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Girly not frilly – the Princess problem

Let me start of by saying gender is a social construct. Being a girl does not make you more partial to frills and lace, and being a boy doesn’t make you more partial to dark colors and chrome finishes. This socialized nonsense has been scientifically debunked many times, but marketing (including room décor) still rests on its foundation. Furthermore, these stereotypes are damaging – they restrict any child whose interests do not fit their assigned gender role. Stop. Please. Just decorate with things that have an aesthetic you like.

Furthermore, I want to touch upon a subject that really concerns me at the moment. I wasn’t one of those mums who loaded her cupboard with pink, clips and dolls the minute I had a daughter. Yet despite that I find I have a daughter is entangled in the pink princess culture.

Now, I for one have legitimate concerns about its effects. The princess culture focuses so strongly on physical appearance that it teaches girls that how they look is incredibly important. I’m sure you can relate to the daily battle of our little girls insisting on wearing party dresses on the plainest of days just to seek praise.

This upsets most of us who know that it’s what’s inside that counts, and who want their daughters’ sense of self-worth to come from within. I recently asked my 3-year-old daughter “what happens when you have a good heart?” to which she proudly replied, “you get married” (in the context of Cinderellaalways being kind and gentle, which eventually resulted in her being married to a prince). I was stunned

Also, as far as storylines go, the princess script is limiting. Brave and Frozen are definitely a step forward towards a new age liberating princess, but if you ask me Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty still reign supreme. And although princesses on screen have indeed become more dynamic in our progressively feminist world, all their toys still have a very glamorous undertone. Even strong princess characters like Merida eventually get reduced down to sparkly fashion objects in ways that completely undercut the empowering messages from their films.

Long story short, raise your kids to be progressive and convention defying. Try and stay away from being a pink or blue parent! It’ll feel good in the long run…a true parenting win and be sure to let me know how you did it 😉

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