Leesburg sophomore Kiara Brown said she loves reading and writing, but has always been disappointed by the selection of fairy tales. She said these stories are often sexist, showing the princess as a helpless damsel in distress, waiting to be saved by a suave prince.
"Growing up I watched all the princess movies," she said. "And I didn't really like Cinderella or Snow White. There were like no other strong princess."
So that's why she decided to do something about it, creating a fairy tale of her own. She established her own publishing company, and created a book called "Princess Pretend And The Not Knight." This book, being sold for $15 each, describes a young woman figuring out what it means to be a princess.
"Once upon a time there was a little girl who wanted to be a princess," she said as she read the first couple pages of the book.
The protagonist at first tries to emulate the princesses of fairy tales. She tried staying up until midnight, to follow the path of Cinderella. She tried kissing a frog. She stacked books on her head. She even tried the "wait for a prince" method, to no avail.
That's when a female hero, called the "Not Knight" came around with some sage advice.
"Being different doesn't make you not a princess," the Not Knight said. "It just makes you a princess in your own way."
Brown said that the message is important for young people, who get their first impressions of how women should act from these stories. For the last year, she's been traveling to schools across Loudoun County, reading the story to young people.
"I think that the kids need something that they can look up to," she said. "I thought that this would be the way."
So far, Brown has sold approximately 100 of these books. If you want to buy one, you can visit her website here.