I want her to love someone, not because they own a castle or a nice horse, but because they are a good person with values and virtues. Someone who will not treat her like a princess, but treat her like a partner.
My girls have tiaras and gowns in their dress-up box right next to their capes and masks. They have a drawer full of Barbie dolls that live in peaceful coexistence with their action figures. But I think it is important for them to know that looking pretty is not the only option they have in life.
I have a princess -- a little magical ballerina-butterfly-tutu-fairy-princess. It's not what I chose, it's what she chose. And when faced with this responsibility, I believe it's not my job to teach princess abstinence; rather it's my job to teach my daughter how to use princesses wisely.
Walking around the streets of Disney, I found myself in an odd juxtaposition between intoxication with the sparkles, jewels and tiaras on the one hand, and disbelief that I was an active participant in what I had so proudly balked at in my former life. My former life being my life before children.
I saw that my son, Miles, could use a fantasy character who was a reflection of himself --serving as a kind of magic mirror that would allow him to enjoy the fantasy while strongly identifying with the situations playing out in the show.
I grew up on both the Disney and non-Disney versions of the fairy tales, but unlike my daughter, I didn't wear their images on my T-shirts, lunchbox, umbrellas and every second piece of apparel I owned.
Whilst humans don't have the ability to change the past, it doesn't mean we have to let the past define who we are as individuals. And it doesn't have to allow us to dismiss any potential mate, just because they are flawed.