• Editorial: My Relatable Pony: Princess Celestia

    Princess Celestia: The hope and ruler of Equestria. She is a shining example to all her subjects, living her life in service to all in her kingdom. Leading with wisdom, grace, and a lot of help from a certain purple pony, Celestia often carries the weight of the world on her shoulders and takes that responsibility very seriously.

    But this princess is so much more than warm smiles and sunshine. She's seen some of Equestria's darkest days while having to encourage those around her. Her struggles and personality resonate with us because, even as a princess, Celestia has a lot in common with us.

    Time to take a look at some of Celestia's more relatable qualities.

    Celestia was such a mystery at the beginning of the series. She didn’t have a lot of screen time leaving us to draw some bold assumptions about her character. As time progressed, Celestia became less of an enigma.

    She was flawed, funny, fasinating. She was relatable. Celestia may be a celebrity in her world, but she's not so unlike those around her. She’s the reminder that all individuals from all walks of life have traits in common

    Oddly enough, I was surprised just how much I sympathized with the sun princess. Unlike my other relatable posts, I skipped following the episodes and focused on the traits of this princess.

    Trait 1: Living Up to the Expectations.

    The most heartwrenching day of the year for Celestia comes with a big smile and celebration!
    Celestia is a princess, and while most of us can’t boast such a title, we can relate to the pressures of being in an important role. Everything Celestia does impacts thousands of others and they are constantly watching her. From signing documents to eating cake, ponies are holding Celestia to a standard that must be maddening at times.

    How un-princess like!
    I can relate to Celestia feeling like she always has to be ‘on’ for her subjects. There is no room for flaws when you are supposed to be an authority figure. Celestia must be perfect or her fall from grace will be hard!

    Trait 2: A Sense of Humor

    Celestia may be the leader of a nation with great social pressure, but that doesn’t make her a bitter ruler or a super serious one. She enjoys jokes and well-placed pranks.

    However, there's more to relate to than just pranks. Celestia's allows her to break out of expectation. She doesn't have a group of friends to cut up with during shifts. Celestia has come up with ways to entertain herself while being authentic with her subjects. We can all relate to doing funny things just for ourselves; no audience required, but if you have the ability to connect with others through brief moments of humor, you're like Celestia.

    Trait 3: A Desire for Connection.

    Nothing says "bonding" like a school play.
    In the episode Horse Play, we learned that Princess Celestia’s always wanted to be in a play like her fillyhood friends, but more than that we saw her desire to connect with others. She wanted to take part in that “Special stage-pony bond of trust and honesty” to help bring out the best in the ponies around her.

    Just like her sense of humor being developed alone, being a princess means Celestia is separate from everypony. Celestia wants to find a community she can personally contribute to and make friends with. And there is nothing quite as amazing as theater (for those of us who enjoy it). Come on thespians, admit it, there is a special kind of connection you build during a performance.

    Trait 4: Making the Tough Decisions

    I feel like this one goes without saying, Celestia has had to make plenty of hard decisions in her lifetime.

    Many of us have done similar things. Like Celestia, some of us have had to remove people we love from our lives (not to the moon of course) because it was no longer safe or healthy to be with them. Deciding what school to attend, whether or not to express your political/religious views with family, quitting a secure job to pursue a dream.

    These tough choices don’t just affect us, but we have to choose and live with the consequences no matter what.

    Celestia couldn’t side with her sister or ignore the problem. No matter what role Celestia thought she played in Luna’s transformation, she had to set things straight and then live with the guilt for 1,000 years (even if she didn't do anything wrong). Those of us facing hard choices, this princess understands.

    Trait 5: Saying a Lot of Goodbyes

    You do have to wonder what Sunset was hoping to accomplish by throwing things at Celestia.
    And while on that somber topic, Celestia has had to deal with a lot of loss. Luna, Sunset, Starswirl, not to mention the millions of ponies she’s simply outlived; Celestia is no stranger to saying goodbye. And, this isn't fun to relate to, but I know plenty of us have had to say many goodbyes and not always on good terms.
    I'm not saying I cried during this sence, but liquids may have fallen out of my eyes.
    These losses might be why she’s so quick to forgive though. Life is too short to wait around for everypony to atone for their mistakes in some grandiose way. If they say sorry, Celestia’s ready to pick up wherever they left off. She knows she can’t stop the goodbyes from happening, but she can remind us just how precious the time we have with others is.

    Trait 6: Planning Ahead

    And the prize for Best Off-sceen Development goes to (drum roll) Princess Celestia.
    You know the saying, “Luck favors the prepared?” I think Celestia very much believes this. She may not have all the answers, but she tries to plan for the future of her kingdom. She sees the end result she wants and does her best to put the pieces in motion. Like with sending Twilight to Ponyville in the first place. Celestia knew Twilight would never be able to help Nightmare Moon without friends. Celestia set Twilight up to authentically make real relationships.
    See, even chaos can be 'tamed' with proper planning.
    Same with Discord. Even if Tirek never attacked, Discord’s magical ability would be a good one to have on the side of ponies. It was a strategic move for the betterment of all involved. All of us should relate because we all should be setting goals for ourselves. Even this article came with an outline (I didn’t stick to it, but I still planned it.) If you’re a long-term planner, you relate!

    Trait 7&8: Facing Her Darkside . . .

    "I'm evertthing you want to be!"
    Celestia may have been inside somepony else’s nightmare, but the dream reflected Celestia's disregard for Luna's contribution. Celestia may not really want to hurt others, but a little freedom to rule however she wishes might be tempting. Daybreaker wouldn't be held down by all the responibilities Celestia upholds and Daybreaker knows just how amazing she is.

    With all the attention and praise Celestia gets, it would be easy for that to go to her head. The day literally begins and ends with her. Just like Luna struggles with jealousy, Celestia has a secret struggle with pride. Even if she doesn't openly admit it.

    . . . Knowing She's Not That Great and Powerful

    Celestia: This job's too hard, I quit!
    Yes, she has the power to raise the sun, but that doesn’t mean she’s all-powerful. Celestia has had to learn her limits and doesn’t hesitate to call for help. Her pride can’t be stroked at the expense of others. She knows she doesn’t have all the answers and she isn’t more powerful than others in her world.

    When the Crystal Empire reappeared, Celestia was trying to set Twilight up to learn another important lesson for her future as a princess. When Twilight confesses that Spike helped her, Celestia was proud. Celestia values humility and wants that quality in Twilight more than anything. (Besides, we all know how often Celestia has called on Twilight & Co.)

    If you’ve managed to come to that place in your life where your pride matters less than doing what’s right, then you and Celestia have something major in common.

    Wait, the sun can’t set on Celestia’s relatable post yet.

    That time has come. There is a lot about this elusive princess that many of us can see ourselves in. She gives so much of herself to her kingdom without ever really getting a chance to experiences all the benefits of it.

    She’s the great ruler Equestria needs and adds such a royal elegance to the show.

    If you see yourself in Celestia, remember that others are inspired by you and look up to you, but that doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. People want to support you because they see how much you care about them and your responsibilities. And remember, you are the sunshine in so many lives. Keep being that ray of hope.