my problem with princesses

I don’t like princesses. I don’t want my daughter called “princess.” I would rather she not play with “princess” things, both those that are bona fide accoutrements of the throne (e.g. a tiara) and those that are merely decorated or marketed as such (e.g. a Cinderella toothbrush). If I had my way, she would never, not once, take to the streets as a three foot tall version of Snow White, bedecked in a satin, gold-sequin-trimmed costume with glitter detail.

Before you cast aspersion on my dismissal of an entire category of plaything, mode of dress and term of endearment, know this: I haven’t just banned princesses from the house willy-nilly. When fate handed me a daughter amidst three sons, I did my homework. I read my Peggy Orenstein (among others) to find out why—not just that—princesses suck. The problem with princesses, as I see it, is threefold: their aesthetics, their functionality and their relationship with meritocracy. Taken together, these reasons have convinced me that a princess is neither a healthy nor a desirable role model for my daughter.

You can read the rest of this essay here, at Brain, Child Magazine.


waiting for her prince? not my daughter


Filed under parenting

3 responses to “my problem with princesses

  1. I’m with you here. We don’t entirely disallow princess clothes (as I do think that learning to dress up in beautiful dresses and such is wholesome), but we certainly don’t call her “princess” and instead focus on other role models. Right now she prefers to identify with eagles, which I guess is ok.

    • Thanks for your comment - I am still considering my daughter’s request for a princess costume for Halloween! I do generally believe in moderation, but I also fear the slippery slope.

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