Nearly every little girl goes through a phase where she wants to be a princess. We all know the signs: They start wearing flowing satin dresses every day to preschool, tottering around in fake high heels, dancing with “princes” who look suspiciously like teddy bears, and issuing invitations to royal balls written in crayon.
While parts of this phase can be charming, it’s also alarming. Hearing my little girls obsess over looking pretty so Prince Charming will love them makes my blood run cold. How can all my feminist mommying have produced these pink-crazed princess worshipers? No mom I know wants her daughter to actually become a princess. So who sends her daughter to princess camp?
There’s a princess training camp in London for little girls who want to learn to bow to the Queen, drink daintily from a tea cup and other essential princess skills. The idea is to give the kids real world etiquette lessons with a fantastic flair. But really, princess training camp?
No, thank you. I’ve accepted that I can’t avoid the world of princesses entirely. Rather than try, I’ve instead attempted to fill our lives with lots of interesting princess books and tales. My kids are growing up with princesses who are clever, wise, strong, brave, magical and lucky. As well as some who are simply pretty. They dress up as princesses who do math, choreograph ballets and run hair salons.
But I think we have quite enough of the princess motif in our lives. I’d like my girls to grow up with visions of being president, or Nobel scientists, or famous chefs, or a thousand other near impossible daydreams. They can dream of being princesses, too, but there’s so much more to fill a little kid’s dreamworld with. I don’t want to go seeking out more princesses or try to train my kids into being them. I’d rather have unruly little mongrels who break their tea cups, make their own dresses and spend their days at camp learning to swim and ride bikes.
What about you? Does princess camp sound appealing? If it does, you might also want to check out princess preschool.
Photo: Loren Kerns