Saturday, May 24, 2008

Weekend Wind-Down - International Tiara Day

Superromance author Ellen Hartman joins us today with a celebration of a special day this month...International Tiara Day and why they are necessary. Yes, necessary! Take it away, Ellen!

Today is a special day... International Tiara Day. What does this mean? Well, if you visit the website promoting International Tiara Day, you can find out about a book and a movement celebrating women. But that’s just marketing and has nothing to do with us.

What International Tiara Day really means is if you have a tiara, slap that bad boy on today and wear it proudly. If you don’t have one, maybe it’s time to rectify that.

Yes, I’m serious, why?

Tiaras are awesome. I swear.

I suspected this was the truth for a long time before I was actually in a position to prove it. It started with my bow hat. (No, that’s not me.) Do your families make these at wedding showers? The maid of honor attaches all the bows from the gifts to a paper plate and then the bride-to-be wears the hat for a ceremonial photo. I took my bow hat home after my shower and I discovered that when I put it on, it had magical healing powers. In my bow hat, I was invincible.

Someday we can investigate the link between invincibility and ridiculousness, and when we do we’ll be sure to interview Superman about those tights. For now, just go with me on this.
Even more important than being invincible, in my bow hat, I was serene. When my soon-to-be mother-in-law asked for the nineteenth time when I would be giving her the seating chart (There is no seating chart, it’s a buffet!!!), I put my bow hat on and my troubles were swept away. Honestly, if you’re wearing a hat cobbled together using paper products from Hallmark and the picnic aisle of the grocery store, how can you possibly feel stressed?

My bow hat didn’t survive the move to my newlywed apartment and so for several years I was back to my normal wardrobe and headgear (i.e. jeans and a baseball hat—remember this, it becomes important later). But I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something out there, some bow hat equivalent that was going to bring me peace and tranquility every time I put it on my head. But what? What could that elusive something be?

A tiara. Duh!

I realized a tiara was the answer during a New Year’s Eve party, 1997. I put on one of those cardboard party tiaras and I felt it. I was transformed. I was regal. I was a queen. (If I was also slightly tipsy at the time, that doesn’t negate my brainstorm. People can have legitimate brilliant thoughts even after two (or more) glasses of champagne. Ask F. Scott Fitzgerald.) It doesn’t hurt that almost every woman looks downright gorgeous in a tiara. Cardboard or not, jewelry on the head has a certain je ne sais quoi.

I started hinting to my husband that he needed to buy me a tiara. He ignored me. I hinted more. He continued to ignore me. Should I post more pictures of my usual wardrobe? Here you go. Maybe that was what was throwing him off? I don’t know. What I do know is that I took drastic steps last year before our anniversary and told him to produce a tiara or forget about the next anniversary. I even gave him guidelines—no diamonds, no cardboard, twinkly, not gauche., baby! Saved our marriage! It's the first tiara pic at the top. Didn’t he do a great job?

I don’t wear my tiara all the time. That would be, well, odd, right? I put it on when I need to feel regal, when I need to feel serene, and when I need to remember that I own a stupid, sparkly piece of headgear covered in rhinestones that my dear husband bought me so how bad could life possibly be?

I’m telling you, the tiara has powers.

You know what else I found out? I’m not the only non-royal tiara-wearer out there. Shortly after I received mine, I posted the story on the Superromance board at eHarlequin. Turns out a lot of Superromance authors and readers already had tiaras of their own. Some are genuine beauty queen numbers from legitimate beauty queen triumphs (Hello, Kim Van Meter!). Deb Salonen’s matches her grandaughters’. I’m pretty sure Kay Stockham said hers lights up. The shape or the form doesn’t matter.

What matters is how you feel when you have your tiara on. Now, some people have said they’ve never been the girly type so a tiara isn’t for them. To this I say, Dude! How many times do I have to post my wardrobe photos before you get it? I’ve never been a pretty, pretty princess.
The tiara is not about being a girl. It’s about being royalty. It’s about knowing you have something a little stunning and a little fancy on your head and holding yourself in a more swanlike and graceful manner because you deserve respect. It’s about letting yourself be awesome, even if you’re dusting the living room. (Actually I don’t recommend doing housework with your tiara on. I was digging a Lego out from under the couch and banged my tiara on the table. Bent one of the fake silver posts and lost a rhinestone. Not cool.)

Tiaras say instantly, “This woman is special. This woman is classy.” (Shut up, tiaras are so classy.) Tiaras say, “This woman knows what she needs and it will be given to her.”
My only regret on the whole tiara front was that I waited for my husband to buy it for me. While it’s nice to know it came from him and my kids get a huge kick out of the fact that they helped pick it out, I should have and next time will, buy my own. Not in a self-promoting or who’s-the-fairest-of-them-all way. But just because why not? Why not give myself a tiny, shiny indulgence that brings me serenity and invincibility?

Today is International Tiara Day. What are you going to do about that?

Ellen Hartman’s May Superromance, His Secret Past, is about a retired rock star from the second most-famous band ever to come out of New Jersey. She’s working on two more Supers to come in 2009. The Runner-Up, October 2009, includes a tiara-wearing, dog-loving, pissed-off heroine.
Find out more at Ellen’s website ( or her blog


  1. Ellen,

    I just realized you were here! Love the tiara post. Of course, I can't deny wearing a tiara feels pretty good. Every now and again, I pull mine out and remember what it was like to wear it. Then I put it back in the box and shake my head at the memories...

  2. Kim,
    I'm glad you don't mind that I outed you! You're like a tiara goddess to me because you wore yours at an official tiara-type occasion.

    It does feel good, doesn't it?

    Thanks for reading,

  3. Ellen you're so right in that a tiara has power! I wore a garland of flowers' while writing my first book and every time I put it on I felt connected with my muse.

    The next book I had a blue agate stone I rubbed.

    And the next a gold sparkly tiara.

    Right now? A fluffy pink eyemask sitting atop my head making me look like a crazy Laura from Dr Zhiviago wannabe.

  4. Ally,

    You really know how the power works, don't you? I don't know if it's because I'm very suggestible, but I do feel different when I have my tiara on. A garland of flowers has me intrigued!

    Thanks for sharing your story,

  5. I have a tiara (why isn't anyone surprised) but I didn't buy it for me. I bought it when a friend and I were co-managing a netball team and the girls really had low self-esteem and little team spirit. We decided that they needed a player of the day award (these were mid teens and their clubs stop having player of the day after a certain age group--still can't understand why.) And I saw these tiara's in a gift shop so I bought one and each week we'd choose a player of the day and she got to wear the tiara for a week. They loved it! Yep, I definitely believe in the power of the tiara. Occasionally my girls would wear it to school as a head band too. It's a bit on the sad side now, though. Needs some soldering iron attention here and there.

    Ally, I can picture you with your pink fluffy eye mask. Is that scary, or what!

  6. Dear Yvonne,

    You have a real-life power of the tiara story! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I love that it worked for kids with low self-esteem. That's beautiful.


  7. I don't wear mine as much as I used to, but since tomorrow is International Tiara Day, I'm gonnna get on the ball.

    Afterall, I have about 10 in my collection now!

    Happy day, Ladies!