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Thank you, Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher in Star Wars

Since news of Carrie Fisher's death, I've seen tribute after tribute to the princess, the queen, the woman that she was, that she is. She was honest about her struggle with mental illness; she refused to sit still and look pretty when that's all our culture wanted her to do; she acted with courage even when she was scared to the bone.

When she first starred as Princess Leia in the Star Wars trilogy, she gave so many of us little girls a different vision of what a princess could be. As both Leia and herself, Fisher embodied the complexities of womanhood. She showed us what it was like to be both fierce and soft, angry and content all at once. She gave herself, and therefore all of us who idolized her, permission to feel what we needed to feel and to not be ashamed of it.

So here's to all you princess-queen women out there who grieve the loss of Queen Carrie while celebrating all she gave us--perhaps the most important of all, the freedom to be who we are, as we are, with all our mess and all our beauty all at once.

And here's to you, Princess Leia, Queen Carrie. You are a powerful, gentle, witty and wise woman who continues to teach us that princesses and queens come in every shape, size, demeanor and type. May the force be with you. May the force be with us.

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