The term princess gets a really bad rap (except when we're talking about Kate)! Sometimes, it's meant as a derogatory term for a girl or woman who just believes they deserve everything. Many women take offense to the pink and princess stuff that begins with our young girls, or believe that there should be no gender differences, especially when it comes to toys!
I, for one, am a huge fan of the princess. As "Toy Insider Mom," I try to stay neutral on many of these topics, but on this one, I'm coming clean: I love the world of princesses.
It began when I was a little girl, and it has not stopped. When my mom hears my voice or sees me, she says, "Hi, princess!" She now says that to my daughters as well. Growing up, "princess" was simply an endearing term in my home -- you knew you were loved. There was no picking apart the meaning of this; there was no underlying message. It was just simply a term of endearment. (And I know that if I were a boy, she would have called me her little prince!)
As the mom of three daughters, I have my own princesses, and they are not little girls anymore. With two in college and one now living 3,000 miles away from me, my endearing terms for them include "baby," "monkey," and "princess." In each case, they are words I use to let them know that I'm proud of them.
When they were little, those names just meant love, just like my mom's did to me. But now, they know that they "earned" the princess title. Whether they are making strides with good grades, their careers, or helping out in their communities, I've raised three amazing daughters that understand compassion, humility, and the virtues of hard work. They are kind, they don't judge (usually), and they earn what they get in life. To me, they are true princesses.
Today, one of my fabulous editors got to her desk and her colleagues decorated her space for her birthday (Yes, they are young, too!). They made her a "princess chair." Her balloons are all purple and pink, one has pink fur that says, "Another year of fabulous!" and another crown-shaped one proudly boosts, "Happy Birthday Princess." Not only did she love it, but it's also a big show of respect that her colleagues have for her. She earned that princess chair.
For those of you who do not like to immerse your daughters in the world of the "princess," that's perfectly fine. But for those of us who embrace our inner princess, who use the word with love and respect, I say that you are the heroes that will ultimately teach our girls that they can rise to their full potential and are equal to any man, but can also be the spirited, beautiful (inside and out!), joyous princess that they want to be, with the ability to change the world.
I hope that every girl -- young and old -- embraces their inner princess.