There’s Nothing Wrong With Being A Princess
Who really wants to be a princess anyway? Years ago you could ask my daughter and she raised her hand high. It’s pretty unsettling, honestly. Before they come out of the womb, little girls are being marketed to–from bedding sets to wall decals, I received pink ‘princess’ everything in the months leading up to the birth of my daughter.
“What’s the big deal?,” their father asked. “They’re little girls, why should this princess thing matter?” Pregnant and miserable, I needled him, ”Because I don’t want my daughter to grow up feeling like they’re to be doted on, every minute of the day–a day where their main focus is being delicate and finding a prince and keeping their nails done.” I pouted. He shook his head, “You’re nuts.”
Yellow and green. Elephants, honeybees and owls. That’s what I requested from all family and friends who prodded me about wardrobe preferences. I laugh now when I think of it — I may as well have kept the gender to myself. “It’s a girl though and I saw this frilly little princess outfit and I just had to get it,” one shower attendee insisted. “Thank you!,” I responded in a similar octave, and plastered a grin on but I cringed on the inside.
I’ve always been into the idea of stepping outside of the expected when framing their mindset. Why shouldn’t my daughter have a train set alongside their box of dolls? Why does everything “girl” have to be pink and embellished with a tiara?
I’ve loosened up as she got older, mainly because I can’t fight a losing battle which goes way beyond Disney who, everyone knows, has a stranglehold on the baby-to-tween girl market. They don’t even push Mulan like they do the other princesses and she’s the toughest princess they’ve got! There are sweatsuits with ‘Princess’ embossed in glitter — I don’t do as much as my fellow moms but every once in awhile I give in to princess power.
In the last few years we have a family member who plays professional basketball so we’re often in the stands, cheering at the games. She loved it — the energy, the music, everything. One night, I asked my daughter if she’d like to play basketball since she had just turned the starting age. “Probably not,” she replied. (She’s since played on a basketball team for a few lessons, but wasn’t that into it) “I’d definitely don’t want to be a cheerleader either,” she said with frown. “All that shaking to cheer on the team? And why are their shorts sooo short.” Yep, you bet I smiled inside.
I don’t want my girl to think there’s anything wrong with liking pink, or loving princess movies, but I do want her to understand that she can want outside of what’s presented to them. Just because it doesn’t come with a crown doesn’t mean it’s not for you. Play with the toy truck if you want to. Build something amazing with the red and yellow Legos you don’t need the ones for “princesses.” Dominate ballet and soccer. Why not? You’re my little queen, with or without the labels and plastic crowns.