Torts & Tots

Motherhood. Lawyer-dom. And maybe a few nice recipes.

The Princess Debate.

with 4 comments

Yes, you read that correctly.  There is a debate going on, and it’s about princesses.  Not just any princesses, Disney princesses, of course.  There are even entire blogs devoted to the anti-princess movement (yes, “movement” might be a bit extreme but princesses are very pivotal in our world).  I’m not going to direct you towards these blogs because they make me feel judged.  But google “anti princess movement,” and you’re there.  I believe it goes something like this: princess movies teach our daughters (and sons, no judgment) to value marriage and to seek a husband above all other things.

Don’t kid yourself, I am littering this post with pics of my kid with princess paraphernalia in order to influence you.

Well, as you can probably tell even if you have only followed this blog very sporadically, there’s a small girl who lives in our house that has a deep and abiding love for all things princess.  We are part of the princess nation.  So I’m sure the burning question on your mind is where do I weigh in on this debate.  To be honest, I never gave it any thought.  I would describe my parenting style largely as instinctive.  I don’t read a lot of parenting books.  Yes, I think through how I want to handle certain issues with my kids ahead of time, but I largely rely on my instincts when deciding what to do for my children.  I trust myself to make decisions in the best interest of my children.  When Avery started liking princesses, I didn’t think about not letting her pursue it.  Someone gave her a box set of Little Golden books with most of the Disney princess stories, and it developed from there.  Did we enable her?  Absolutely.  We purchased movies, toys, etc. (and, yes, I am shaking my fist angrily at you, Disney, you brilliant marketing machine).

However, princesses are not the only influence in Avery’s life.  We parent her, we set examples for her, we talk to her.  Shockingly, I, her mother, even have a job.  Princesses are only one of many of her interests.  I find it hard to believe that having an interest in princesses as a young girl will be outcome determinative on the rest of her life.  I would also feel like a slight hypocrite not allowing her access to princesses because I do want her to get married  Yes, I don’t think marriage should be her singular goal.  A career (POTUS, fine, I would settle for SCOTUS), some independent interests are preferable.  But I do also want her to get married and experience marriage and family.

Now here come the disclaimers.  This is the way I feel.  I don’t think you should let your kid play/watch/read princesses.  If you want to filter princesses out of your daughters’ lives, I get it, and I can’t see a downside.  My number one parenting mantra is “parenting is personal.”  Every parent must make decisions that are right for his/her own kids.  So I’m not criticizing your decision.  But I do think some of the “anti princess movement” rhetoric is judgmental and extreme.  I believe the words “mindless idolization” were used.  Ahem.

Tell me what you think.  I know you’re reading because I see how many people read the blog, so don’t be shy.  Tell me I’m right (no, really, I’m into it), tell me I’m wrong, or even tell me that you’re very bored and can’t believe people are talking about this.  The comments section.  You know what to do.


Written by tortsandtots

April 3, 2012 at 8:43 am

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. This topic was much debated in our house as you might imagine. We are, however, unabashedly part of the princess movement as well. I read a great book called Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein and don’t really have a problem with any of it. I think it is funny actually how the princes in most of the stories are incidental to some fun dress-up for a ball, etc. 🙂


    April 3, 2012 at 9:07 am

  2. Interesting – I will have to look that book up. I can’t speak for Natalie because I haven’t met her, but I can confidently say that Emily seems to have a good self-image. Princesses don’t seem to be negatively impacting that little girl, except perhaps in positive ways.


    April 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm

  3. This may shock you, but I liked princesses as a kid. I also liked balls, bikes, wrestling and helping my dad mow the lawn and fix things. Is there a similar movement against tomboys?


    April 3, 2012 at 6:53 pm

  4. Why would that possibly shock me? You’re the woman that read multiple article about making diaper cakes and took the best strategies from each and distilled them into one, perfect diaper cake tutorial. People are multi-faceted, especially you my talented friend. AJS like princesses and is obsessed with worms, dirt and bugs.


    April 4, 2012 at 9:16 am

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