I don’t hate princesses. Really I don’t. They just make me uncomfortable. I don’t like the overly pink and helpless fantasy that is a popular package for little girls. I want my daughters to be strong and powerful, educated and healthy in every way.
I’d like them to be revered for their actual beauty and their good sense — two things they should feel more confident about without a poufy dress to fluff them.
Magic and fairies, frisky animal companions and princes that save you from financial and social despair are in wretchedly short supply these days. Fantasy is fun, but is it fair to sell our daughters such a sugar-coated and unrealistic story? Shouldn’t their fantasies include stronger and more positive role models? And fewer pastels?
Though I adore Disney animation and products, I don’t always love the princess message. I want more! This year, I think Disney is listening.
My girls have their own ideas about princesses. In fact, each has gone to an opposite extreme:
My oldest would wear a tiara and a Belle costume to school tomorrow if she could get away with it. To High School. She lives for the color pink, bling, Prince Charming, and running in heels. She still watches Disney princess films.
My younger daughter earned a note home from her kindergarten teacher with her work of art entitled “Princesses are STUPID” featuring a princess bleeding to death when her prince failed to save her and the other princesses tried to claw her eyes out. But she enjoys a good Disney trip and Disney store shopping spree every bit as much as her big sister.
Fortunately there’s plenty out there to get gifty with. Princess doesn’t have to mean pink, frothy, and prissy.
Even if your little girl is all about the princesses and you are decidedly not, I’m willing to bet that there’s something out there that can make you both (as well as both of my daughters) happy.
Here’s the list to prove it: Princess gear that doesn’t priss me off!
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New Rules for Princess Gifting 1 of 21Don't get prissed off! There are princess gifts out there that almost any girl can feel good about getting and giving this holiday season.
Killer Shoes! 2 of 21What I love about these Holiday Belle Shoes is that they don't have a big plastic disc with a picture of the princess on them. I've never understood that about princess stuff in general. Who wears a pair of shoes or a dress with their own picture on them? It seems so unprincessey to do that. Shouldn't everyone already know who you are? I love that these don't scream "Belle!" so much as they
Get them at the Disney Store, $24.50
Did You Hire A Decorator? 3 of 21
Would You Like an Apple My Dear? 4 of 21The art and animation of Disney are a treasure and this Snow White and the Seven Dwarves: Art of Animation would appeal to any young princess-loving artist.
Get it at the Disney Store, $35
A Face a Mother Could Love? 5 of 21It's always important to keep your daughter's expectations realistic about the men she's likely to date. They can't all be handsome like Prince Eric or Prince Charming. Some of them might start out looking like this Plush Beast Doll but that doesn't mean they won't make a fine prom date.
Get it at the Disney Store, $25
Your Chariot Awaits 6 of 21
Naughty Kitty! 7 of 21
Kiss The Girl! 8 of 21
Not Too Sweet a Treat 9 of 21I wish these Animators' Series Dolls had been around when my girls were a little younger. With their big big eyes, sturdy bodies, and mischievous looks, I would have totally bought them for both girls. They don't look helpless at all, do they? They remind me of wide eyed '60s fashion dolls, and I deem them retro fabulous.
Get them at the Disney Store, $24.50
Serious Bling 10 of 21There's two things I love about this Jasmine Jewelry Set. 1. It doesn't have any pictures of Jasmine on it (my pet peeve about princess gear), and 2. It's pretty chic looking. I could see my daughters wearing something similar on their yachts ... that they bought for themselves.
Get it at the Disney Store, $10.50
Be Brave 11 of 21
Ready, Aim, Fire! 12 of 21
The Key to Compromise 13 of 21
Kitschy Cool 14 of 21
Wear the Pants 15 of 21
Tea Please 16 of 21
It’s a Wicked Love/Hate Thing 17 of 21Before there were princesses, there were villains, and these "bad" girls of Disney lore have quite a fan following of their own. Whether you love them, hate them, or love to hate them, they are a fabulous foil to the syrupy sweetness of princesses and no story would be complete without them. This Disney Villains Set makes perfect sense for girls with a little more edge.
Get it at the Disney Store, $477 for the set or priced individually
Look Out Boys! 18 of 21
Vinylmation Makes it Better 19 of 21
If the Wallet Fits … 20 of 21This Princess Wallet is another example of good art making the "princess" concept more palatable to less-prissy types. There is some specific princess branding here but the nicknames aren't attached to faces. Just shoes. It's a cute reference that doesn't hit you over the head.
Get it at the Disney Store, $24.50
Posh Bebe 21 of 21
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