You may have had visions of a princess-free childhood for your daughter, complete with a toy box filled with STEM toys that would encourage her to dream of becoming a Nobel laureate rather than a princess-in-waiting. But one week of preschool surrounded by students whose parents didn't take such a hard-line stance on the issue will quash those dreams in mere seconds. There's just something about those glittering tiaras, gauzy skirts, and plastic heels that little girls can't escape.
If your daughter's already been absorbed into the princess culture, don't fret; you're not alone. Over at The New York Times Devorah Blachor has a witty tongue-in-cheek plan to convert your princess-obsessed tot into the feminist you want her to be. The eight-point plan includes everything from asking your daughter if Cinderella's past as a housekeeper will continue once she marries Prince Charming, or if he'll help with the chores, to siding with The Little Mermaid's Ursula because of the glass ceiling she experiences under the sea. The entire post is a must-read for parents of little girls — especially the last point in her plan:
"8. Make a list of wishes your daughter might ask to be granted from her fairy godmother. When the list is completed, tap your daughter's forehead gently and then say excitedly: 'I found your fairy godmother! It's your brain and she's been right here all along!'"
And just remember, if Blachor's plan doesn't work, the fairest movie-screen princess of all — none other than Julie Andrews — once told us:
"My personal take on it is that they may be trying on for size what it feels like to be, say, a real lady. [It] perhaps, in some way, helps them find their own identity later in life. I do think fantasy and play of this kind — whatever it is, if you want to play at being a nurse, or if you want to play at being a florist — it's all important and should be allowed, because it would be an awfully sad place if we didn't try on those airs and have fun doing it."