Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Princess Play

Yesterday, I saw this post on KSL.com about how playing princesses can have a negative effect on girls.  This type of article makes me so annoyed because girls have been playing princess and make-believe long before Disney was ever around.  After reading the article, I looked at the posts and really loved what this one person said:

Princesses are not smart, assertive, or strong?? REALLY, Jennifer Berger?

Cinderella, with a little help from her friends, overcame child abuse and basically being a slave to get the man she wanted, a crown, and a castle.

Rapunzel, kidnapped as a baby, escaped her abductor and survived living in isolation without suffering any mental illness and was kind and loving to her people.

Snow White, after fleeing from her would-be murderer, hired by her own step-mother, went out on her own, got a live-in job as a maid, and cheated death AGAIN before returning to her kingdom.

Belle (Beauty and the Beast) selflessly sacrificed her own freedom to save her father, won over her captor, and freed dozens of people from an evil spell.

Ariel (The Little Mermaid) broke free of her father's oppression and took risks to follow her dreams AND obtained her goals.

Need I go on? There is nothing wrong with girls liking princesses and playing with or pretending to be a princess. I have a three year old that LOVES princesses and she loves to dress up. She will also grab her brother's Hot Wheels or Monster Trucks or (GASP!!) Nerf Guns and run off playing with them whilst in her tutu and Cinderella slippers. Vrrrrooom-vrooom-bang!

My fourteen year old, a former princess, (still is!), is smart and strong and assertive. She also has great self-esteem and self-confidence.

There's nothing wrong with being pretty and there's nothing wrong with being nice. But, you know, Peggy Orenstein, if you think we should encourage our girls to play "Greek Myth Heroines", I suppose we can totally play MEDUSA after the tea party. (She was once mortal and very beautiful, until she upset Athena, who turned her hair into snakes and made her so ugly, you'd turn to stone if you looked at her, remember?)

I really thought it was very well-articulated.  I do think that there's nothing wrong with letting a little girl imagine that she's a kind, loving, beautiful princess.  Don't we need more king and loving people in the world? And these Disney princesses are not doormats, like all people opposed to Disney princesses would have you believe.  You can learn some very good lessons from these girls.  I wrote about Cinderella a few years ago even about this very thing.

So I say that I will continue to let my little girl play princess as often as she wants to.  I don't think it will damage her in any way.

My daughter with her favorite princess from last year, Cinderella, at last year's Princess Festival. We will be attending the Princess Festival again this year.


swedemom said...

Great post. And, I agree!

Jillene said...

Well said!! I think little girls should play princesses... They need to be taught from a very young age that they are royalty, and be reminded not to settle for anyone who doesn't see them as such when they are dating/marrying.


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