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09:50 AM on 10/21/2011
I come from the other side of this, as far as the relationship btwn my mother and I. My mom wanted me to wear everything pink, play with dolls and wear dresses and shoes every day. I on the other hand wanted to build things, play in the dirt and I never wanted to be a princess. She refused to buy me the things I wanted because she didn't like them, i.e. sneakers (I could only get one pair but she would always try to push a pair of shoes down my throat.) My own experience is that you should let your child be their own person. When i actually have kids that is one thing that I can say that I learned not to do from my mother. Most of the time it is usually a phase and they will grow out of it. Letting them experience different things is how they will know what they like or not.

Think about it. That's how you learned.
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ericadawn16
09:33 AM on 10/21/2011
And don't forget Tiana who worked TWO jobs before meeting her prince and what happened after she married him?
She ran her own restaurant and is the only princess to have a life outside marriage/royal duties.
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dreamchaser0250
08:21 AM on 10/21/2011
Yea this woman finally became the woman she needed to be..allowing her kids to be kids. My grand dtr loves all the princess movies and use to say "I want a princess gown" So one day I found a left over halloween "princess gown" in her size. I wrapped it in gift paper and gave it to her. To see the look on her face was priceless! She had to put it on right away, and had to wear it to (with her purple flip flops)Taco Bell. lol She beamed and was so proud of herself for looking like a princess. She never said I"m a princess...just she had a princess gown. Of course Mimi has photos of her, now I have fond memories of making my grand dtr so happy!!
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The Seventh Chakra, amazon
06:35 AM on 10/21/2011
I'm a 60 year old grandfather and I had two daughters. I spent over 20 years in the military and was gone a lot so I missed a lot of my daughters growing up. But I do remember their princess moments which weren't a lot. My oldest daughter more than the youngest. There are 5 years between their ages. My wife is very strong and could be called a feminist, but the truth is she has had to just become a very strong individual (not just a strong woman). My daughters each have two children. Each one has a girl and boy and let me say my oldest daughter's daughter loved being a princess. And the younger daughters daughter is more of a very feminine tom-girl. I've seen them as princesses and ball players, to star wars and zombie vampires and the best thing is the hugs.

When they are younger than 6 or 7 or so they give the best hugs, whether they are girls or boys. Damn I really miss those hugs. Enjoy them, I promise you will miss those hugs.
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Thinkbirth
Midwife Academic
06:59 PM on 10/21/2011
Love the hugs too! You are so right about how you miss them when they're grown. Thanks for sharing your perspective.
02:16 AM on 10/21/2011
It's refreshing to hear a different perspective. I too have found myself vowing never to allow any daughters I may have to be drawn into the world of Disney Princesses, while secretly wondering what the harm would be. I totally agree that children should be allowed to be who they are, and if that means that they spend their days dressed head to toe in pink, complete with tiara, while pretending to go to the ball with Prince Charming (as many of the girls in my nursery class do), then so be it. However, I'm still a little torn because Shauna Pomerantz makes a very good point. The advertising that girls are faced with pretty much tells them that Disney Princesses are what they should be interested in. Peers play a part in influencing girls too - who wouldn't want to fit in with their friends? I'm all for girls being who they want to be, but how do they know who they truly want to be when they're being bombarded from all angles?
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Dede Eagleburger
Beauty is in the eye of the makeup brush holder
09:33 AM on 10/21/2011
They don't know, and that's the fun of it!! Kids are supposed to explore everything, they don't have to know who they truly want to be when they're a kid. And once they get older, they usually move past Disney Princesses...(okay, I admit I still like them!)
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ericadawn16
09:41 AM on 10/21/2011
The thing that annoys me is when McDonalds and other fast food restaurants insist on having separate toys for boys and girls especially when they insist that Star Wars and Pokemon are "boys" toys. When I was growing up, they didn't have nearly this many instances of separate gender toys especially when they advertise so much. It perpetuates the myth that girls can't like such things to them, their parents and their peers.

My own mother witnessed a grandmother telling her granddaughter that she couldn't have a Spongebob swimsuit because "you're a girl".
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Dede Eagleburger
Beauty is in the eye of the makeup brush holder
03:46 PM on 10/21/2011
My daughter will look at the toys they are offering and tell me whether or not she wants a boy's toy or a girl's toy before I order...! :)
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BittenByAZebra
11:37 PM on 10/20/2011
When I was in graduate school one of my fellow graduate students, a feminist, had a young daughter who refused to leave the house unless she was wearing some frilly, pink or shiny. It drove my friend mad.

But the thing is: you CAN be a princess and still be a feminist -- you just have to think about princesses in different ways.

My friend, Melissa Levis, of Moey's Music Party, has started a "Princess Revolution." You can read all about it in the New York Post feature that was written about her a few weeks ago: http://nyp.st/PiedPiperInPink

She recently released her new DVD/CD set, "Happily Ever Moey! A Fairy Tale Lark in Central Park." The songs are so much fun and very catchy.She has taken manyfairy tales and given them new endings.

In her version of "Snow White" and "Sleeping Beauty," for examples, the princesses wake themselves up with their own kiss. In her version of "The Princess and the Pea," the princess gives her mattresses away to kids who can't afford them and chooses to sleep on a futon instead.

If you want to hear some of her takes on the fairy tales, you can visit her website (http://MoeysMusicParty.com) and check out her YouTube videos.

I promise you that you'll be singing and dancing along with her songs. I love "Bibbedy Bobbedy Boo" but I find myself waking up in the morning with her songs ringing through my head!
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10:16 PM on 10/20/2011
If girls are still wearing pink, and fantasize about being a princess in high school, there may be a deeper meaning. More important 2 yr old is happy, helpful, and doesn't yell like the wicked witch. Seen plenty of 2 yr olds verbally abuse to get their way. Don't know how that starts! Maybe they DIDN"T get their glitter shoes.
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10:10 PM on 10/20/2011
Maybe girls become princesses as a respite from big brothers! Sibling rivalry is bigger issue than gender based dress up. @ 2, it's her party.
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Jason Ungar
05:05 PM on 10/20/2011
Funny!! Cause my wife WAS like you (our daughter is only 20 months old) and now she is regressing as well. My thing for her and my almost 4 year old is I want them liking the things they like. For example I was a big Star Wars fan as a kid..well if my kid likes Star Wars stuff then great, if not then that's great as well. For the record he loves Star Wars stuff, but has never seen any of the movies (he isn't old enough yet IMO) This Disney, Star Wars, you name it stuff is everwhere. You can't buy a tooth brush or freaking underwear without that stuff. I mean you can, but as soon as they see it they want it. He knows Luke, Anakin, Yoda and Darth Vadar. How?????? lol
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BigWillyG
04:29 PM on 10/20/2011
I've never understood all the hate for princesses.
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dacenar
Call it like I see it.
09:34 AM on 10/21/2011
A princess is a beautiful woman who only has to find a prince and give him hiers, end of story. They do not have to espire to know anything, do anything, or be anything else or contribute. We are trying to keep a generation of girls from only having only one goal: marrying a rich husband and being a trophy wife. Girls should want to be more. "Someday my prince will come." Is an old fashioned statement that should have died in the 1960s, but some people cling to these dated values.
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BigWillyG
06:12 PM on 10/21/2011
But princesses are fictional characters. Girls growing up and legitimately trying to be princesses says a whole lot more about a girl not being able to differentiate fact and fiction then it does about princesses. Also we're talking about 5 year old's not 15 year old's, tastes will change markedly between a girl having her princess little girl phase and her actually being old enough to try and live it, By your logic the world should also be overrun with pirates, cowboys and spacemen since these figures are similarly central to boys at the same age. People change as they age and we shouldn't ruin the innocence of childhood because of the social and political hangups us adults have.
03:16 PM on 10/20/2011
I can't recall how many times I heard from new moms or just young single women that they wouldn't let their daughters be into princesses, Disney, girly stuff, etc. They wouldn't let their daughter do this, have that, wear those... All very easy to say when your daughter isn't dancing around the room to "Part of Your World" from Little Mermaid.

I just didn't understood the adamant opposition to princess-ness for a long time. And then it dawned on me that maybe the "no-pink-for-my-daughters" mentality wasn't about the 4-year-old girl they would one day have in their home. It was about the 14-year-old girl they worried wouldn't have the confidence and strength they wanted her to have.

If you make empowerment and self-confidence a priority, your daughters will get the message, even if they're carrying a Hello Kitty lunchbox to school.

But you have to let kids be kids. They're not going to think like you when they're little, despite your many inspiring and convincing talks. And they're not going to think like a 5-year-old when they're 12. My daughter was into the Tinkerbell and Disney Fairy books a few years ago, but she moved on. Now she writes poetry and imagines what it would be like to run a Ritz-Carlton hotel in some exotic location.

Kids go through so many phases. Let your daughters try on the glitter shoes. I promise they'll outgrow them.
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Dede Eagleburger
Beauty is in the eye of the makeup brush holder
09:30 AM on 10/21/2011
Great post! You do have to let kids be kids...too many of us are pushing our own ideals, and dreams, and perceptions, onto them at far too early of an age.
My daughter still likes the Princesses but not like she did when she was a preschooler. She's almost 7 and is into lots of things!! She really loves to read and is bringing home different books every week.
As a single mom, all I really try to do is make sure I'm aware of what she's into, and try to be a good example, and remind her every day how much I love her and how special she is.
I want her to be empowered, and self-confident, but I still want her to be a girl! That's what we are when it all comes down to it...