In a world where everyone wants their kid to be the hot dog, my daughter is the princess. In fact, my daughter loves princess, pink and all things “girlie.” Her most recent obsession is My Little Pony.
Now, I love that little girl that’s the hot dog in the video. (Click here if you have no idea what I’m talking about.) I want to be that little girl and surely I want my daughter to be that little girl. I want her to be brave and fearless and strong. All the things that to me, the hot dog represents.
When I learned I was having a girl I told my mom that I didn’t want anyone calling my daughter a princess. I wanted her to be the hot dog. She would be an individual. She would not be snotty. She wouldn’t be entitled or rude. She would be anything but what I considered a princess in life.
As she grew, she naturally gravitated towards traditional girl things. A lot of her baby toys were gender neutral toys (as they almost all are) – a ball she could chase that moved on its own, a train with some of the Disney animals, her play mat and exersaucer, the books we read were all about animals and ABC’s. She also had some dolls before she was 1 and she rocked them, she hugged them and loved them. She favored them for a little while.
She loved Elsa, Anna and Frozen before she was 2 and wanted long hair so she could have braids. But she also gravitated towards Jessie from Toy Story. In fact, she decided to be Jessie in the year when all the girls in her class picked Elsa.
By that time, I had made my peace with princesses because here’s the thing. Why can’t she be an individual, kind, generous and polite and still be a princess who loves pink?
If I don’t believe she can do all those things while being a princess and liking the color pink, then I am part of the problem. If I don’t believe that she can enjoy things that are still traditionally stereotyped as girl things and still be strong, brave and fearless, then what am I teaching her?
People associate princesses and pink with girlie things and applaud little girls for loving blue and orange and yellow or anything that’s not part of the norm. And while all those little girls should be applauded, the little girls of the world that love princesses and pink shouldn’t be ignored.
Not only that, but they shouldn’t be pushed to the side as being weak and “girlie.” (Side note: When did girlie become a bad thing?) Just because a girl likes things that are associated with being traditionally female, doesn’t make them less.
Additionally, in influencing all our girls to be the hot dog in all situations, are we really encouraging them to pick something that makes us happy over what, at that very moment, will make them happy? Are we really needing them to be less girlie because of the way the world views being a girl or because of the way we view it?
The thing is, if we are trying so hard to steer our children away from what feels normal to them, are we really allowing them to be themselves? Or are we influencing them to be the hot dog when they just want us to be okay with them being a princess (girl or boy)?
I watched my daughter try on activities – soccer, dance, art, etc. I watched her try on clothing (literally) – cow girl boots, tutus, princess dresses and baseball hats. I watched her try on role models – Elsa, Jessie, weird YouTube stars, me. I watched her decide what she loved versus what I thought she should love.
And guess what? I loved it each step of the way because she loved it. And not only did she love it, but even as she became more of a princess-type girl who loves pink I still saw her be an individual. I still saw her being kind. I still saw her being polite. I still saw her being generous. I watched her over the last four years become her and all things girlie are a part of that.
As she is becoming her I am watching her learn how to be brave, fearless and strong. And she is doing it while wearing pink dresses, rainbow shirts, T-shirts, red cow girl boots and my high heels. She is being who she wants to be in her own way, in her own time and as a “princess.”
So to all the little girls out there, young and old, I have a message for you. Be the hot dog, be the Ninja Turtle and be the princess if that’s what you want to be. I’m tired of girls and woman being limited or defined because they like a certain color, dress a certain way and may or may not be a princess. Be who you are and be it fearlessly. It doesn’t matter if you’re the hot dog or the princess, at the end of the day, it just matters that you’re you. And you can discover who that is without the world weighing in.
I love this! SO much!!!!!!
Love this! My almost 3 year old rotates between Ninja Turtles and princesses. At first, I missed all the girly, but now, I love how she goes back and forth. I love watching her try it all. Let them figure it out – it’s fun to watch. Thanks for sharing!
so glad that you’re teaching her about the different roles as a girl. Not everyone has to be the typical princess, but it’s not a bad thing either. What counts is what’s inside.
This post is so sweet! And your little princess is so dang cute!
xo, Amanda | http://www.thegoldengirldiary.com
Let em’ be! One minute it’s this and the next that! Great post!
Reading this gave me chills, I love it so much and think every word of what you said is true. We have to love our little girls for who they want to be and that is that. I’m sharing this on my FB page this week. THank you so much for writing this.
Yes, and the same for boys, too! I raised a daughter who was a tomboy who turned out to be a professor of fashion! Who knew! Let them explore and learn!
Wow, Terri. That’s crazy that she switched so much in life.
It’s great to let them express themselves. I have two boys and it amazes me how they are so different and yet so alike!
Being a princess has its perks…and being a princess doesnt mean all negative things. In Disney and other shows the princess type roles are showing to be strong women who can make great decisions – they just happen to wear pink (my fave color!) and like to feel pretty too!
I completely agree! Love this post!
Thanks, Bre! Thanks for stopping by.
So sweet! We have daughters and it is so much fun!
They are fun!
I love this so much. My girls love to be Ninja and cowboys and princesses. They should get to be whatever they want!
This is so great! My 3 year old LOVES to be the Princess but then she loves to accompany her dad and big bro at Home Depot to go be “men” too. lol
I think this is so true. I have 2 girls and 1 boy and they enjoy playing with each others toys. My youngest girl love my son’s trucks and he has been know to play Barbie with my oldest daughter.
I have boys and I don’t know I never gave anything a thought either way. I just let them be them. Too much stress to have to do anything else!
Yes, yes, yes! Our dress up box is filled with the pink and frilly as well as Batman and cowboys. Our kids should be able to make their own choices as to what they want to be. Sometimes they want to stand out and be different and sometimes they want to be pink and frilly, and those are both okay choices.
Well said, many people see princesses as weak and hapless characters but what about Mulan, Belle and Jasmine- all of them are strong willed, strong minded characters.
This has to be one of the most empowering blog posts I’ve read so far! I love that you didn’t only embrace your daughter’s interests but you also encourage her to do more and to try new things. That’s really all we can do as parents, encourage and support. I think the last part is a lovely message for all the girls out there! Be who you want to be.
I love this post! Little girls should be able to express themselves whether girly or not. Be themselves!
Such an empowering post both about your daughter and about you! You are learning along the way just like your daughter is.
I LOVE this post. I feel like parents get so much flack for choosing “gender specific” toys, but if that;s what the kid wants, why does it matter? From day one my son has been OBSESSED with trucks, ignoring any other toy. i’m not going to force a doll on him just because he’s not diverse enough, you know?
I remember when my daughter wanted to be a princess of anything. It started as wanting to be a Disney princess. Then one time a witch princess. Then a teacher princess. Haha! No matter what the profession she wanted to add ‘princess’ to it! So cute!
This is a great post for all parents. I just got done having this conversation with some friends. It’s important that we allow our children to find themselves through their clothing styles, their sport choices, their creativity and not push our own thoughts and decisions on their developing uniqueness!
Let children be children, including what role they want to be or play. I remember when I was a kid, as much as I love pink, dolls and all girls’s stuff, I also loved cowboys toys, climbing trees, etc. This is a lovely post, and a sweet reminder.
I hate it when parents try to force the things that they love on their kids. So, I am glad that you allowed your daughter to be herself and like what she wanted to like. Let them be themselves, and they will be better people for it.
Hooray! This post is empowering. At least once a week I’m the princess, the ninja turtle, and the Ghostbuster. And I don’t feel ashamed for switching between the three!