I am a princess...

(51 Posts)

My 2.5 yo came out with this in the bath. Where did she get it from? She doesn't have older sisters (or brothers), the only TV is monitored by DH or me, all the people around her in the family identify as feminists. Is it leaking through the walls? She does have one 2.5 yo girl friend who does like this kind of thing but we don't spend that much time there and I didn't see any indoctrination while we were there the other day. Her other little friends are boys and not noticeably princess fans.

I'm being light but it actually threw me. Is a princess stage inevitable with all the pink, sparkly crap around? Will she stop pretending to be a T-Rex and want to be a princess? Is it actually right to encourage her because it is something she chooses? Should I stop worrying because it actually doesn't mean anything?

BTW we don't live in the UK so there is no new royal baby shite around here.

prissyenglisharriviste Thu 15-Aug-13 05:57:33

You need 'Cinderella ate my daughter'. Give me a shout and I'll send you my copy.

My moment of clarity came with dd1 (in the bath with ds1 at the time).

He said 'I'm never getting married, it's too much work'.

I said 'why's that darling?'

He said 'too much cooking and cleaning'.

Dd1 said 'don't be silly ds1, your wife will do that'.

Ffs.

Some things seem to creep in by osmosis. I think they put some genderising chemical in the tap water.

To this day I have no idea how dd1 had ignored every iota of her lived experience in order to brainwash her dbro as to the correct status quo.

I retired to my bed in the manner of a Victorian heroine, replete with the vapours.

AlpacaLunchYoubringyourbooster Thu 15-Aug-13 08:15:34

I wanted to be a princess who worked as a mortician during the day in my yoof.

I wouldn't worry about it, a good few years on now and im reasonably sensible

grumpyinthemorning Thu 15-Aug-13 10:21:18

I think every girl wants to be a princess at some point, I know I did. Didn't grow out of it until I was 21 and realised that knights in shining armour bore me silly, and handsome princes tend to dislike intelligence. Plus I never needed rescuing, I can take care of myself!

HoneyDragon Thu 15-Aug-13 10:29:38

My Ds (age 10) took on the might of DisneyLand this holiday and demanded to know why they only did Princess Packages. He pointed out that boys would enjoyed getting spruced up and having their photo taken too.

I also have a lovely photo off him and Prince Charming bonding over a spot of MineCraft conversation.

Meanwhile my 3yo daughter has started spouting "only girls can be beautiful", that she will be a princess and so forth. hmm, thankfully, she also wants to be Buzz Lightyear too so there's still hope...

PearlyWhites Thu 15-Aug-13 11:18:47

And a little girl pretending to be a princess is a problem why exactly?

FreyaSnow Thu 15-Aug-13 11:30:30

Why is it so bad to be a princess? Why is it better to want to be Buzz Lightyear or a T. rex. It couldn't perhaps be because princesses are girls, could it? And who would want to do a thing that girls do when you could be a boy or even an animal instead?

BramshawHill Thu 15-Aug-13 12:25:28

If she just wants to be a princess because she likes them, thinks it would be fun etc then no problem, go with it.

If she wants to be one because she thinks its the best girls can aim for, it means she'll have a prince to do all the heavy lifting for her, she won't need an education etc then maybe steer her onto some of the cooler princesses!

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 15-Aug-13 12:48:29

Nothing wrong with wanting to be a princess.

Everything wrong with wanting to be a sap who sits around waiting to be rescued and whose only purpose in life is to look pretty.

One word for you - Merida (the original version) !

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 15-Aug-13 13:02:58

She has said it once which does not mean she has been indoctrinated.

However I think it does creep in, the gendered ideas thing. It's impossible to prevent it completely. I think it's important to keep instilling the message that she can be whoever she wants to be, like whatever she wants to like, and you will still love her and she will still be her. Whether that's pretty pink princesses, destroying alpha gun robots or anything at all in between. IME both extremes are damaging, but an interest in them doesn't have to be, as long as you don't push that as the one and only best possible thing for them.

tethersend Thu 15-Aug-13 13:07:18

Freya has nailed it.

I wanted to be a king when I was younger. I aimed high you see grin

I have no issue with girls saying they want to be a princess. Some girls actually like the idea which I dont see a problem with.

Some times girls like stereotypical things and boys like stereotypical boys thing. My son likes to have his nails painted then will go dress up as Buzz Lightyear though.

scallopsrgreat Thu 15-Aug-13 13:18:11

I agree with Amanda. Unfortunately the portrayal of princesses is very passive. They aren't portrayed for what they do but how they look and that, coupled with how much they are pushed towards girls is a damaging message.

I can safely say I never wanted to be a princess when I grew up. The pink and sparkly princesses for girls has definitely been ramped up in more recent years. Part of the Backlash I'd say.

OP I'd just keep push more variety of role models and stories where girls are part of the action (like Merida) or pointing out things like female athletes, doctors etc.

GibberTheMonkey Thu 15-Aug-13 13:24:10

My daughter (7) seems to absorb some shit. I now blame it on school but she's been like it since she was a toddler. I have no idea where it comes from. I sometimes wonder if its just a rebellion against having three brothers

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 15-Aug-13 13:25:24

DS has just asked me for a spiderman handbag. I feel compelled to make him one!

HoneyDragon Thu 15-Aug-13 13:29:03

I have no objection to her playing princess. I do object to her equating

Princess = beautiful = Only girls can be princesses = boys are ugly

At three. sad

Because I don't where it comes from. confused

And yes, original Merida, fabulous. Recently crowned and officially princessed Meridia, is awful.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 15-Aug-13 13:35:50

Disney Princess Merida = awful. I signed the petition. Where is her bow? Why is she sexy? Why isn't she a teenager any longer? She was specifically meant to be a certain character, and the thinking that underlies homogenising her to fit a very passive and appearance based mould is, I think, one of the reasons a lot of people have a gut reaction against princesses.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 15-Aug-13 13:41:21

Honestly I don't see it as a problem - you're just noticing it because you're looking out for it. I read something recently about how parents try so hard to be gender neutral by buying their daughters trucks instead of dolls, and then become disheartened because the girls tuck the cars into little beds and pretend to feed them baby mush. But the author noted that her son did the same thing, as well as crashing them and lining them up and making them fly and giving them voices and any other myriad ways that toddlers play with trucks and cars (or, indeed, any toy)

When we are trying so hard to avoid stereotypes we are really drawn to notice the things we are trying to avoid. I imagine that most DC - boys and girls - will announce at some point that they are a princess or want to be a princess.

If there was no gendered stuff then some girls would still be drawn to princess stuff (as would some boys) because that is their personality and that is what they like.

ReindeerBollocks Thu 15-Aug-13 13:41:27

My daughter was to be Merida, she has a bow and arrows to fire at DS. Its most amusing. She has only seen Brave not the new Merida doll though.

She also pretends to be a beautiful sleeping beauty (her words). Im embracing this phase as surely thats the fun of being four. If she were 25 I'd probably react differently.

Pachacuti Thu 15-Aug-13 13:43:57

DD1 came out with something similar at about that age. A bit of gentle questioning established that she wanted to be a princess so that she could twirl grin so I pointed out that she could get a more interesting job and still twirl.

DD2 is now the same age, has a language delay so no talk of princesses, but she definitely likes twirling too when she gets the chance.

There shouldn't be anything wrong with wanting to be a princess. Except that the common package now seems to include; pink (I know, just a colour); glitter (like nuclear waste it never dies); passivity; wanting for a man; lack of role of your own; clothes that don't let you move; no power. She is also the archetype, which doesn't help. Long blonde hair, tall and slim, very English rose so we get lots of, "she looks like a doll/angel/princess" when we're out.

At least a T-Rex can run. Jessie from Toy Story was her go to heroine. And Buzz, but I agree that there is nothing great about her wanting to be a man either. If they are the ones who get to have fun, it's not surprising.

I've had a think and the only princess in the films she watches is Fiona. I think that might be where she got it from. So, thank goodness, kick-arse Fiona, who is rescued but also does a bit of her own rescuing.

I will look out 'Cinderella ate my daughter'. Someone else suggested it recently and I think I will like it grin

prissyenglisharriviste Thu 15-Aug-13 14:35:21

Honestly, I can send you my copy. It's gathering dust. I'm still unpacking books after our move, so I even kinda know where I stacked it!

Unless you're in Canada, the postage would be a lot! Otherwise I would definitely take you up on it. You didn't move to Canada did you?

My friend's daughter recent,y came out to be something similar. After a bit of questioning (my friend was just interested in how she came to get the idea) it turned out she'd watched the news a bit ago about the baby prince/Kate and William and wanted to be a 'princess like her'.

My eldest loved pink and glitter and twirling and fancy clothes. She's now a teen and hates that sort of stuff, I think it's the fun of being three and four when liking stuff like this doesn't matter too much.

Boosterseat Thu 15-Aug-13 19:56:39

My DS had a handbag Yonibotts he had a cream cosmetics handbag with gold crowns on it, it matched his storm trooper and he kept his plastic shite figures together in it

I think a Spider-Man handbag is a cracking idea.

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