Previous Post Next Post

Kid

Brought to you by

Do Princess Parties and Dress-up Really Affect Girls’ Gender Roles?

By Lynn Harris |

 

Last year at this time, my daughter, Bess – who’s turning 4 this Halloween – asked for spiders or bats on her birthday cupcakes. This year, since pretty much April, she’s been asking for princess cupcakes. In other words, it has begun.

I was so not looking forward to this. My kids, so far, have been raised mainly on toys of the handmade-of-wood-in-Denmark variety. Almost no TV other than first-season Sesame Street DVDs and, on a really good day, Wonder Pets, which is basically operetta. The only “character” featured on my children’s clothing is Barack Obama. I am a professional feminist with a bag of ice hockey equipment in the basement. I think everyone behind the cynical, manipulative, vacuous, sexist, even downright creepy princess industrial complex deserves 100 years sleep by poison apple.

And yet, when it comes to Bess’s own princess experience, I may lay down my pitchfork. How much damage, really, can it do?

For one thing, I concede that we are powerless to fully shield our children from the pink princess tractor beam. Or, really, from any of that crap that is apparently streamed directly into their brain cells by an unsettling process I call Elmosis. (My kids had never seen him. And yet they knew him. What is that?) Anyway, if I forbid princesses completely, she’ll only sneak out and experiment. Best to do it on my watch.

Plus, I figure, I liked princesses, not to mention my Barbie Beauty Salon, and (yes, though I did walk through the valley of the shadow of basing my self-worth on male approval) I still turned out okay. Why? In part because princesses and skinny Dawn dolls and mommy’s lipstick were not the only things I was exposed to. I also climbed trees, raised pet lizards, and watched my mom do local environmental activism and my dad value her for more than, I don’t know, her hair.

As Bess gets older, I may worry that the messages some of the princesses espouse, in some cases, are even more deleterious than the baseline “be decorative” – I’m looking at you Little, “I’ll give up my voice for a man” Mermaid. But right now, I’m not sure Bess is getting any message from princesses other than “sparkly!” with which I cannot argue. Bess doesn’t even know what princesses do – I’ve asked – but she doesn’t know what the Secretary of State does either.

I’ve also learned that you can’t always predict what kids are actually going to glean from these things. Maybe they’re not all so bad. Recently, Bess selected – as the one book she wanted to bring home from an entire library bursting with Ezra Jack Keats and Lillian Hoban and Dr. Seuss – some inane book-like product about how Belle, Cinderella and Ariel all love to dance, and they proceed to do so in the forest. That is the entire plot, except at one point when a sexless blond prince shows up to twirl along, to which Bess responded, “Oh! So princes can dance, too!”

More broadly, you never know how kids are going to relate to the princess – and the girlyverse in general; maybe they’re not as immediately brainwashable as we think. One friend’s daughter is cuckoo for Cinderella, but thinks she’s a superhero. The biggest fun I had with my Barbie Town House – oh yeah, I had the Town House, too – was building the elevator, missing from the box on arrival, out of strawberry boxes and old speaker wire. So maybe we can let this stuff source, not stunt, their imaginations. Especially when the princess stuff is only part of their otherwise soccer-playing, knee-skinning, outside-voice worlds.

Ultimately, when it comes to princesses, the incessant marketing makes me much crazier than the inherent mythology. So, in what is sure to be a crippling blow to the Princess Industrial Complex, I shall continue to not buy that crap. But at home, I’ll allow the DIY princess dress-up and the like – all while taking a page from the playbook of my genius friend Amy Reiter who, when her daughter, then about 4, indicated interest in becoming a princess, responded: “Ah yes! You know, you’ll have to work really hard, speak many languages, understand foreign relations and diplomacy. It might also be helpful to get a graduate degree in international studies.” Dahlia then changed her career plan to ballerina (then butterfly, then baker or car-service driver).

And maybe if I do cave and make birthday princess cupcakes, we’ll all dress up as dragons and eat them alive.

More on Babble

About Lynn Harris

bclynnharris

Lynn Harris

Lynn Harris is an award-winning journalist, author of the comic novel Death By Chick Lit, and co-creator of the venerable website BreakupGirl.net. She and her husband live in Brooklyn with Bess, and Sam, 3 and 1, who are polishing up their Vaudeville act.

« Go back to Kid

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Comments, together with personal information accompanying them, may be used on Babble.com and other Babble media platforms. Learn More.

47 thoughts on “Do Princess Parties and Dress-up Really Affect Girls’ Gender Roles?

  1. DeathMetalMommy says:

    Are you going to let your daughter be feminine at all? And let me just say, nothing says ‘imagination’ or ‘fun’ on a 6 year old quite like an Obama t-shirt.

  2. Lori says:

    I liked your take on this – I was an almost-all-black-wearing kind of girl when I had my daughter. Three years later it’s like a pink, princess explosion in my house. Sometimes I’ve worried about the “message” but then I realized that teaching a girl to shun all things feminine is just as bad, I don’t want to raise a child that is afraid to be feminine, I want to raise a well-balanced woman who is feminine (or not) on her own terms.

  3. Snakecharmer says:

    I was a child of the 80′s and while there was certainly princesses around back then, there wasn’t the incessant marketing that there is today. If you wanted to go to a Disney store, you had to GO TO DISNEYWORLD/LAND!!! But I still dressed up as a princess with hand-me-down long dresses…mostly because I liked pretty long dresses. I think when the messaging becomes more along the lines of ‘spoilt princesses’ then there’s a problem. Otherwise it’s usually a phase that they outgrow…I certainly did by the time I was 6 or 7.

  4. Femininity is not wrong says:

    It sounds like the things you are most proud of in your own childhood involve doing traditionally boyish things such as building an elevator in your Barbie Town House and catching lizards. You seem particularly proud of the fact that you own hockey equipment. Why is it that you seem to think that characteristics that are more often thought of as “masculine” are preferable? That isn’t very feminist if you ask me.

    I don’t get my panties in a bunch about whether my daughter prefers traditionally boyish or girlish play at any given time. I understand not wanting to push your girl into the world of pink and frilly princess tiaras, but if she enjoys it, what is evil about it? If she wants to play with trucks, just as great. What’s the big deal? Kids can be multidimensional. And girls are allowed to be “sugar and spice and all things nice” sometimes. What’s the deal with wanting them to be “frogs and snails and puppy dog tails” all the time? Do you get upset when your son doesn’t want to play with dolls? Femininity doesn’t equal inferiority.

    Listen, I know that princess mania is annoying. And it gets pretty tacky sometimes. I don’t buy clothes for my daughter that say “PRINCESS” anywhere on them because I think they’re tacky. However, I don’t buy her Barack Obama t-shirts either. Oy vey. Really?

  5. kaypea says:

    This is EXACTLY how I am raising my daughter! Thanks for putting it in words.

  6. sarahrosangela says:

    i like the point you’ve made here, just maybe not how it seems you’ve applied it. i do think that a lot of the attraction is simply sensory; color, sparkle etc. you say yourself that your daughter has no idea what princesses do. however, i don’t know that it’s preferable for a child to desire to be a politician over a princess. i recognize this is not your point, i simply mean to say that it’s our jobs as parents and mothers to allow our children to grow into the best possible versions of themselves, regardless of whether they end up with “princess” roles in society or other ones.
    and i agree with the other posters about the obama shirt. i hardly think subjecting your child to your personal political preferences is feminist or funny. children shouldn’t represent anything but themselves.

  7. Jenna Boettger Boring says:

    The Disney princesses aren’t all bad. Belle, for example, spends the entire movie shunning what society expects of her (marrying the town hottie) to instead follow her own dreams which include not only falling in love with someone she has something deeper then a physical attraction to, inventing things and embracing her love of reading.
    Ariel follows her heart and fearlessly gives her all to find her own place in the world. Not to mention she’s a little awkward and quirky… something that gives weird girls like me something to smile about.
    Jasmine shuns the expectation that she should walk humbly into an arranged marriage and breaks out her palace bubble to explore the larger world.
    Yeah, they’re skinny, wear dresses, and their hair has an unrealistic amount of volume… so what? All the glitter and craziness might get a little annoying to me but honestly, in today’s world, I can think of a lot worse role models for my daughter to have.

  8. Lynn Harris says:

    Hey, I said I can’t argue with the sparkle factor, and that DIY princess dress-up — as distinct from the indefensible princess industrial complex — was fine by me. I said I liked princesses AND lizards growing up, not that one is better than the other; the idea is that ideally, the princesses come as part of a whole assortment of influences, whether you call them “feminine” or “masculine” or whatever. Yes, we have a few Obama shirts kicking around, but the reference to his face on them as a “character” was, in context, just a wisecrack; it’s not like we forced our kids, at 3, to phone-bank. It seems that my efforts to lighten up about the princess thing — in certain ways and for certain reasons — have prompted a few comments that kind of do the opposite. Thanks, though, for *all* comments; to me, this topic never gets boring. :)

  9. Nicole Sikora Heschong says:

    I. LOVE. YOU. Thank you for this article. When I became pregnant with my second child, I wished for another boy and then – when it turned out we were having a girl – INSISTED that no one buy her anything with “princess” or “spoiled” on it. My feeling has been that if her tastes get there on their own, so be it… I’ll have to cut her some slack, though I’m completely in agreement with your thought that “[some] messages … are even more deleterious than the baseline ‘be decorative’,” and the ‘be decorative’ element is disturbing enough IMHO. Anywhoo — your article made me laugh and, more importantly, relax a bit. If I’m bending my steely opinions to make space for my son’s part-time obsession with toy guns, I suppose it’s only equal and fair to do the same if/when princess culture comes knocking.

  10. Love Girls says:

    Wow! We’ve gone from merely finding “girly” things to be “less than” to actually wishing our daughters-to-be would be boys instead. Is this really the way today’s women think? When I found out I was having a girl, I was beyond thrilled. Girls, and women, are pretty fantastic, if you ask me.

  11. Jess says:

    Avoiding princessy crap and the associated narratives etc is not ‘devaluing femininity’, unless you think that femininity is inherently passive and restricted. Femininity and masculinity are constructs, and daughters of dedicated feminist parents will still soak it in and be able to perform femininity just fine when they want/need to. I was raised in a shed on a rural property with minimal tv etc, I disliked playing with baby dolls and I still managed to figure out by age 6 that I ‘had’ to be ‘pretty’, enter into a ‘feminine’ discipline at university, get married to a tall dark handsome man etc. Today’s toys are much more gender segregated than they ever were in our own childhoods. Wanting your girls to feel comfortable choosing toys and activities that society has stamped ‘FOR BOYS’ on over and over, is not devaluing girls ffs.

  12. iamcharli says:

    I love your take on the princess thing. I think it’s ok to let our young girls be exposed to the princess culture, but also expose them to other things. Like the bag of hockey equipment in your basement! There’s no way we can shield them from it, but I love to hear of mom’s using the princess culture as a means of talking about what women these days are expected to be. I have dark brown almost black hair and I always hated how the good people always had blonde hair and the bad people always had dark hair. but instead of hiding it from me my mom used it as a way to talk about why it’s represented like that. I applaud you for your efforts to break the mold of the princess world.

  13. EJolley says:

    I almost totally agree with your article, but like some of the people commenting here, i think that you have to be careful that you don’t push your child too far the other way. I am not a ‘girly girl’ and i believe that there are far too many stereotypes and products out there that try and make us conform to be people that we are not, however, i think there are some vital stages we have to go through to make us realise who we are. I’d also like the option of being different depending on what i feel like doing.

  14. EJolley says:

    Teach your child to have an open mind and that she can be anything she wants to be-
    fairy or fire fighter. Teach her independence and to be herself always.

  15. shrimplate says:

    My daughter went through that phase. Now she wants to be an archeologist. She’s met David Johansen and he has even invited her to study at the Institute of Human Origins at ASU when she comes of age.

    It’s been fun watching her grow and change.

  16. s says:

    First of all, has anyone seen Disney’s new “Princess and the Frog”? Tiana is the least flouffy princess so far–she has goals and ambitions (and they aren’t marrying a handsome prince) and she works hard to achieve them. I think the message might go over most kids’ heads and they’ll just be like “OOH PRETTY DRESSES!” but still…

    Also, when I was a kid, my best friend and I dressed up as princesses, and in our play we were always kidnapped by the bad guys and had to use our kickass martial arts and fencing skills to escape. While wearing pretty dresses. I’m not entirely sure what this says about the cultural messages we were receiving…

  17. Pandora says:

    There was a feminist talk I was at in the last year and I wish I remembered who said this, but I remember one of the women was discussing how her young daughter expressed a desire to be a princess when she grows up. The woman said that at first she panicked but then responded that if her daughter wanted to be a *real* princess she would then need to take lessons in international relations, diplomacy, political science, as well as learn five different languages at least. I thought that was pretty cool.

  18. Francesca Just Francesca says:

    In response to the whole pink princess thing, last weekend I created this celebration: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=533277&id=786030555&l=b7ab96b6d1

    A celebration of the evil diva….and was shocked at how much fun people had with it

  19. Other says:

    As long as things are not forced upon or forbidden, ther is nothing wrong with a little fairy tail dreaming.

  20. lynn says:

    I agree with the commenter that a lot of it is simply sensory; color, sparkle etc. Have you seen Fancy Nancy? My 5yo daughter loves it all! But it’s also the age – when my son was 4, his favorite color was pink, and he loved sparkly rainbow things. By 6 he had become firmly gender-identified and hated pink, but I think most preschool-aged kids of both genders love the sparkle. P.S. my daughter wants to be a ballerina, rock star, bus driver, veterinarian. She’s not ready to focus on just one career yet :-)

  21. cpdoorbell says:

    Your message will save so many parents from surrendering to the Princess Cult. I see so many parents fight it, and when the glitter enters their lives, they assume it is all genetic and just indulge in what they assume is inevitable. For some parents, they feel the pressure to be in normal range and others don’t want to be accused of denying their daughter of her femininity, so the surrender without reflection. Your experience and wisdom inspire conversations with our girls about princesses and the stereotypes as the life in glitter evolves. Thanks for bring hope and humor to the dicey terrain of the Princess Cult.

  22. nina says:

    I am so there with you. My daughter is 3 and had been stuck on princesses for a while. Our strategy is to focus on what princesses do. A few months ago, after hearing her announce that she wanted to be a princess when she grew up, I asked her what princesses do. She looked at me like I was stupid, and said, “Run fast and ride horses and shoot people!” The last bit was certainly her older brother’s influence, but still– we just have to reframe the princess for the 21st century!

  23. Penn Girl says:

    I loved girly things as a girl and I love them now. There is nothing wrong with a little sparkly-pink/handsome-prince fantasy. I still managed to become a lawyer and find a husband who is a totally equally partner in raising our two kids (and I do it all in gorgeous five-inch heels). My daughter is only 6-months, but if she goes through a princess phase, I’ll be buying us matching tiaras before you can say, “Princess Aurora.”

  24. Wonder Woman says:

    You know my mother was always afraid of the Princess thing too. But when I was six, and all excited about the Princesses my mother told me something very important, I think even we forget about the fairy tales.

    “What do you think happens after the get married? What does Happily ever after mean? Someone has to run the Palace while the Price is out talking to other Kings and Queens. The Princess does that, she runs the country when he is gone. What do you think it takes to run a country? It’s a big deal, and she has to be very smart and know how to talk to people, and help her people with their problems.”

    Never forgot that, and in the end I didn’t really buy into the happily ever after too much. :)

  25. jessiebird says:

    As an anthropologist, I think the first question we have to ask, even of our children, is “What does it mean to them?” The princesses, or whatever, evoke and trigger a lot of images, prejudices, fears, etc. in parents’ minds, but I think those who suggest it might just be about being sparkly are onto something. Or maybe it is about magic. Maybe it is about figuring out what is means to be a girl, and they tend to start with at the extreme before refining it into being a full-fleshed human. I don’t have a daughter (yet–I think this one I’m carrying now is) so I’m just speaking as an outsider who hasn’t experienced Princess Mania. I do remember babysitting for a colleague’s four-year old daughter. My colleague advised me to embellish a little when I read “The Little Mermaid” and add that Ariel also did math in order to win the prince. Something along those lines. Anyway, I was just struck that a lot of this discussion seems to be about what princesses mean to us, and less about what they might mean to our children. Fascinating discussion. (Oh, one more anecdote: I knew a woman who bragged that her young daughters never went through a princess phase, as if they were intellectually and perhaps morally superior because of it. A colleague who knew her then commented,”Yes, but you lived in Germany, where there was no princess culture!” It was an interesting point. Another question is ask is why this seems to be a uniquely American phenomenon. I live in Japan and haven’t seen Princess Mania here much either.)

  26. Jackie says:

    I think you should suggest Bess become involved with Disney Fairies. They’re all about working together, and they don’t have that dreaded message of, just sit and be pretty until your prince comes. I think the Disney Fairies were created in response to parents like yourself, concerned that the princesses model dated stereotypes for girls.

    I do like how Mulan and Tiana both went against society’s roles that women should be submissive, if your daughter hasss to be a princess, I’d go with one of those two. I loved how in The Princess and The Frog, Prince Naveen was the sheltered person unaware of the world, and Tiana was really independant. That was a awesome role reversal, as far as the princess stories are concerned in my opinion.

  27. funbeingagirl says:

    I am not sure if your article was about feminism, but more about bending and molding your child to your personal agenda. A feminist is an independent thinker, not a brain washed replica of “i’m so cool i own sports equipment” mommy. I have a son and hate that I can’t buy yogurt without a stupid character on it any more. I think it is more about smacked on the head marketing all the time than your child’s interests. WHO CARES! Don’t buy it, but don’t deny your 4 year old her one harmless birthday request because you can’t get over yourself.

  28. terram says:

    Great article. I feel the same way. And BTW, one of my favorite books as a kid was “The Ordinary Princess” about a plain-looking princess with mousy brown hair who is also very smart and very fun. She does find a prince, but one who loves her for herself – not because she’s beautiful. I was a child who liked princesses as much as the next girl, and this was one I could relate to. And sure enough, when I grew up I found my own (self-proclaimed feminist) prince – who loves me for exactly all the right non-princess reasons. I can only hope my daughter (and yours) will be so lucky. Good luck fighting the good fight.

  29. leora says:

    another great book that my feminist mother loved to read to me as I was growing up-
    “The paperbag princess”.
    The famous ast line after ther princess rescues the prince from a dragon- Harold, you may be a prince but you are a bum! (or something like that

  30. Jackie says:

    I don’t recall the name of this book I read as a kid, it was about a princess who really didn’t want a prince. She made the princes go through all these ridiculous and rather humorus challenges. She got all the princes to leave her alone except one, and whenhe finished all the previously thought to be impossible challenges, she realized how much that prince must love her to go through all those tasks to please her so she married him.

    To be honest, I think I liked the book more, because I thought the slapstick images of the princes failing at the different tasks was pretty funny.

  31. There really are such things as says:

    Oh, God, not the “femininity and masculinity are constructs” rhetoric again. See satirical article linked below: LOL – couldn’t have said it better myself.

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/progressive-parents-refuse-to-tell-child-its-sex,18395/

  32. Jackie says:

    As long as the parents aren’t all “Video games are for boys!” I’m happy. I’ve heard stories of women who had parents like that, and it’s like, first welcome to the 21st century! Second, I have loved gaming since I was 10, and I was born in the 80′s when the idea of girls playing video games was virtually unheard of. So hearing of parents who think girls shouldn’t game really makes me mad.

    Although these days it seems both genders are into gaming, and Nintendo really has done a lot in terms of paying attention to the interests of female gamers. I’m guessing a part of that is they do sell mostly to a family audience, that doesn’t mean girl targeted games should be seen as easy or kiddy. I’ve heard as much from guys, to which I respond, “Yeah, because shooting bad guys, and playing mideval warriors or whatever, is sooo mature.”

  33. Vickie says:

    Ugh. Aren’t we done with all the feminist nonsense? Hasn’t feminism done enough damage to children of BOTH sexes? Let girls be girls and boys be boys, please, and stop trying to pretend our kids should be something they are hard-wired not to be for the sake of your political views. Ask some working Moms about the sacrifices they have made to “have it all” (most would tell you it’s a myth), and think for a minute about all the little boys on ADHD medication now because they aren’t passive or feminized enough for liberal parents and teachers like yourself. Sometimes girls want to be a beautiful, special princess and boys want to wrestle, paly with legos and climb trees. Period. Live with it!

  34. writermom says:

    Thanks for the article. I feel many of the same conflicts. My problem, though, is less about feminism and more about consumerism – and that’s what the Disney dynasty of princesses really is – teaching our children to be mindless consumers. That’s what really gets to me about the princess phase. I don’t mind princesses, per se, but the exploitation of them for Disney’s (as an example) profit. How do I draw the line there? I buy Disney if it’s second hand, I expose my 4 yr old to other versions of princesses and to other characters. (and YEAH! to the Paperbag Princess!! That’s a great book!)

  35. smartypantzed says:

    My daughter will wake up the world’s greatest bug collector one day, and the world’s most amazing diva another. I love that she enjoys both “feminine” and “masculine” activities. She love Tangled, but also loved a documentary on Iceland. I want her to be well rounded, and exposing her to a whole host of activities will do just that. When we overthink anything, we do just that, overthink. And, in the end, that takes away from our ability to objectively and positively lead our children toward independence.

  36. Elizabeth Miller says:

    Honestly, I think you are witnessing nature take it’s course with your daughter. It has been this way since the dawn of time. Very few choose to be female gladiators after all. Our culture is the only thing changing. Some changes for the good and some bad. We should let our girls adapt in their roles on their own finding what is right for them. Happy Parenting :)

  37. Jesica says:

    My daughter is only 8 months, so this isn’t an issue yet, but I certainly think about it. I have to say that this article and your comments have eased my mind a bit. I think it really is the zombie marketing that bothers me, not princesses in and of themselves. God knows I wouldve killed to be a princess or a fairy when I was a girl (as I remember, I was attracted to exploring new lands with my magical powers), and I have to give my mom a lot of credit for simply encouraging creative play. We had a dress-up trunk full of pretty clothes, never Disney princess costumes bought from WalMart. And she went out of her way to find stories with strong heroines. The Ordinary Princess was one of my favorite books! Other good ones, at various reading levels, are: The Fairy Rebel, Quest for a Maid, On Fortunes Wheel, The Perilous Gard, and The Maid of the North, which is a collection of feminist folk tales from around the world. Id love suggestions of other great ones written more recently. Im definitely going to check out the Paperbag Princess!

  38. Carey Kirk says:

    Not so fast Lynn, you may want to read this. I currently live in a house with a 15 year old that has been exposed to and treated like a princess against my advice, well, since I’ve been around, nearly 10 years now. She is practically an A+ student but is hateful, lonely, selfish, mean, cannot keep a friend more than 2 months, and will not talk to us, hides in her room, tells me to mind my own business, says she hates living here, and on and on and on. She cannot say even one good word to her mother but complains that she does not get her proper percentage of her paycheck. This causes a shopping spree of course. All this you might attibute to the fact that she is a teenager. Oh, I forgot to tell you that she is also bilimic (sp) the eating disorder. The house will be 80 degrees and she sits with sweat pants and hoody complaining the house is too cold because she doesn’t eat enought to keep her frail body warm. I attibute this to her being treated like the princess she claimes she is, at least like the princess monicer on her bedroom door. She will not even help us bring in the groceries but instead watches us do it. I cannot say anything to her because when I do her mom gives me a world of trouble saying she is not my kid and she will raise her the way she wants. You can dress them like princesses but treat them like regular people if you don’t you will also find a little monster living in your house!!

  39. yotko says:

    I’m the daughter of gym teachers. So, when my now 4 year old daughter fell under the princess spell, I simply educated her on two of the coolest princesses ever: Leia and Diana (better known as Wonder Woman!). We’ve found a happy middle ground….she gets to play dress up, and I get to introduce a new generation to Star Wars and comic books. Win-win!

  40. bunnytwenty says:

    “Girls, and women, are pretty fantastic, if you ask me.” Agreed – whether they’re feminine or not! And a lot of girls aren’t, but media and advertising tell them that these things are compulsory (when I was six, I was shocked and delighted when a relative told me that I was ALLOWED to play with cars). If you don’t push back against these messages, then you’re letting advertisers raise your kids for you. If you’re cool with that, so be it, but advertisers don’t have your kids’ best interests in mind – they want to make money, whether it hurts your kids or not.

    The key is not to push princesses or trucks, but see what your child naturally gravitates towards, and then encourage them gently to broaden it. And to keep them the heck away from the TV as much as possible.

  41. Becky says:

    There’s nothing wrong with princesses, they grow up to be queens. The author named her daughter after a famous queen, and even picked a common nickname (Good Queen Bess) that her people used for her. Once, she too was a princess. I hope when next discussing what princesses “do” with her daughter, the author answers, “Wrestles control of an empire from her older and more powerful siblings, defeats the Spanish Armada and gets the State of Virginia named after her.”

  42. Jenna Moritz says:

    We love princesses in our house- but my FAVORITE is the Paper Bag Princess, Elizabeth, who tricks the dragon, saves the Prince then promptly dumps him for being a dunce. GO GIRL.

  43. MamaMeYeah says:

    I disagree that moms are “powerless to fully shield our children from the pink princess tractor beam”…but I get what you’re saying about mitigating it. My thoughts: http://mamameyeah.blogspot.com/2011/01/in-defense-of-disney-princess-sort-of.html

  44. Mmm says:

    Jackie – i think the book you’re thinking of is called ‘Princess Smartypants.’ It’s cute.

  45. M says:

    Carey Kirk – Your poor daughter. I hope she gets the help she needs and is able to grow in herself beyond the hateful mother she seems to have. You don’t have one nice or sympathetic thing to say about your daughter who is clearly striving for perfection (probably to impress you). Maybe you should look to your own (lack of) parenting skills rather than use a childhood fantasy as a scapegoat for the dysfunction you impart.

  46. Angel Catino says:

    Lol…best response to ‘I want to be a Princess’ EVER! I am expecting a little girl in a couple weeks & admit that I am terrified of the whole ‘Princess’ obsession (I am very much a Tom-boy). Still, I don’t believe there is anything inherently WRONG with a young girl fantasizing about being a princess; you absolutely can be girly AND strong. Being feminine doesn’t equal being weak & these days there are role models out there for young girls that show that. We just need to be sure we emphasize these strengths regularly.

  47. lee says:

    hey, my 6 foot 3 inch former football vice captain married with 2 kids son loved his mums sparkly pink dress when he was about 7 yo. nothing wrong with sparkly. my princess, by which i mean girlfreind, is 45 and and loves pink and sparkly stuff. me, i’m 55 year old man and a tom clancy fan. pink and sparkly just looks silly on me. oh well, back to my boring blue suit!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

Previous Post Next Post