Over the weekend Peach returned from visiting her friend down the street wearing the pinkest of pink princess creations. But what made it work was the absolute joy and huge smile the Peach was wearing along with this polyester pink outfit. She held up the sides as if she was wearing a wedding dress and whispered to me, “isn’t this beeeyootiful?”
And then she started spouting off the names of different princesses to movies she hadn’t seen–Ariel! Cinderella! Sleeping Beauty! Jasmine!
Well, I knew it was going to happen.
The Peach has discovered princesses and all the glamour that goes along with being one. Â Â I know a lot of women (including myself) who roll their eyes when they see all the princess themed stuff out there. In fact, I didn’t like it when family members would call the Peach “a little princess” when she was a baby. For some reason I connoted the word “princess” with spoiled-have-daddy-buy-you-a-new-car-when-you-turn-16-never-earn-a-paycheck lifestyle. Where I got this, I honestly have no idea. Maybe some random movie or TV show? I’m not sure.Â Princesses weren’t about being empowered and strong! They were simpering seconds who needed to be saved, right?
And let’s not forget the pink princesses who reign supreme and assault you as soon as you enter any toy section of a storeâ€”yeech!
But hang on a second… if you think about it, Disney princesses are all pretty good ladies. They’re always fighting for their rights, kind to others, never giving up, and oftentimes very humble.Â Not bad role models, in my eyes.Â I wouldn’t mind hanging out with Merida from Brave. And I have a feeling Cinderella and Snow White are probably good eggs as well as animal lovers.
And let’s face itâ€”those princesses have great wardrobes.Â The Peach admittedly seems more enthralled with the dresses than some Freudian review of what it means to be a princessâ€”especially since she’s never even seen one of the movies.Â Then I thought back to when I was a kid and I loved princesses too when I was her age!Â I loved pretty pretty pretty dresses! I still do love a fabulous dress and it hasn’t hurt my I.Q. or made me less successful or less funny or employable!
I’ll take dressing like a princess any day of the week over the Peach wanting to dress like a teenager and wear skimpy clothing. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that I will miss this glittery, tiara loving, pretty dress stage when it is over. Especially when it is this darn cute!
Have you dealt with the dreaded princess obsession? Please tell me I’m not alone in my mixed up feelings about princesses.
25 thoughts on “It’s official: the Peach has entered the PRINCESS stage”
Luckily, we have not dealt with princess obsession with Avery. Having 2 older brothers helps, since she isn’t exposed to it very much. In fact, I even encourage her towards girly princess-themed stuff just because I want her to be interested in girl stuff. She know who the Disney princesses are (not by name, but just as “princesses”), but they hold as much weight as any other of her toys. I think the balance is great- she knows them, but isn’t OBSESSED with them! I’m crossing my fingers it stays that way!
Peach is adorable in her little dress, by the way!!
I think the Peach is pretty darn cute in her outfit too!
The princess thing is a weird sticky wicket, isn’t it? At this time I think it is just about dress up more than anything else. We’ll see.
Being a mom of a SERIOUS Disney/Princess addict (but she’s also WAY into Tim Burton…not sure how that one happened), I can tell you that Merida is the princess in Brave, Ariel is from The Little Mermaid. 🙂
Tara I noticed that too and was chucklin’ thinking “is it a good thing or a sad thing that I know this??” haha!
Ha! My bad! I’ll change that!
Funny, I am writing a children’s book dealing with “re-writing” the definition of Princess right now! My daughter is all about it…it seemed to emerge from her, fully formed, around 2 and a half! And she has two older brothers! So I’ve done what you touched on…talking about their good qualities, and being sure to include conversation and good character as reasons for their attractiveness. It seems to work.
I’d love to hear more about your children’s book! I think it is a very sticky wicket that is very layered to say the least!
I feel you on this one, Miss Dottie!! I have written a whole lot about my trials and tribulations on my blog too. Not to be all weird, but here is a link with all my princess rants: http://www.bucktoothmama.com/blog/?s=princess&submit=Search
It is very hard to come to terms with, I think when you become a mother you want to provide your child with everything possible to nourish them. Healthy food, healthy stories, and healthy role models. I try to remember balance in all things, and let my kids have candy, princesses, and barbies, once in a while, or just with my feminist propaganda thrown in at all times!!
i love your girls…..and you do an amazing job exposing them to everything (Sadie and Kiki’s Delivery Service are forever linked in my mind!!!). Your story about her being so sad at Christmas had me smiling and nodding. I remember signing up for a Secret Santa thing through work, where we were buying gifts for disadvantaged families. I was assigned a 5 year old girl who wanted a doll. And I was sooooo conflicted. I had in my hand a cloth doll that *I* though was amazing. She had normal clothing, was shaped like a normal kid (no hyper sexualized tweener action) and was feeling pretty good and then i paused and thought, “this kid is gonna be SO BUMMED that all she got was the doll with yarn hair that some stranger grownup decided was more appropriate for her” than the doll with the insane blue sparkle skirt.” So I caved and got her a sparkley doll. I made sure to pick a brunette with cocoa colored skin (the little girl was latina and I tried to think what would I have wanted as a little girl). And she apparently was thrilled and squealed in delight. It’s so complicated isn’t it?
You hit the nail on the head, Melissa–It’s about balance and letting them go with what interests them as well. And I totally appreciated your posts about the princesses. It sort of is just the environment of being a girl today.
As they say in High School Musical (Olive’s OBSESSION), we are all in this together! It helps to have bright and wonderful women to process the process with! Thank you for being a frieeend.
Man she is so darn cute!! Enjoy it!
We don’t have any princess stages over here,
just Star Wars right now. 🙂
i love princess stuff in the same way that i adore glam rock and my big fat gypsy wedding, i think it’s all garish and daring and wonderful. our generation is really STUCK on disney, and yes disney did a shitty job with the fairy tales (especially in the beginning) but they were re-written in sexist AMERICA and they are getting better and better with each movie and pixar is trying their best as well…but seriously who wants the little mermaid to die in the end? pippi is my ultimate hero and she’s the daughter of a cannibal king…princess. i too have written on my blog about this, i think we are the biggest influences on our kids and what we teach them. my boys LOVE dressing up, truman spends a lot of time walking the neighborhood in full KISS army gear or as batman, harry likes tutus. whatever they want to wear is cool with me because it’s sparking their imaginations and making them dream. when tru’s dressed as paul stanley he IS rockstar for that moment and when Tova dresses like a princess i will ask her what that means to her…my suspicion is that it wields as much power as the gods of RAWK.
my own “princess” likes definitely came form my grandma olive who was BIG, and i mean BIG, into lodge. she had TONS of gowns and tiaras and costume jewelry. i have all of the jewelry now as no one else in my family wanted it, they all thought it was over the top. my mom also taught me very early on about the royalty in sweden where my family was from before they moved to minnesota. she was raised with such pride about our roots there.
i think it would do so much more “harm” to shame girls about wanting to wear the stuff. they have enough time to go into the world and be shamed and judged for what they want to wear or how they look, let em’ go crazy while they can.
that’s my 2 cents.
Pippi…..and European royalty…..that was all part of my growing up too. Wise words mama.
It is so true. I didn’t know that about Pippi–it’s been awhile since I read that! But I agree with you that we are the biggest influencers on our kids across all things. And I love seeing this whole princess phase the Peach is entering.
What is it with all this angst? Let her enjoy being a little girl. It’ll be over too soon, anyway!
She looks adorable. This is a topic of total fascination/frustration for me. On the one hand, I am saddened by the “pinkification” of girls. I firmly believe that we have OD-ed on pink and purple….as someone who adores the 70s, I shake my head that there aren’t more orange or green or red options out there. And i don’t get buying EVERYTHING for a girl in pink, even if it is their favorite color. Wolfie’s favorite color was green but we didn’t get him EVERYTHING in green….green bed, green sheets, green backpack.
At the same time, I hate the vilification of princesses and pink. Because honestly? I like pink! It’s a vibrant fun color and no wonder kids like it! It seems like, with everything, we have become a culture of excess. It’s all about moderation and balance, right? Expose kids to everything and don’t go overboard. Again, I’m not a fan of this Uber Princess thing, but one thing I’m always curious about. Grown ups who critique it seem to always hone in on how unhealthy it is for a young girl to feel she needs to be rescued by a prince, or dependent on a man to bring her jewels etc etc (which, of course, I agree with). BUT I don’t think i’ve yet met a little girl who seems to give a crap about the prince. They are all obsessed with the clothing and the glitz….and boys are still gross, prince or not. Curious what other moms of girls have to say about this. Are their daughters obsessed with boys? Do they see that princess culture has made them feel the need to be rescued etc etc??
I found it is all about the clothes. Special clothes make you feel special. The power of a dress starts early, I think. And I agree about the pink overload going on. It is crazy to walk down the aisle of any toy store to basically a row of pink and purple. At least give girls an option beyond those two colors! Sheesh!
Sighhh… My 5-year-old has been revving up on the princess thing lately. And although the over-marketing of all things Pink and Princess has got me feeling nauseated, I see how delighted my daughter feels when she’s wearing her princess costume and I can’t help but try to relax a little. Mostly, I have a problem with girls getting an inaccurate and narrow view of what femininity means, but then again, I remember that it’s up to me to help guide my daughter through that. I’m so grateful to know that there are other moms out there who struggle with these same things. Thank you for this very timely post!
JD, I hear you. It’s so weird. And I feel absurd getting as unnerved by it as I do at times, but I think today’s view of feminism is changing. There was this great article in Jezebel recently that talked about the “girl” movement with Katie Perry and Zoey Deshanel as the center of the new movement of aware, empowered women that enjoy a little sparkle and girliness. And who knows how it will be in a few years.
Disney has done a shameless job plastering those princesses everywhere, so they are unavoidable. I fought it a bit, then bought a used costume here and there, and then when Stella was five I saw the set of ten Disney princess dolls (Barbie style, even!) for 100 bucks and I was like “she’s only a little girl once!”. She loved them, but a year and a half later she just uses them to make new clothes for. Every girl is different, but I think that it might be an impulse not worth fighting against, because most girls outgrow it and I don’t think take their role models from all these pink and busty Disney princesses. Merida is pretty rad, as far as they go.
Dottie, I have to tell you about the latest Olivia book by Ian Falconer. It’s GREAT! It’s called “Olivia and the Fairy Princess”, hot off the presses, and it’s all about how Olivia can’t understand why all of her peers (even the boys) want to be pink princesses. Why couldn’t they at least aspire to be African or Indian princesses? It’s a really cool book. xo
Tiffanie, thank you so much for the recommendation of that Olivia book! I think that may make its way under the Christmas tree this year!
The princess bug bit our wee one earlier this year. Out of nowhere!!! It’s like those cheap, junky, pink baby strollers – they might as well send us home from the hospital with a princess gown!!
But really, I’m embracing it. It makes her SO happy. At least she’s super easy to buy for! You can’t throw a stick in a store without hitting something princess-y. And I’d rather watch Disney movies than some of the other crap on tv…!
Eliza love-love-loves the movies, but we’ve only recently begun getting into the clothing, because anything with organza was deemed itchy. But she recently found the Puck costume I’d intended for her to wear for Halloween last year (green leotard with a long green organza tutu) and she parades around in it ALL DAY. So we’re thinking she can be the Green Fairy for Halloween this year.
It’s inevitable these days, I think. But as long as we accentuate the positive in them, it’s all good!
I totally share your confusion over this Princess stage, and I don’t even have children. It’s probably one of the (many) things that terrifies me about having children. Partly because as the unrepentant tomboy I was, I never went through anything close to a Princess phase (if anything, I had more of a James Bond phase — and maybe I’m still in it?). But I like that you pointed out all the good qualities of these Princesses. They do often have quite a bit of gumption when faced with the unexpected, they are often sweet and cheerful and they are pretty much unilaterally down with the animal kingdom. Who wouldn’t want their kid to be like that?