Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Problem With Princesses


One of these days perhaps we'll stop finding ways to beat each other/ourselves up over parenting issues.

Recently I read a headline on NPR decrying yet again the princess culture that is currently in vogue among small girls. I didn't bother to read the article. You can't be a mom these days without being aware of the Princess Controversy, and I don't want to waste your time by summarizing the whole mess.

I do, however, have a few things that I want to say on the subject.

  1. If you have girls they are going to be exposed to the princess thing.
  2. It does NOT at all matter if you raise them in a completely gender-neutral household. Eventually they will find the pink, and they may or may not decide that it's for them.
  3. Children do, after all, have minds of their own.
  4. Locking them up in their rooms is not an option.
  5. You better believe that the mounds of pink princess stuff drive me nuts. My eldest won't wear anything that doesn't have pink on it somewhere and the second lives in tutus and swimsuits. That's just who they are.
  6. No, I don't believe they are learning to be subservient victims and/or are falling prey to the great consumer monster.
  7. As with just about anything else, what they take from all the pink frills has more to do with our parenting than with the actual pink frills.
  8. Actually encouraging our kids to follow their passions has only ever done them good in the long run. There is good that can be gleamed from everything if you know how to direct it.
  9. Accepting the nuttiness in the short term generally also allows the worst of it to die a quick death. If you resist...the kids will also hang on the tighter.
  10. And come can always say no. There isn't some great pink tutu in the sky forcing it on anyone who doesn't want to participate.

Finally, I would be more concerned about the Princess thing if it weren't for one simple fact.

Any kid who wants a Darth Vador birthday cake - even a glammed up Darth - is most likely going to be fine.


Reika from Ravelry said...

I have relatives who love to send me links to stories or columns decrying the damage the princess phenomenon does to young girls' sense of self. And to be fair to these relatives, I really do appear to be the target demographic for these stories. I should be incensed and see pink tulle as the ultimate symbol of the oppression of the female gender!

Well, um, looking up from my computer at this moment, I see my three-year-old, clad in a pink Glinda the Good Witch floor-length gown, trying to jam a Hello Kitty barrette into her hair. Meanwhile, my pink-hating older daughter, clad in her blue and brown striped coat, is off learning how to snowshoe at a birthday party. You know what? They're both going to turn out just fine.

A Day That is Dessert said...

I heard that piece on NPR. And I agree with your points on the issue.