From the moment we found out a little girl would join our family, we have been bombarded by the princess culture. “Ohhhh, you’re having a little princess?” and “When is your little princess due?” and “That’s going to be one spoiled little princess!”
Baby boy clothes say “Little Slugger” and “Future QB,” but turn to the pink side of the store and you will likely have plenty of glitter crown apparel to choose from. To borrow the words from Lorde, my kid will never be royal. While we definitely think she is pretty special, she wasn’t born into a monarchy. If she was a princess, someone would be around to help me look like Kate Middleton everyday and y’all, it ain’t even close.
Murphy’s Law of Parenting usually dictates that once you say never, that thing spontaneously happens, so it’s with full knowledge and understanding of this conundrum that I say, as the mom of a little girl, our house is a princess-free zone.
Before we jump into things, let’s first get this out of the way. You might be thinking that my princess-free stance means we shun “girly” things. Not even close. My kid wears a dress almost every day with a bow in her hair, and hello, I’m a Southern mama. I’m a proud believer in the religion of smocked dresses, ruffles and Mary Janes. My daughter also happens to have two moms, so she is already very familiar with bronzer and eyelash curlers and she has more shoes than 10 of her need. We’ve got “girly” down in this house.
I’m not a jerk. I understand the role of imaginary play in children and she will have costumes galore. I just want her imaginative play to be, well, more imaginative.
On our best parenting days, I would say that we are raising a little feminist spitfire. She doesn’t need a Prince to save the day, and being “sweet” is great, but it’s not everything. Instead, we offer plenty of alternatives. How about this coat and stethoscope? Or maybe want to play make-believe with a fairy or a monster from the Sesame Street crew that teaches great lessons and avoids gender stereotypes? Or let’s go to play street museum for the day and you can be a farmer or a veterinarian or a cashier.
Our little girls are inundated with princesses in every movie, every party, every book. She will get plenty of this without us, so we just take this as a cue to steer her towards things that don’t take up two rows at Target.
Don’t get me wrong, princesses have come a long way. I have a sister, so Frozen definitely gets me in the feels, and Elsa and Anna are two princesses I can get behind. Maybe our daughter will put on a princess dress at a play date and fall in love with it. Or maybe it will be a superhero costume, or a bee keeper outfit. That spoiled princess prediction was half right, so I doubt I will ever say no to anything. For now, though, we will bask in the approximate 15 minutes we have left of choosing what she likes, watches, and wears. After that, we will just breathe deep and focus on the happily ever after.