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"Princess" is Not a Career

My five-year-old wants to be a princess when she grows up.

She has it all planned out. First she needs to meet a prince. Then, when he falls in love with her, she will marry him. Then she will be a princess, and she will do princess things all day long. These things include but are not limited to wearing pretty dresses, looking pretty, and dancing.

She is, of course, in for a rude awakening. And Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor may be just the person to give it to her. In her appearance on Sesame Street, she patiently explains to Abby Cadabby that “princess” is not a career.

Jezebel loves this, asking if it can be made required viewing for every kid in America. I’m not so sure.

I live with a princess-in-training, after all, and I think her efforts fit Sotomayor’s definition of a career: a job that you prepare for and train for and plan on doing for a long time. I’d like to see her tell Kate Middleton that being a princess doesn’t fall into that category.

So this is complicated, right? I feel the same horror of Disney Princesses and their terrible marketing machine that most thinking parents do. But I don’t think dreaming of being a princess is actually dampening my little girls’ dreams. They’re too young to be making serious plans for the future. What they need is flights of fancy and impossible aspirations.

I think my sweet baby will figure out all on her own that a) she is not really going to be a princess when she grows up because b) that is not a career that is available to most girls and c) she wouldn’t want that to be her life anyway.

Does she really need to be schooled out of it by a Supreme Court Justice?

Not that I am not loving Sotomayor hard in this video, because she is awesome. But I would like to be surrounded by small people who aspire to be princesses and ninjas and pirates and dragons and mermaids for just as long as I can be. There will be plenty of time for reality.

What do you think? Is this an important life lesson for a little girl, or should we stall off bursting their bubbles?

Sierra Black has been writing for Strollerderby since 2009. Her work has appeared in Salon, the New York Times, Huffington Post and many other places. She chronicles her adventures in parenting at ChildWild. 

 

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