I am a pretty princess.

baker_princess_party_invite

There is a Princess Party at Baker Book House this Tuesday. I am dressing up.

As a knight. Thank goodness.

The Princess Party is something of a recent tradition at Baker, and I have been happy to play the knight each year. At the party two years ago, though, I got myself into trouble. My oldest daughter was not yet one year old and a coworker asked me if I was going to bring her when she got old enough.

Now, a thing you should know about my wife and I is that we are not princess people. Far from it. The well-intentioned baby clothes plastered with “Daddy’s little princess” were mostly donated to Goodwill unused. It isn’t that we are trying to raise our girls as though they were boys or anything. We absolutely love having girls. But Disney has tried to make it so that in order to be a girl, every girl must be a princess, and my wife and I aren’t 100% cool with that.

We have our reasons. Some would-be princesses are really just royal pains in the backside. By treating our children as though they were well above the common folk, we might inadvertently teach them to look down on other kids (because they are a princess and other kids aren’t, so other kids must have to obey the princess’s commands). I believe that there are other ways to tell your child that they are important and loved. Also, the majority of princesses are encouraged to be dainty, quiet, and über-girly. Oh, and they must wear pink all the time (and love it above all other hues).

When asked about whether or not I would bring my daughter to the Princess Party, I quietly told my coworker the reasons as stated above, but not so quietly that one of the princess’s grandmothers (a queen, perhaps?) didn’t hear. She came at me with a royal fierceness, explaining that princesses were kind and gracious and polite and well-mannered at all times. To say anything otherwise was to besmirch the good name of princesses everywhere. I told her that I meant no besmirchment and that my wife and I would consider her thoughts.

Note - This is not an actual Viking princess. If you ever saw a real Viking princess in the wild, chances are good that you wouldn't survive long enough to tell the tale. Thus, very few pictures of them actually exist.

Note – This is not an actual Viking princess. If you ever saw a real Viking princess in the wild, chances are good that you wouldn’t survive long enough to tell the tale. Thus, very few pictures of them actually exist.

Now that my oldest daughter is a bit older (almost three), I would probably answer my coworker’s question differently. I have no problem with my daughter, or any girl, attending the princess party or pretending to be a princess. After all, Norway, land of Vikings, is still a monarchy, so my daughter can be a Viking princess if she wants.

My thoughts are still the same about teaching kids to look down on other kids though, so I’m not going to start calling her “princess” or anything like that. Also, my daughter looks cute in pink, but she also looks cute in other colors too, so I’m not going to limit her wardrobe (or the options of her imagination) by forcing her to play princess all the time.

What are your thoughts on princesses?

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3 responses to “I am a pretty princess.

  1. When I was a kid, I thought Princess Diana was pretty awesome. She was pretty, yes. And her wedding dress was mega huge and puffy and the length of a full city block. Okay, there was that.

    But, really, I admired her because she helped others. I specifically remember seeing something on the news about her visiting Mother Teresa. The picture in my head is of her holding the skin and bones form of a little child. And her face was full of compassion.

    I grew up seeing princesses as mercy-rich women who used their influence to help others.

    That’s far removed from “princesses” who have to wait for a man to make out with them as they sleep in order to wake them. Or “princesses” who use their female wiles to win over others.

    When I think of real princesses, I don’t see the color pink or purple or the Disney logo. I see a face full of compassion. And that is something that I would love for my daughter to value.

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