends and their children don’t suffer from this syndrome or I might have to actually slit my wrists. But there’s enough LA Princess syndrome going on around for me to put together a little step-by-step guide on how to turn your perfectly normal girl into an LA Princess.
How to raise the perfect LA Princess
Here are five ways you can indulge your little Princess and turn them into an LA Princess.
1. Let her believe she’s the centre of the universe
The key is to indulge her. Indulge her in every way imaginable.
She is the centre of the universe isn’t she? Of course she is; let her know this. Only she matters.
My daughter has been playing school tennis. It hasn’t been without its ups and downs but I love that sport gives kids a sense of the real reality—they learn to win and lose, they learn that money doesn’t buy you everything and they learn about how to be a team player.
One Friday afternoon we were playing against another team and there were rumblings in the ranks (thankfully not on our team as they know our Coach will not stand for it). The conversation went a little something like this:
“We’re done, are you done?
“I don’t see why we should have to stay, I mean my daughter is finished. Can’t we just go?”
“I have so much to do and I don’t want to get stuck in the traffic.”
Yep that apple don’t fall far from the tree.
You can always tell which schools have a sense of team and which ones can’t see past themselves. We have played a number of teams whose girls just leave once they’re done leaving the last game standing to fend for themselves. In fact, one of the games nearly came down to a forfeit because the match was shaping up to be a tie. If it was a tie the rules are you all get back on the court and play another set. But, without the girls there to get back on the court they would have to forfeit. Oops. Lucky we won the last game and spared them a little humiliation.
Then there was the girl who came off the court wallowing in self pity. Here’s the conversation I overheard (in your best Kardashian voice) to a teammate who also just came off the Court:
“I’m so bummed we lost. It was so close, they were the biggest cheaters, we so should’ve won. And now I won’t be MVP” (Most Valuable Player).
But for every LA Princess you come across a girl who falls far short.
There’s one girl on our team who is nowhere close to being an LA Princess. She’s a sub who rarely gets to play. This girl is the first to cheer on her teammates, brings the best kick-ass snack to the games, take photos and is one of the first to ask the girls how they went in their match if they came off a different court to the one she’s been watching.
Now this girl has a lot of work to do before she can even dream of being an LA Princess. Poor darling.
2. Let her do whatever she wants
It sounds easy enough doesn’t it? Makes your job as a parent much easier and your popularity will go through the roof! But try as I might I just can’t seem to pull it off. If I let my daughter do whatever she wants you better head for the hills. If a 14-year-old girl gets to gallivant around town using her Uber account and credit card without her parents knowing where she is there’s no knowing what sort of trouble she’ll get into. And then for the rest of her life she’ll think it’s OK to do what she does. A monster is what she’d be. Oh wait …
3. Let her have whatever she wants
This is where I need the most work. I have myself the ultimate consumer. She wants everything: new fancy fast cars for us each year (at least she’s a sharer), new clothes every time she goes shopping, lots of makeup, (expensive) jewellery, eating out at the hip & happening joints all over town and let’s not forget front row seats to every must-Snapchat-from concert. Yep, if I followed this rule we’d be out on the street with nowhere to live. Fortunately for most 90210 parents they have the budgets to sustain this over-the-top spending. Fortunately, too, I hasten to add, for the LA Princess.
I once had someone beg me to let my daughter go with her daughter so her daughter wouldn’t miss out on her Snapchat-worthy event. I’ve still got a lot of work to do. That-a-way.
4. Don’t set any boundaries.
When we first arrived I was privy to this discussion. Hashtag priceless.
“I took all the devices off my child yesterday. You need to learn your lesson I told her adamantly. Then I told her if she’s good all week tomorrow I would go and buy her a new one. Now she has two and she uses them both. I’m so proud of her.”
Yep, you tell them. That will teach her.
Then there was the time before that where she broke her screen. A group of three families were out. The then-12-year-old broke her screen on her phone. She was crying hysterically. Mr H said, “Don’t worry you can get the screen replaced just down the road.” The other dad chimed in, “Yes, and we just did it for our daughter, so easy and so much better than buying a new phone.” The next day she has a brand new phone. It’s OK though, they fixed the old phone too. You always need more than one phone don’t you know.
Either kids are really good here but you never hear of anyone really being grounded. They are more like the exception to the rule.
So boundaries people, no need for them either. Raising an LA Princes is easier than you think huh?
5. Dress her appropriately
I have to say this is perhaps one of the most important things to consider. There are a few looks to be embraced in order to become an LA Princess. All of them are acceptable.
The first look is the leggings (must be a brandname, eg. Lulu Lemon) with tight top. If the top is too long you can use an elastic to tie it above the hips to one side.
The next look is the short shorts with the Brandy Melville crop top.
Finally you can wear tight jeans with a crop top.
As the girls get older, designer handbags become the norm. (Remember I discovered this the hard way when I first arrived). Then designer shoes with 10” heels (they can barely walk in) start to creep into the wardrobe. And now we are entering the “jewellery-your-mother-doesn’t-even-have” phase with the Cartier love bracelet being the piece du jour. Buy Hermes will do too.
A word of warning about this “recipe for success”
This might seem easy but it is not as straight forward as it might seem. You might need to play around with the proportions.
For example, some LA Princesses only need to feel like they are the centre of the universe with very little of any of the other ingredients. Others have whatever they like but still struggle to pull off the LA Princess. Others still have seemingly everything they want yet are still not content and are looking for something more. Others look the part but struggle to own it; to act the part.
And others want to try to raise LA Princesses but can’t quite bring themselves to follow the rules.
We’re back in our bubble now. For a little less than a week, however, my daughter was privy to how the rest of the world lives once again. She said life would be much easier if we didn’t live in our bubble. But that’s it isn’t it? To learn to live as most people do within our bubble.
She’ll be right mate. We got this.
xx It Started in LA xx