Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Once Upon A Time....

The princess thing. I have a problem with the princess thing. All these smart, bright little girls dressing up as their favorite princesses. Princesses who just wait around, usually in some kind of coma, waiting for Prince Charming to come kiss them and make everything better. As long as you look pretty and lay there in silence some handsome guy will come make everything better. If your stepmother is evil? Don't worry! Just find a guy to fix it for you. You're only 16 and in poverty? No problem! Just find a guy. You can get pregnant and live off foodstamps if it doesn't work out.

Why are they singing "Some day my prince will come.....?" They should be singing "Some day I'll go to college and get a satisfying career and I'll decorate my apartment with exotic tapestries that I found at bustling markets during my world travels and I'll join a yoga class and a book club!"

I swore I would never let my daughter get into all the frilly princess crap. I would tell her that she is a strong woman and that she doesn't need another person to sweep her off her feet. She can stand on her own two feet and hopefully she'll find someone she loves to stand next to her some day. In fact, the more secure she is with herself, the more likely she is to find a healthy relationship. But, even if she doesn't, she will be okay and happy and self-sufficient.

But, slowly, slowly the princesses are entering our lives. She loves the princess dress up shoes. She loves the princess tea sets. I approved the purchase of these items because.....well...hello! Look how happy they make her. And, yesterday, I put on my parents' copy of Snow White, while having a fit of "must lie on the couch nausea." She was transfixed. In fact, my mom, dad and I sat there and watched it with her (I had to fast forward through the truly scary parts.) But, the dwarves! They are so cute! And this morning she requested Snow White instead of Dora. Dooooooom! What will be next? BARBIE? Don't even get me started.

15 comments:

Lysandra said...

I am so sending her a Barbie when she is old enough. You know, some girls just like dressing up and having tea and being a girl. It doesn't mean she will be trapping herself into a life of domestic wifery because she didn't get an education. Besides Barbie has like a ton of careers and isn't married. It will be fine. Spaz. :)

The Quinn Report said...

I feel IT heading my way too. You're just going to LOVE my post today on her up and coming bedroom. You'll really have nausea and possible vomiting after you take one look at what's in store for me in the near future.

Tracy said...

Look at it from her point of view. they are beautiful girls who sing, dance and where beautiful dresses.. I am thinking she doesn't really get the prince thing. Actually, you can use them to your advantage later. You can use the princesses as a reference as how NOT to be when she is older... Oh and can you seriously imagine not taking her to Disneyworld? I am so looking forward to the "magic" of Disney with them. She has you for a mom, she is going to grow up and be very strong despite what she watches on TV. And seriously, no more dora?? That sounds pretty good (although to me Snow White's voice is much more annoying)

susan said...

The thing about Barbie is that she can do ANYTHING!! Yes the dolls had cute accessories when I would play with them, but they also had doctor, astronaut, teacher, safari, and all sorts of other outfits that match careers. My Barbies would solve mysteries, teach school, build houses and more. Yeah, yeah, body proportions are all wrong, but I didn't really even care about that stuff anyway. If anything, Barbie is more conducive to adventurous and creative play than princesses, because she can do everything that they can and more (while wearing pink miniskirts and heels).

Trivia: Of all the Disney princesses and female leads, only one has a mother figure. Can you guess who?

Jen said...

She can be a strong woman and still want to be pretty and have a good man! You are a good example of that, and you will be able to tell her all of this one day. Until then....don't worry!

Vicki said...

You make me even happier that I had a boy. Yeesh! We went to DisneyWorld last year and the little girl princess thing started giving me to creeps. Parents were dropping hundreds of dollars for their 6-year-old to get The Princess Makeover (dress, hair, the whole deal), then sit through a photo shoot. Hello? Wasn't this once called Glamour Shots? I'm thinking a little princess is OK, but come on people. Let's get real.

Meg said...

Susan-

I KNOW! It's sleeping beauty. She has a real mom and three adopted moms. SW has a stepmother, but she wants her heart in a box (who ever thought these movies were appropriate for kids?) Yes, I am unfortunately, the princess expert. My problem with the Disney princesses and Barbie princesses (which are coming REAL soon KT, so don't even try to fight it) is that half of them are trying to convince my daughter that she needs to fall in love with whoever she wants, and if mom and dad don't approve, well...they just don't understand true love the way pre teens do. Thanks Mattel. But, it is way better than Hannah Montana..or Britney Spears.

heather said...

I know the feeling of having your world overtaken with pink princess paraphanalia...
If you want to balance out the message you think she may pick up of "being rescued" and "look pretty and depend on the guy" from the princesses you're used to, then here are some great books you might like:

The Paper Bag Princess
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0920236162/bravegirlsandstrA/

Princess Smartypants
http://www.cherylrainfield.com/picture-book-review_Princess-smartypants.html

Girl, You're Amazing
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0807529303/bravegirlsandstrA/

Andrea & Ben said...

Keep them happy, that is what I say. Hopefully I won't have to worry about this in a couple years ;0)

Swistle said...

I find it helpful to think of princesses not as the "come rescue me" Disney types, but as the "third in line for the throne and plotting to cut in line" types.

sgtsharp said...

Yup I know where you get your genes(jeans) from.
Now get her a Tonka Toy,Barbie can drive a dump truck.

MommyK said...

I'm on the fence about this one. I'm curious to know at what point the word "Princess" became the same as "spoiled, snotty, stuck-up, useless bitch."

My daughter received a ride on toy for her birthday. I like that it's pink and purple, because I like those colors. I hate the stickers showing a princess riding in the truck with a man, and I hated the songs about how she loved to ride all day with her prince. I had my H take the batteries out.

However, at least half of her clothes are pink and I dress her in tights and frilly dresses because I think they are cute. But she won't ever wear a shirt that says "Spoiled," "My Dad Is Hotter Than Your Dad," or "Does this diaper make my butt look big?"

Somewhere along the line, I feel like it became taboo to be a girl and like girly things, when in truth, there's nothing wrong with it. The only thing that's wrong is forcing girls into a stereotype.

Angie said...

I was going to write something along the same lines as Susan, Barbie has done it all! With style, I might add.

Ashlyn is completely into the princess thing, as you know, but she doesn't care about the prince. It's all about dressing up and being fancy. She loves Fancy Nancy as well, which is a great book for a girly-girl. Another good non-princessy princess book is Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots?

I'm not sure how I ended up with a girly-girl, but Ashlyn wakes up in the morning and gets a dress out of her closet, saying "I want to be a princess." We couldn't have enough dresses for her at this point. I don't mind too much, because little girl dresses are certainly cute. It's a bit of a pain in the winter when tights are also required.

And, do you really think playing with princesses and watching Disney movies is going to influence your child more than you will? No way Becca will be waiting for someone to sweep her off her feet.

ttsc said...

I too am against the Princess thing. So many little girls are just soo into it it's disturbing to me. Samantha loves to dress up and is very into ballerinas. After spending some time with other kids she sometimes will say I'm a princess and I say, I thought you were a ballerina. Then she says, yeah, that's right. I'm not sure if ballerina is much better but I'm choosing to think it is for now. We don't have any princess toys yet, but many ballerina toys. She has seen Cinderella once, liked it, but wasn't that into it. I too am trying to avoid princesses as long as possible.

april said...

as long as hannah montana is long gone by the time we get to that stage i think i can handle the princess thing... why is she on my adult radio stations? i go to my adult radio to get away from kiddie music, a girl can only take so much