Feminist Poet Amanda Lovelace Releases New Book ‘Break Your Glass Slippers’ Focused On Embracing Your Self-Worth

We love a good narrative about breaking down the princess stereotype and giving girls the kind of ideal that is instead empowering, realistic and nuanced. Feminist author and poet Amanda Lovelace is definitely on the same wavelength as us and in her latest book, ‘Break Your Glass Slippers’, she is empowering readers with messages about self-love, overcoming those who don’t see your worth, and realizing that you are the most important character in your life!

Amanda is also the bestselling and award-winning author of ‘The princess saves herself‘, and continuing the disruption of the princess theme, her latest book is part of a brand new series, titled ‘You are your own fairy tale’, of which ‘Break Your Glass Slippers’ is the first installment.

From evil stepmothers who question your worthiness of love, to fairy godmothers who pick us up when we’re down, Amanda provides a place of empowerment for damsels who are done being in distress. In the epic tale of your life, you are the most important character, while everyone else is but a forgotten footnote. Even the prince. Having grown up a word-devourer and avid fairy tale lover, it was only natural that Amanda would begin writing books of her own. So she did.

This book is a modern retelling of Cinderella, assuring us that we can be the princess, the fairy godmother and best of all, our own Prince Charmingthat we can save ourselves.

The author’s first collection, ‘The princess saves herself in this one‘ (self-published), won the 2016 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Poetry and was a USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller. Her memoir poetry about the struggles of young adulthood really resonated with readers and paved the way for her next collections: The witch doesn’t burn in this one, which exploring the struggle of women under the patriarchy with a focus on abuse and sexual violence, and ‘To make monsters out of girls’, about an abusive relationship and its aftermath. 

In writing this newest collection, Amanda asked herself, “If our favorite gals were real & living today, what would that look like? Which issues would they be facing? How would they deal, especially given the new wave of feminism, focused on female empowerment & independence? What would that mean for their ‘happily ever after’?”

In this fairy tale, the princess doesn’t recklessly leave behind a glass slipper for the not-so-charming prince. In this fairy tale, the princess takes a hammer to them, shattering both to pieces. We spoke with the feminist author to learn more about what brought her to writing this new book series, and why she is passionate about disrupting the narrow messages given to girls about their lives from such a young age.

Tell us about the idea behind ‘Break Your Glass Slippers’ and how it came about?

On the heels of “women are some kind of magic”, which was a very personal poetry series that loosely incorporated classic fairy tales as well as other female archetypes, I knew I wanted to do something that would allow me to explore even more fairy tales.

With the “you are your own fairy tale” poetry series, I decided to zero in on specific tales we all know and love, and ask myself, “If this character were suddenly transported to our world, what kinds of issues would they be dealing with? What would they be feeling? How would the major characters in their modern tale treat them? In which ways would their story be shaped by today’s feminist movement?”

While I would consider each installment in the “you are your own fairy tale” series to be works of fiction, each poem is still derived from real feelings and experiences I’ve had. In some ways, this series is allowing me to explore things I wasn’t able to in my first, because you can only fit so much within one narrative with a defined theme!

This book is part of your new poetry series, ‘You are your Own Fairytale’. Can you share some of the feminist themes in this series and what you hope readers will learn?

As far as the first installment, break your glass slippers, the modern Cinderella character deals with a toxic home situation, body image issues, and self-esteem problems that ultimately drive her into an unstable romantic relationship.

It’s about dismantling the idea that you need to wait for your one true love—or a charming prince—in order to heal and transform your life. Nor do you need to wait for a fairy godmother, for you are your own fairy godmother. Each of us has the power to escape bad love and become complete, confident, and spiritual beings.

The next installment, releasing this time next year, is called shine your icy crown. It’s based on several beloved tales, but most notably Frozen. In my version of the tale, the Elsa-esque character is shaped by sexism very early on, and in a big way. While growing up, she also deals with issues such as anxiety, depression, unsupportive friends, and slut-shaming. It’s very similar to my second poetry collection, the witch doesn’t burn in this one, which is all about women taking back the power that was taken from them. Which means that it’s also slightly more political than glass slippers.

Growing up you were an avid fairytale reader, as many of us were. At what point did you start to dissect some of the more harmful gender norms pushed in these stories? 

I don’t think it was until my late teens or early 20’s, when the fourth wave of feminism first began.

If you’re unaware, the fourth wave of feminism utilizes the internet in order to gather activists and more easily spread information, and Tumblr—the social media platform I used most at the time—was heavily impacted by it. Up until that point, I thought the daily misogyny I experienced and even partook in myself was normal. Now I work hard to make sure girls grow up with better messages than I did, and the “you are your own fairy tale” series is very much part of that.

Why is it important for especially young girls (but also young boys) to read about princesses and female protagonists who can save themselves, fictional or otherwise?

From a sociological perspective, all art is said to not only reflect society but to also influence society. If that’s true, then, and we want our society to progress to a state of gender equality, then our stories, especially the ones we read to our children and our future leaders, need to show just that.

Girls desperately need to be empowered in a world that tries to diminish them.

Boys need to be shown that girls are every bit as powerful as they’ve always been told they themselves are, despite the existing male-favoring power structure, and they need to be encouraged to use their influence to help women rise.

We’re experiencing a wave of feminism across the globe with movements, marches, political leadership and more. How do you hope your work will be part of this ongoing cultural impact?

At the end of the day, I’ll be happy as long as my work resonates with even just one person and makes them feel less alone, regardless of the gender of the reader.

I’ll be even happier if it shows people why girls and women need to be given the chance to live freely outside the confines of our patriarchal society. 

What is your message about self-worth and confidence through your poetry? 

I try to make sure every reader knows that regardless of anything they’ve been through in this life—child abuse, toxic relationships, mental health issues, grief, sexism, etc—that they’ve worthy of being healed. That they’re finally allowed to forgive themselves for circumstances that were never their fault. That they can rise from the ashes a mighty phoenix.

You can buy ‘Break You Glass Slippers’ by clicking here.

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