My Princess Problem
This Christmas, you opened some gifts that caused my heart to jump. These gifts were pink, frilly and glittery – they were princess gifts. My first reaction was intensely negative. After all, I am the person responsible for teaching you how to navigate the tsunami of advertising and world-views that will pull at your soul as you grow.
I had met my match. I felt invaded by an ingenious, entrenched and unbelievably successful marketing campaign. Indeed, I wish I could begin grooming toddlers to take my Infant CPR training for the rest of their lives. I could build an empire.
Does princess culture actually bothers me or does it irk me because it is supposed to? As I researched, I found the anti-princess movement to be equally unhealthy.
This is part one of a three part blog series. The topic is too broad and I want to process this thoroughly. Additionally, I want to address the Dad Letters audience. I welcome your input and thoughts. By no means am I an expert.
So, without further ado, here is my princess plan.
You are Already a Princess
Let’s first get something clear. You are already a princess. There is no way around it.
You have your own room. You are two and have 300 square feet to call your own. Wow!
Also, you are quickly developing a sophisticated palette. You demand seasoning on your eggs. What a privilege sweetie! Just like Ariel, dinner comes with options. You even have your own set of plastic Dinglehoppers.
What else? Sometimes we pay adults to play with you while we are out with other adults. Yes, you occasionally have paid servants.
You live in a castle that is fiercely protected. Please never take your safety for granted. It’s something not all little girls your age share.
Like Snow White, you have pets for no other reason than companionship and pleasure.
You play all day long. You don’t toil for survival. You play.
People give you outfits for no other reason to see you wear them. You have clothes for different weather patterns and multiple pairs of shoes.
You also have time to learn the fine arts. You are proficient with crayons, chalk and are learning how to paint. You have multiple musical instruments at your disposal to express your creativity.
You will grow up cultured, mannered and well-traveled. In fact, you have already been to San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Washington DC, Virginia, Florida, San Diego and Denver. You can add Atlanta to this list in a few months.
The sugar glider, armadillo and majestic wildebeest are the only animals not represented in your stuffed fauna collection.
You get the point.
Resistance is Futile
Saying no to fairy wings and a frilly pink dress to keep you from thinking yourself a princess is like fighting a forest fire with a cup of water.
As the Borg say, “resistance is futile!”
So, this is my starting place: you are already a privileged princess. There is nothing I can do to change that. As a princess, you are powerful. My hope is to train you to be gracious, loving, giving, patient and wise.
Next time, I will talk with you about beauty. In my final letter, we’ll talk prince charming.
We’ll figure this thing out.