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Chocoholism: A Symptom of Princess Syndrome

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Chocolate is beloved by women of the western world. Since childhood I’ve been told this. World War II era films have ambitious suitors promising nylons and chocolate bars to win the affections of sultry sirens. If food is the way to a man’s heart, is chocolate surely one way to a woman’s carnal accolades? No. It is merely a way to acknowledge her femininity and perhaps aggravate her princess syndrome.

“Princess syndrome” is characterized in a myriad of ways. I think of it as the desire for “happily ever after.” A girl is born; she is groomed into a young lady who is properly courted by many suitors. She indulges in all things feminine and dainty. Her sole, allowable vice is chocolate. Chocoholism is dainty and delicate—or maybe it is just cute. But, I digress. Upon marrying Prince Charming, she becomes a fine lady who lives happily ever after with no health, romantic, or financial worries.

Chocolate has never pleased my palate much. I ate it to be in with the girls. Girls like chocolate. Girls like to shop. Girls like to spend endless hours gossiping on via phone. None of those activities brought me much pleasure. Of the three, chocolate consumption was the easiest in which to feign interest. Many a young woman desires to be desired by suitors and friends alike.

As an adolescent I wandered around wondering when that first kiss would come. Would the new semester bring my Prince Charming? For some reason, I was not on the romance radar. Was I feminine enough? At age twelve, I stood 5’7” with a Baywatch body—but there was nary a suitor. Some of that I attribute to my self-appointed big brother, a henchman of my father’s, determined to protect my virtues until I walked down the aisle. No doubt a multi-tiered chocolate cake would be served at the wedding reception where I’d delicately smash a piece into my new mister’s face. Then, I would finally be a fine lady.

Once upon a time I’d chomp my milk chocolate alongside the best of them … and then quickly seek something to wash away the taste. Eventually, I discovered dark chocolate was tastier and that truffles were sophisticated. Gradually, the taste, intriguing though it may have been, routinely brought a grimace to my face. I began to question its appeal to my sisters the world over. Is it true that chocolate stimulates sensuality in the female brain? Does it really relieve you of monthly discomfort? Is eating chocolate a way to vent frustrations or merely demonstrate feminine passion?

Can you be like Cinderella and get your real world version of a glass slipper if you’re not ultra feminine? Will you ever be regarded as a lady? My aspiration was to be considered as elegant as my mother, a notorious chocoholic, who maintained her near supermodel figure through her middle age years. Sadly, coveting cacao does not a fine lady make.

Ironically, as I progressively gave up trying to be one of the girls, my peers increasingly perceived me as feminine. Petite ladies were describing me as dainty. Women who see life six inches lower than I do called me the girlie-girl. I never gave up athletics. I lost the Bay Watch body but became the epicenter for romantic rumblings. Perhaps the act of rejecting chocolate broke me of my Princess Syndrome. Unlikely. Renouncing the confection was gradual. Maybe the cure for Princess Syndrome is to eschew pretension. The symptom left along with the belief in happily ever after for which I exert no proactive effort.


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