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Is Princess Culture Inevitable?

I've talked to many new moms who have visions of Barbie-free youth for their babes. Women who purchase art supplies, musical instruments and wooden blocks so their kiddos, particularly their daughters, would be interested in building a future free of fairies and princesses. But, no matter how much parents steer clear of the "buying into the brand" at places like the Disney Store or Toys R Us, is princess culture inevitable? On the playground and around preschool snack tables, lil ones talk Tinkerbell, Fairytopia and lands painted pink and purple. While they may outgrow the tulle and magic wand phase, mothers like myself find our youngster's toy boxes full of jewels, plastic high heels and tiny flying dolls that were gifted.

kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
I love that saying lickety!!
MaggieLei MaggieLei 8 years
I have a friend who was a total tom-boy who ended up with a princessy daughter. She used the princess thing to her advantage to talk about character. She taught her daughter that real princesses need to respect others, be kind, compassionate and share with others. She also used it as a chance to talk about inner vs. outer beauty- which gave her an explanation for avoiding the smutty dolls. I was impressed.
Advah Advah 8 years
Of course it's not. We grew up with "normal" (ie not gender biased) toys, and my parents still talk about how my sister as a toddler HATED the pretty dresses my grandma wanted her to wear, and prefered instead playing naked in the mud and helping my dad tear apart tractor engines. I couldn't care less about my friends' dolls and Barbies but was fascinated by my brother's electric train (good times). I'm not saying that every little girl will reject princessy stuff if hidden from her, kids are different and some girls will like princessy things while others won't, and that's perfectly fine.
Danni99 Danni99 8 years
We didn't hide the princess crap away from our daughter, we just made sure to openly and frankly discuss the benefits and encumbrances that come along with it. Although she's watched the movies and occasionally been given a princess toy/clothing/etc as a gift, she's never in 9 years actively wanted or asked for anything princess, barbie, or bratz. When a product of that nature is given to her, she often donates it or gives it to a playmate. Her instinct has just naturally been to view the world from a "what can she DO?" outlook, and really, aside from wait for prince charming, what do most princesses do? It's simply not enough for my athletic, artistic, active kiddo.
Angelica Angelica 8 years
I don't think it's inevitable at all. I think parents, grandparents and teachers help a child create ideals, interests and their ideas. That being said, I think playing princess is perfectly healthy. I am with babysuge — it's all about that balance.
KimBurnett KimBurnett 8 years
Babysug, it's a good balance, yes. It's inevitable so just talk to your daughter as I do. She's 12 and loves Pokemon and HSM and math. So, whew!, for now.
macneil macneil 8 years
I deliberately avoided pushing anything with a gender bias, and my daughter hates pink, princesses, girly films. She likes Cars, Bugs Life and Nemo. Also Thomas the Tank Engine! and Roary the Racing Car. But I can't get these things in underwear for girls, which is very annoying. All girls' stuff is princesses. I've now got to the stage that I'd almost like her to like the disgusting pink crap so that she'll fit in better with other little girls, but she refuses. I bought Tinker Bell the movie, and she wouldn't give it five minutes. (I would say this is just a sign of good taste, Tinker Bell is atrocious, but she loves Cars, and Cars is ghastly.) But she's quite girly, she makes her cars talk to each other, they have emotional business to attend to rather than racing.
babysugar babysugar 8 years
Without pushing it on her, my daughter is obsessed with being a princess. Every morning she asks for her princess dress, tights and princess shoes. I'm sure she'll outgrow it but for now, it's her main focus. Her other favorite thing is Thomas the Tank Engine. A good balance I guess?
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
remember the line from "cat in the hat", where alex baldwin's character calls dakota fanning's character princess and she responds "oh i don't want to be a princess; then Parliament has all the power". I literally raised my girls with that saying. my girls love to play princess, fairy, barbies and bratz. they also play school, pediatric neurologist and astronaut. it's just play, we have to help with the lines and limits.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
I think it's how you educate your wee ones to the princess culture. I loved Barbies not the whole princess thing though. I was also exposed to other things as well. My daughter loves her princess movies and pretty tutu and magic wand. I'll give into it, and make sure that I teach her how to be a strong independent woman when she's older. But it's really heartwarming to see daddy and daughter play Barbies right now.
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