Maybe I just wanted to win the argument. Maybe I am as weary of people finding me a killjoy or a cliche of retro hippie culture when I talk about tutus as I am of the tutus themselves. Either way, I thought of another reason I dislike tutus on toddlers.
There is a petition sweeping the Internet asking Disney to incorporate a protagonist with Down syndrome, but there is a backlash brewing even within the special needs community asking, is it necessary?
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.