Little Girls And Their Love For Princesses
It seems to be an almost universal truth that little girls love princesses. Princess toys, fancy dress costumes, and a sea of pink are big business, and it seems that no matter how much you have stayed away from gender stereotypes there is a certain point where little girls really want to be playing with princesses and unicorns.
In a world where we are all doing our best to empower our children and give them the tools they need to grow into adults that are kind and loving to themselves and others many people are keen not to encourage gender stereotypes, especially those that seem to be disempowering to women.
And yet no matter how many brightly coloured gender-neutral clothes and toys you buy there seems to come a time when many little girls seem to gravitate towards all things pink and princessy.
So what is it about princesses that little girls are so drawn to. Have they been sold an idea or have they been drawn to something else? Because princesses are more than just pretty in pink.
They are rulers, beautiful and individual, they are capable of amazing things and they do it all wearing gorgeous sparkling dresses.
Should You Embrace the Princess Phase?
A seemingly instinctive love of princesses might worry some people as we don’t want our children to grow up with unrealistic expectations or become defined by a set of stereotypes that might limit their choices and opinions as they grow.
One of the issues with princesses is that they are always beautiful. And then there’s the fact that the general storyline includes true love of a prince and a happily ever after that is unrealistic at best and not a benchmark for little girls to be living their lives by.
Banning princesses doesn’t seem to be the answer, so maybe the better thing to do is to teach girls that they can challenge the stories and the stereotypes. Point out the gender stereotyping and get children to think about whether or not this is actually true as well as the images of perfection that are just not realistic.
We can choose to encourage the inspiring aspects of princesses and their stories without confirming the stereotypes and unrealistic expectations and we can help our children maintain their sense of self-worth to become the heroes and heroines they choose to be.
And of course, we can choose to show them the more empowering princess stories and the unusual ones. And we can show them real-life princesses who are impressive women making a difference in the world.
Plus princesses and pink are just a phase. Little girls grow out of the obsession. And learn great lessons as well as they play.