Space Princess Movement Motto and Dress Code

Since our literary movement is rapidly being crushed by the ongoing juggernaut of the New Human Wave movement, another post trumpeting the New Space Princess movement is long overdue!

Without any more ado, let us do the overdue post.

First, let us see how many Space Princess questions have come flooding in the mail bag! And by flood, I mean there is exactly one letter. And it is from the other member of the movement, Mr Willet.

Edward Willet writes:

Hey, isn’t it about time, o classical scholar, that you coined a Latin motto for our movement?

Aha! The answer is no. According to my records, the New Space Princess movement already has a motto, and it was written by a man named Edward Willet, aka YOU.  It reads:

Nobody Likes to Read About the Beautiful Daughters of Elected Officials!

Now, how to translate that into Latin is beyond the reach of my scholarship. I should dearly like to have a catchy Latin motto, but I do not know how to say ‘Absolute Sovereign Power and Bare Midriff’ in Latin.

We should be careful to note that our unstoppable literary movement only deals with young and attractive and alluring princesses, like Dejah Thoris of Barsoom or Aura of Mongo, or Leia of Alderaan, not with plainjane married middleaged space princesses name Lady Dumpy.

I don’t even know if there is a word ‘princess’ in Latin. ‘Regis Filia’? ‘Regina’?

Another possible choice for our motto is this:

If Outer Space is filled with nubile, fertile and comely yet lonely royalty, able to reproduce comfortably with Earthboys, and eager to be rescued, then even a loser can get a date!

In this regard, Mary writes:

Are bare midriffs absolutely necessary? A steampunk space princess might revolt at such un-Victorian attire.

Are they indeed necessary? The topic is a delicate one, requiring a scientifically and scrupulously accurate statistical study of Space Princesses, to see how often the official court costume of the young female royalty exposes the midriff to the hard vacuum and radiation of space.

Instead of performing such a survey, which would be tedious and time-intensive, I propose instead to post a bunch of pictures of half-clad Space Princesses and merely call it a survey.

On with the survey!

First, consider Dejah Thoris of Mars. As we all know, the Red Planet has a subarctic temperature, and a thin atmosphere that sends hurricane-force winds ripping across vast desolation of rust and rust-colored sand, which would scour the flesh from the bones of any unprotected organism.

Clearly the most reasonable costume for any humanoid life on this remote, ancient world would be a pressurized parka with a face-concealing breathing helmet.

Dejah Thoris of Buxom, whoops, of Barsoom

YOWZA! Erm, I mean, can this be what Edgar Rice Burroughs originally intended for his demurely dressed royal yet egg lying aliens from a nonhuman planet called Vavoom, er, Barsoom? Let us find a more demure picture:

A more demure Dejah Thoris

This picture is more demure because, um, Dejah Thoris has four inches of bare flesh on her upper arm covered with an armband. Trying again.

A Princess of Mars -- Now Showing 30% More Princess!

Perhaps these are only the costumes worn by Martian Royalty when they are vacationing on the beaches of Brazil, or pole dancing in nightclubs. What would a princess wear to her wedding?


Note special peek-a-boo window for the space navel

To answer the question posed above, no, this is not what Edgar Rice Burroughs intended, because according to the text, the Martians run around as naked as jaybirds, except for their jewel-studded war-belts, baldrics and weapon harnesses. It is an R rated red planet. So these pictures are actually more in keeping with Hayes Office guidelines than the originals.

Next question:

If the Martians reproduce by laying eggs, why are the ample mammary glands of the females necessary from an evolutionary point of view?


Because in the little known first draft of the story, Edgar Rice Burroughs attempted a more realistic or “hard SF” type novel. Immediately upon the advent of John Carter, clean-limbed fighting man of Virginia upon Mars, he started dying from the subartic cold and lack of breathable oxygen, but was rescued by a she-mollusk riding in the tripodal fighting machine. Rather than marrying him, this more truly Martian version of Dejah Thoris instead drained his blood and injected it into her own veins, causing herself to die of diseases borne by the microscopic animals that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. As this story would not have satisfied the minimum requirements of the New Human Wave (or the New Martian Wave) school of writing (see previous post) it was quietly dropped.

The results of our survey so far: not only does the Princesses of Mars have a bare midriff, she has pretty much a bare everything.

But, dear reader, no doubt you are saying: Hold your Thoat, John Wright, unclean-limbed non-fighting man of Virginia! Dejah Thoris is not the only princess in space! There are other planets in space! There are nine planets in our solar system alone!

To which I answer: aha! There you are wrong! There are only EIGHT planets! Pluto, otherwise known as Dis or Yuggoth-on-the-Rim, was destroyed by Kzanol the Thrint when he accidentally ignited the entire frozen atmosphere of the surface with his lander’s exhaust, destroying not only the advanced base of the Wormfaces and colony of semifourthdimensional yet cowardly organisms from Palain VII, but exasperating the Mi-Go civilization that reared the unholy monuments facing the ghastly and impious moon Charon.

Let us therefore look at other planets, and see how they dress their space princesses. For example, is there a Princess of Pluto?

Princess Pluto

Since we not longer have Pluto as a planet, due to the treachery of evil space scientists, we have invited the planet Mongo to enter our solar system to make up for the loss. I am sure that will not go badly.

Hail Ming! Ruler of the Universe!

Space Garments of Planet Mongo

Well, the women of Mongo don’t seem to be over-burdened an over-abundance of clothing, but perhaps the royal family dresses more conservatively.

... or Perhaps the Royal Family dresses like this

Bah! But this is a toon! (A really, really hawt toon.)Perhaps we can find other depictions of the Evil yet Beautiful Space Princess.

Space Princess Aura of Mongo. Note Shiny Hat.


Space Princess Aura of Mongo. Note Bare Midriff

Space Princess Aura of Mongo, complete with Bare Midriff & Shiny Hat

At first glance, the royal attire of Mongo, at least for the evil distaff she-devils on staff, seems to consist of a shiny hat and a bare midriff.

And a Space Rocket

… And a Space Rocket.

(Do not read too much Freudian significance into the buxom space princess posed next to a thrusting hard cigar-shape of a space rocket penetrating the moist atmosphere with sultry screams of re-entry heat! As Freud said, sometimes a space rocket is just a cigar.)

By the Death Moons of Mongo, I must be able to find at least ONE image of a Space Princess who is dressed in a sober, conservative, demure and yet utterly non-alluring garment!

Princess Aura, Demurely Dressed. For her.

Okay, maybe not. So, the Space Princess count is now two for two. Both Mars and Mongo have Bare Space Belly Buttons. There must be some space reason for it. Maybe the navel is where the space alienesses plug in their life support.

But wait! There are more famous Space Princesses out there depicted by more well respected authors! Surely one of them is fully dressed?

Gosh! Look at her bodacious ... hat

Oh, come on! There must be a picture of her not exposing her midriff on file somewhere!

Princess Ardala and her Deep Space Pulchritude

Okay, admittedly Princess Ardala is not one of the more famous Space Princesses from the more well respected authors. But she does seem to have plenty of bare space showing.

Here is Princess Irulan, from the award-winning Frank Herbert epic DUNE. Virginia Madsen played the utterly useless Voice Over at the Beginning, which all studios insist on putting into every space flick from BLADE RUNNER to DARK CITY to JOHN CARTER, trying to explain the space weirdness to the muggle audience, usually to no avail.

Irulan, Princess of the Useless Opening Voice Over

Unfortunately, this particular image does not show her midriff to confirm whether it is bared or no. But we can find another image in our stock Space Princess photo files.

Yup, that is exactly what I would wear at a royal reception, meeting with the Star Prince Darkvermin from the Death Nebula

Even more famous than DUNE, albeit considerably more lowbrow, was perhaps the most famous Space Princess of All. What about Princess Leia of Aldebaran or Aldermen or whatever her dumb planet was called?

Leia would never be happy wearing a slinky yet skanky space bikini, wearing love-chains and appealing to the lowest instincts of lonely yet prurient fanboys everywhere!

Princess Leia of Gor, the Happy Love Slave!

For purposes of size comparison, here is a picture of Leia with me in the background.

Me and Princess Leia

Okay, moving right along…

Well, if famous Princesses from highbrow classics like DUNE or lowbrow popcorn flicks like STAR WARS avail us naught, what about some simple and innocent children’s funnybooks like TEEN TITANS? There must be a demurely dressed Space Princess there? What about that cute Koriand’r, princess of planet Tamaran?

Starfire shows off her Anti-gravity Powers

Well, maybe that is just her beach attire. For more formal occasions, she wears…

Princess Koriand'r in her Formal Battle-Lingerie

… she wears hocking huge jewels on her gloves, armbands, loincloth and high stiletto-healed thigh-highs, just like Dejah Thoris, the Space Dame who started this whole trope.

Checking the Space Princess Wardrobe count so far, it looks like none of them wear dresses with enough fabric to use as a hankie to flag down a taxi, but all of them wear enough jewelry to choke a space-horse.

But to return to the question which started all this, what do I suggest as a motto for the movement? Let this be our motto: ne oublie. Never forget where you come from, space fans.

You might pretend space fiction comes from HG Wells or Olaf Stabledon or Homer or Oriosto some other prestigious origin. Claim that legacy if you wish.

We in the Space Princess movement come from the place where space heroes fight space tyrants with swords to save the planet and get the girl:

Pure, Unabashed Escapist Entertainment

We come from the literary tradition of that least common of things, the Common Man. If your taste are too haughty and refined to write or enjoy a story about gorgeous redheaded Amazon of Mars or something, then go join the Mundane SF movement, you muggle, and pimp your socially conscious social message of dullsville elsewhere.

Redheaded Amazonian Ax Babe of Mars

And if you would be ashamed to write a story graced with a cover where some dude in rocket pants is making re-entry — and he is so tanj hardcore that he can withstand the re-entry heat just with the FACE and a grim yet manly grimace, all I can say is that the notes of true space opera may be too high pitched for your ears, bucko.

Robby Rocket Pants Making Re Entry with his FACE

We come from the tradition of pure, unabashed escapist entertainment. Of course we space fans are escapists. All astronauts are escapist.

We are sick and tired of what you have done with the mundane world called Earth, and we wish to depart it for the heavens, to find other worlds and brighter.


  1. Comment by Mrmandias:

    My conclusions are threefold.

    1. Empirical science is grand.

    2. NASA needs more funding.

    3. Skirtlines rose during WWI as textiles were rationed. Extrapolating, obviously Space Princesses find themselves and their nations locked in total war with deadly horrors from the alien darkness between the stars, and feel obliged to set a good example for their subjects. In support of my theory–Princess Mongo’s attendants are also sporting ration-wear.

    3a. Or else they’re worried about the puppetmasters.

  2. Comment by Kairos:

    Absoluta Suprema Potestas et Nudum Diaphragma

    You’re welcome. :)

  3. Comment by Stephen J.:

    I think what I most like about the Space Princess fashion style is that it suggests climate and weather are blessedly warm where they live. I’m a Torontonian, and although we’re warmer than most of Canada I still find myself hating each winter more and more.

    How I will reconcile this with my desire to take my son sledding I don’t know, but I’ll figure something out. Mons Olympus must have a few good slopes.

  4. Comment by Foxfier:

    ne oublie

    *looks it up– finds it is “Never forget.”*

    *gets choked up*

    Growing up, I got introduced to… well, pretty much ALL sorts of fiction by reading the comics and books my uncles had left at Grandma’s house. My grandfather lived there, but it was GRANDMA’S HOUSE. So reading through this brought up a bunch of memories of this.

    When I was in Japan, about a year before she died, I found a character carved in wood for a window hanging. I bought it for her, because it was pretty.
    The symbol means “memory” or “Remember,” according to the sweet Japanese lady.

    • Comment by Sylvie D. Rousseau:

      From John C. Wright’s essay:
      “Let this be our motto: ne oublie. Never forget…”
      From Foxfier:
      ne oublie *looks it up– finds it is “Never forget.”*

      ne oublie” or rather, “n’oublie” (because the following word begins with a vowel) has to be completed by another negative word. ‘Never forget’ would be translated n’oublie jamais. N’oublie pas means ‘do not forget’.

      N’oublie jamais would be a good motto for writers and fans of heroic and chivalric stories.

      The gift for your grandmother puts in mind the Quebec Province motto: “Je me souviens” (I remember). Although there are not many people now who know enough history to remember what it is about, the motto refers to Canada’s devoted and often heroic French Catholic founders.

      • Comment by Mary:

        Isn’t that French? Does the rule apply to Latin?

        • Comment by Sylvie D. Rousseau:

          “Does the rule apply to Latin?”
          The replacing of some vowels by an apostrophe does not exist in Latin where every letter is written as pronounced, like, for example, in Spanish.
          I forgot to check the age of that motto before posting and it does not apply here as well for it is old French and it is a motto, so words not appearing are often implied.

      • Comment by John C Wright:

        I did not look up the phrase, I looked up the motto. Ne Oublie is the motto of the Montrose family, whether it is grammatically correct or no.

        • Comment by Sylvie D. Rousseau:

          Sorry, I should have checked before posting. It is old French from before the 16th Century. I can read it but certainly could not write it correctly. The name of the family sounds French too, but I think in those times all nobility lived mostly in French in the British Isles and a good part of Europe.

  5. Comment by Alan Silverman:

    It would also appear that a key component of Space Princesses would be to wear things that cause men to look upon them with lust in their hearts. This is something I can definitely get behind.

    • Comment by Stephen J.:

      I could look upon Virginia Madsen (Irulan) with lust in my heart if she were in a Snugli.

      • Comment by Suburbanbanshee:

        I think it’s more along the lines of “Gaze upon my beauty, ye underlings, and either use the incentive or despair!” with the evil queens and space princesses, and “I am the representative of all the things you love and fight for!” with the good space princesses.

        Either way, they are generally encouraging national pride, and chivalric rivalry or lovesickness, but not lust. Lust-inspiration is a lot cheaper, and can be had at every cantina and back alley in the galaxy. Why waste jewels on that?

        • Comment by Alan Silverman:

          Hm. It is simply that when I encounter verbiage such as “Vavoom”, “pole dancing in nightclubs”, “hawt”, “thrusting hard cigar-shape of a space rocket penetrating the moist atmosphere with sultry screams”, “skanky”, “lowest instincts”, and “prurient fanboys”, it conjures to mind the idea of lusting after the woman, not her inspiring pride. I certainly cannot think of any political leaders that I would want to see in such dress, at least, nor can I condone my daughter wearing it.

      • Comment by KokoroGnosis:

        Heck, she’s still winsome now, three decades or so later.

  6. Comment by Zagato:

    I can actually add to this conversation!

    I present to you Princess Ayeka of the planet Jurai. (See here for more information.) As befitting her personality, she dresses conservatively and demurely. When dressed for the beach, she prefers to cover her belly button, but she is alluring nonetheless.

    In other words, she’s perfect for you, Mr. Wright. :)

    • Comment by Mary:

      Theodora and Florimel, my two aspiring space princesses, would approve. Except for the swim suit. Being proper pseudo-Victorian steampunk princesses, they think she should either opt for something like a Victorian suit, which would actually keep her warm — or do without, it being as foolish to wear something while sea bathing as when bathing in a tub.

      • Comment by Zagato:

        Glad to know they approve. Perhaps Princess Ayeka dresses for the beach as she does so she could please her beloved — not a clean-limbed fighting man from 19th-century Virginia, but a dirty-limbed high school boy from late 20th-century Okayama.

  7. Comment by Edward Willett:

    “Ne oublie” indeed. And let us all breathe a sigh of relief that the Space Princess Movement does not require its AUTHORS to sport “Nudum Diaphragma” during readings and other public appearances. I cannot speak for Mr. Wright, but I’m pretty sure in my case that would sound the movement’s death knell.

  8. Comment by DGDDavidson:

    Where is Nate Winchester? We must immediately determine whether Their Royal Majesties, Princesses Celestia and Luna, who command the sun and the moon, qualify as space princesses. They appear to meet the dress code, since they wear shiny hats and little else, but I’m unsure if they can technically be said to have midriffs.

    • Comment by Suburbanbanshee:

      Horses have bellies (and diaphragmata) on the underside of their barrels, but not midriffs as such.

      Still, it’s clear that equine space princesses are basically part of the Movement, and share the aesthetics to wearing only tasteful jewelry and accessories.

    • Comment by KokoroGnosis:

      I submit that since Equestria is A), either not earth, or B), Earth in some other time/timeline/universe (Since Pinky Pie does call it earth at one point, then Celestia and Luna qualify for Space Princess status. Certainly Luna does, having resided on the moon for 1,000 years, does.

      And besides, Q is in it. I know they call him Discord, but let’s face it. He’s the exact same guy.

      Further evidence:

      • Comment by DGDDavidson:

        No, no. This won’t do. If we use this standard, we won’t be able to tell the difference between space princesses and fairy princesses, and that would be a disaster.

        Let us accept Mr. Wright’s proposal that Dejah Thoris is the archetype of the space princess. I note that Dejah Thoris is not actually in space, but on Mars; she is a Martian princess, but she is a space princess because her clean-limbed Virginian fighting man must travel through space to get to Mars and find her. Clearly, in order to be a space princess, a princess need have only some slight connection to space, but a connection to space she must have. A princess who lives in an alternate fantasy world is not reached through space travel and is therefore not a space princess.

        Now, as noted, Celestia and Luna have control over heavenly bodies and therefore have a connection to space and may be called space princesses. However, we have another difficulty: a princess is by definition a non-ruling female member of a royal family, but Princess Celestia is the immortal and over-powered ruler of all Equestria: she is actually a queen or even a goddess-empress; she is only called a princess because little girls prefer pretty pony princesses to pretty pony despots.

        On the other hoof, Luna, who is as pretty as she is evil, still has a bid for space princess status. Supposedly, she is coregent, but since we have seen her only once since Twilight Sparkle and company opened a can of whoop-haunch on her, we must assume that Celestia doesn’t let her out of her cage very often. She has no real power and therefore may rightly be called a princess, and she will remain only a princess until the great and glorious day when she at last overthrows the solar tyrant, cloaks the world in darkness, and establishes the New Lunar Republic. Then those of us who remained loyal to her during her unjust thousand-year imprisonment shall sit by her side and revel forever beneath the cold light of a never-waxing moon. But we shall not stop at this; neigh, we shall even throw down the lumbering bipedal ape-creatures who have enslaved our brethren, and we shall force them to crawl on all fours in the dust, and we shall horsewhip them. If you wish to picture the future of our great and glorious Republic, you must envision an iron bell boot stomping on a human face forever.

        Ahem. My point is, Princess Luna is a non-ruling member of a royal family, has a connection to space, wears almost no attire aside from a shiny hat, and therefore qualifies as a space princess.

        I propose that we alter the “bare midriff” requirement to “bare midsection” in order to accommodate princesses who are not blessed with midriffs.

  9. Comment by Tom Simon:


    (I think I’ve got the declensions and things right. Genuine Latinists, please feel free to correct me.)

  10. Comment by Sylvie D. Rousseau:

    Kairos: Absoluta Suprema Potestas et Nudum Diaphragma

    I barely understand Latin but the two phrases look impressive. The first is more literal and seems to best retain the humor. The second is, well, grand! Congratulations to the Latinists.

  11. Comment by Earl Wajenberg:

    I know, quite clearly, that egg laying is not really the issue here, but I just thought I’d point out there is no real conflict between laying eggs and having mammaries. Platypuses do it all the time. Go to incubator. Pick shell fragments off offspring. Pick up. Suckle. Simple.

    Meanwhile, what does “clean-limbed” actually *mean*? It can’t involve being well-washed, because heroics is an outdoor kind of job likely to get dust from the Martian wastes or slime from the nethermost pits all over you. Not to mention the blood and scorch marks.

  12. Comment by Earl Wajenberg:

    And ichor. Do you know how hard it is to get ichor stains out? No wonder these people don’t wear much.

    (“Another shirt ruined.” — Amelia Peabody to her action-archeologist husband.)

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