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Why I’m No Longer Worried About The Princess Culture

Erin Zammett Ruddy

Nora’s third birthday was Saturday. We had a long weekend of celebrating and she got some great gifts from family and friends. Some of them were pink and shiny and girlie but Nora is in no danger of becoming a princess. Here’s why…

You guys know how I feel about the girlie-girl, pink/frilly/princess culture. It’s just so not me and I don’t want Nora to get sucked into the “it has to be pink!!!” line of little-girl thinking. It irks me that so much of the toys/clothes/anything marketed toward girls is pink/frilly/princessey. It’s nearly impossible to get around if you’re like me and would rather not have pink soccer balls and pink tea sets and pink everything in your house just because you have a girl. That said, I know that pink/frilly/princess stuff can be fun and I know that dress-up and pretend play (including in pink things) is important. As I mentioned on my resolution list, my kids love to dress up in costumes and I’m trying to help them by creating a collection of fun options. Well not surprisingly, Nora got some great dress-up clothes for her birthday (thanks, Kim! thanks, Grandma Debbie!) including really cute ballet/princess-type outfits, which she loved. She also got a superhero costume (see the pink and purple cape in the photo) and when it came time to play that was her first choice. And, I’m not gonna lie, it made me happy.

As soon as she put on the mask, she walked around saying, “Does anyone need any help?” “Hi, does anyone need help?” It was so cute. Then she said this, which was not so cute: “I like being a superhero so I can punch people in the face!” D’oh! It doesn’t get any more classic Nora than that line. Of course she started a punching match (complete with sound effects) with Alex and then she punched me in the arm. And then she punched Nick. (We explained to her why that was not OK and that we were good, not bad and that superheroes actually save people). So you see how I really don’t need to worry about her being too girlie girl and prissy and wanting to play the princess waiting to be rescued? (Yes, I have to worry about a whole handful of other things). Nora also got some princess accessories for Christmas from our babysitter and when she put on the tiara, Alex said “Look at the princess!” and Nora said, “I’m not a princess, Ali, I’m a queen.” Nuff said. Yesterday, after 10 more minutes of superheroing, she came up to me, looked me straight in the eye and very seriously asked, “Mom, can I fly?” It was so great. Love that feisty little girl. Love all her new dress-up clothes (frills included). Hope you all had a great weekend. Happy Monday!