My Daughter Is Celebrating National Princess Week -- So There!

Rant 18

princessFasten on your tiaras, y'all, it is National Princess Week! Now, I know what you're thinking. Do we really need a National Princess Week?

Well, let me ask you something. Do we really need a National Grilled Cheese Month? Because we have one, and we are in the midst of it folks. So why not a princess week? As the left-leaning, progressive mother of a 6-year-old girl, I will be celebrating with her! And you're never going to guess who agrees with me.

Julie Andrews.

Yup, one of the great women of stage and screen and a role model to women everywhere is right on board with Princess Week. Heck, she's the woman Disney and Target picked as the face of the whole she-bang. In part it's marketing shtick. Andrews starred in The Princess Diaries and its successor, which have been released on Blu-Ray this week in honor of the 10th anniversary (yikes, has it really been that long?). She's also co-author, with daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, of The Very Fairy Princess books, a series that has offered an alternate definition of what it means to be raising a little princess, and the latest is being sold at ... you guessed it.

More from The Stir: Cure Your Daughter of 'Princess Syndrome' in Seconds

But here's the thing, folks. Princess has become a loaded term in our society. It's seen as somehow anti-feminist. It's been linked to the war on women and the means by which the patriarchy holds us back. And that makes life pretty dang hard for us moms of little girls who love the whole princess thing. We're NOT bad parents. We just don't believe that liking princesses is ruining our daughters. We're trying to redefine what the word means. Or to be more precise, we're taking the reins back on how society defines the princess ... and we're using this week to help us.

I'm celebrating on behalf of a little girl who prefers to see life in many shades of pink instead of the black and white of the princess-hating moms. I'm grabbing hold of the word "princess" and using the positive personality traits it has long represented to teach my daughter what makes a good person.

Honesty. Grace. Kindness.

Ironically, Andrews first book is one that helped liberal old me come around to my daughter's obsession with all things glittery, pink, and princessy. Its main character was exactly the kind of kid I'm raising: a girl with skinned knees and droopy socks who still thinks she's a princess. When I snagged a few minutes to chat with her about National Princess Week (and the new Very Fairy Princess book, which takes little Gerry to my daughter's dream world ... a family wedding), I asked her why she's signed on for this project when so many people are "down on princesses." Here's what she had to say:

Maybe they're not thinking about the aspect of what princesses do, what their obligations are. I think if a book is about being a princess and being all dressed up and above the world and very grand and so on, that's probably not appropriate. Certainly, I don't feel that's appropriate.

But if you are writing about a princess that works hard and tries very much to be aware of what it is she does for her country and for her people, really follows her responsibilities well, then I think that's not a bad thing.

And what about the more fanciful look at princesses? The movies? The kiddie stuff with the pink and the sparkles? Andrews has a message for moms about that too:

We're celebrating the uniqueness of every little girl. Our character says anybody can be anything you want to be; you just have to let your sparkle out. And our theme is what makes you sparkle?

It's not about the trappings of being a princess; it's more about the inner aspect of what it is a princess is and feels, how generous she has to be, how decent she has to be, how gracious and hard-working.

If that's the message we can send to little girls with a princess week, I'm on board. And if they want to serve grilled cheese at their princess-y tea parties, all the better!

What do you think about a National Princess Week?

 

Image by Jeanne Sager

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jessi... jessicasmom1

nothing wrong with it IMO .. let little girls be just that for aslong as you can.

Melissa Standridge

hmm my daughters school is having dress like a princess day today, I wonder if its just a coincedence.

nyonl... nyonlymom

I agree with momlily.  That's the true definition of a princess.  My daughter doesn't really like pink, but she likes glittery stuff and barely tolerates wearing dresses.  She loves the Disney princesses.  I think it's a cool idea to do princess week.  Why not?  We have weeks for all kinds of stuff.

teral... teralackofi

I was DUE with my first child - a little lady- on Monday (4/23)!  I would LOVE LOVE LOVE it if she made her way into the world during National Princess Week!!!!

nonmember avatar Zuri

Aw, so cute. I loved princesses when I was a little girl. Five years ago, I dressed up as a princess for Halloween. Ah, memories...

Todd Vrancic

I've read the series after my middle daughter read it.  My wife also read it and I just got her the books recently because she likes to re-read books.  I didn't want to give too much of the plot away because I want people to read this series.

lovem... lovemykids16

I'm actually a little dumbfounded that something like this generates so much controversy.  Honestly, I can't think of one single person I know who has any issues with their daughters wanting to dress up or pretend to be princesses.  Little girls have been dressing up as princesses forever and what's wrong with that?  They're little girls and many/most of them like dressing up, putting on jewelry and sparkles.  Whether she's doing it because she likes all the sparkle or because it makes her feel pretty, who cares???  They're kids, let them be kids!  One memory that I think will stick with my daughter for the rest of her life was being in DisneyWorld on her birthday and going to Bibbity Bobbity Boutique then to Cinderella's castle for lunch. 

Heather Harrison

I like this idea. However, I'm pretty sure it's not what most are thinking of when it comes to a princess. I recently met a 3 year old girl at the park whose full, legal name was Princess. I'm one of the moms who fights really hard against the "Princess Complex" and helping girls to see themselves as something other than a princess. I talk about the "Princess on the Playground" here for anyone who is interested:


http://www.themommypsychologist.com/2012/03/03/princess-on-the-playground/


 

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