Sunday, August 31, 2014

"Mommy, I want to be a princess." Vomit.

When she was two, she wasn't yet entrenched into the princess world. And I naively thought, "my daughter really does not dig the whole princess thing." And I sighed with relief. Then she turned three. And like flipping on a switch, suddenly, princess world arrived in this house, and we were instantly schooled on Ariel, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Aurora... etc. Then Frozen happened.

I am not a tomboy by any means. I am pretty girly myself, so dresses and pink and tutus and glitter don't bother me. What bothers me is my daughter having a princess as her role model. I have asked adults, men and women, when they hear the word "princess", what comes to mind?


Nobody says "smart" or "capable" or "independent" or "strong." These are the things I want her to be. I also want her to feel beautiful, because every girl wants to feel beautiful. Growing up, I wasn't always beautiful. I had my cute moments and landed quite a good looking husband, but there were years in there that were not good. I've seen pictures. I rocked a fantastic mullet in 2nd grade. Not sure where my mother was going with that one.

However. The one thing I ALWAYS felt and ALWAYS believed about myself was that I was SMART. So now I have a little girl and thankfully, although she loves her princesses, she also loves Doc McStuffins (thank you Disney for that one!) But no matter how hard we push the importance of her intelligence and strength and courage, she comes prancing down the stairs every morning in a dress, does a twirl, and looks up at us with eager eyes, waiting to hear how beautiful she is. And we tell her because -- well, she IS beautiful -- and it makes her happy and feel good about herself. But we also tell her that she is smart and that she can do ANYTHING she wants to do.

So I will give kudos to Disney for its Frozen princesses. (If you are one of the 6 people left in the world who has not seen this movie, the "act of true love" that saves the princess is finally NOT a kiss from a valiant prince. The princess sisters, themselves, are pretty bad-ass tough girls and show their own strength by saving each other.) But, Disney, as a mother of a very impressionable 3-year old little girl, I still think you could have done better. Because guess who my daughter's favorite is? Elsa. And guess what her favorite Elsa scene is? Of course, the "Let It Go" scene where you successfully transformed demure Elsa into sexy hot Elsa. She starts in a conservative, yet beautiful dress and ends the song thrusting her hips from side to side with a slit almost up to her hoo-ha. Because that's what girls living alone in ice castles wear, apparently.

So here I am, fighting the good fight -- trying to instill confidence and self-worth into my little girl. She is amazing. She is brilliant and articulate and opinionated and holds her own quite well against two brothers. But she is a princess through and through. Who will she be for Halloween? Not Elsa with the hip-thrusting, you can be damn sure of that.

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