There is a war on princesses and all things “girly” and it drives me crazy.
I mean, I get it. I loathe gender stereotyping and would give anyone (and have!) a tongue lashing who tried to tell my daughter that she’s a pretty little flower who must smell nice and not get dirty and can’t like math and must be dainty, etc. Much like I will go head to head with someone who tells my son that ballet is for girls and so is long hair, etc.
But we have come to have such a mindset that “princess” is bad that we are literally making children think that their likes are wrong.
Miss H went through a spell this fall where she suddenly didn’t want to wear dresses or bows. It was a drastic 180 but I figured all kids and people change, so I let it be and simply helped her find what she was most comfortable wearing.
As I said, it only lasted a month. And then she realized she liked dresses and bows too much to give them up and went back to her fancy ways.
But I don’t think I’ve ever seen another girl in her class really wear a dress. And definitely not a fancy one. So without a doubt that was a large contributing factor.
Because we want to raise strong, independent, well-rounded women (and we should!), we seem to blast everything that may be feminine.
Well, guess what, princesses can be strong and independent, too!
Miss H can wear a fancy dress while climbing trees and playing dodge ball and Pokémon and doing math, and even while hiking and creek stomping, completely unhindered by her like of girly things. And she does. She plays hard and gets dirty because she knows there is nothing limiting about being female or fancy.
She is no less because she likes princesses and baby dolls and doing crafts. There is nothing abhorrent about those things.
It’s as if society has decided that things some girls may like are inferior because they’re traditionally regarded as female.
Instead of saying, “All girls are strong and powerful regardless of what they wear or their interests are,” we’ve said “Only girls who reject traditional female likes and roles are strong and powerful.” And that seems backwards and absolutely the antithesis of what we want the outcome to be.
You don’t have to like princesses. I don’t.
You don’t have to like reading or math or science or hiking or ballet or crafts or wrestling or any other things in the world.
But when you take someone’s likes or interests and decide they’re inferior or less than, you’re part of the problem. You’re not empowering anyone. Especially not females.
My daughter likes princesses. She likes fancy dresses and she’s so incredibly nurturing.
She is fierce and empathetic and strong, and she’ll fight for justice and what is right until she’s blue in the face.
And she’s a bad ass.
In a dress.