My older daughter is 3.5, and as a result, she is hurdling headlong into The Princess Obsession, and dragging the rest of the family with her. It’s not happening all at once; last week it was the newfound interest in the rhinestone tiara her grandmother bought for her, today it’s the demand for sparkly underwear. (I’m trying hard not to project these latest obsessions too far into the future, because all I come up with is Vegas Pole Dancer.)
As a self-proclaimed liberal feminist hippie Mama, I know I should have my granny-panties all in a bunch over this whole princess thing. I know I shouldn’t be commenting on how she looks, I should be engaging her in thoughtful conversations about her interests and ideas. The truth is, it’s a useless distinction. When it comes to my daughter, all roads lead to pink fairy wings, glittery jewelry, and fancy minivans. (I can’t explain the minivan thing. It’s the one major glitch in her Grand Princess Plan, but I don’t have the heart to tell her that.)
The other truth is that I don’t mind. Even though as a little girl I was always more into She-Ra than Barbie, and even though I have a copy of “Cinderella Ate my Daughter” waiting on my Kindle, I’m totally cool with the whole Princess thing. Maybe it’s because there’s not a chance in hell that she’s going to go all Kate Middleton on me—although that would be awesome because then I’d be the Queen-in-Law and I would get a Coat of Arms, which I would promptly put on my monogrammed toilet paper, because we all know that’s what Queen types do. Even though my little girl can rock her tutus and clicky heels with the best of them, princess material she ain’t. As I don’t need to remind you, we’re Jewish. And Italian. In case you need me to put it together for you, think curvy. And mouthy. With a bit more facial hair than any of us would like to admit. This may be a nice combination if you’re looking for a cozy lap and some matzoh ball soup, but not so much when it comes to reeling in Prince Charming.
Or maybe it’s because I know it’s a battle I’m just not going to win. Even if I were able to protect my daughters from the juggernaut that is Disney, perhaps by home-schooling them and throwing away the TV (It’s never going to happen, of course—the mere thought of life without daycare and NCIS makes me want to cry. Or drink. Or both.), I’m fighting evolution here, people. Every little chromosome in her body is slowly unfolding and spreading the message that she needs to get sparkly and glittery so all the boys will come knocking and she can get the best sperm for her precious little eggs. (In the meanwhile, I’m still waiting for Disney to come out with a line of Princess-themed chastity belts.)
And even if my daughter does triumph over evolution and genetics, and even if I could eradicate The Princesses in all of their insidious manifestations, I’m still not sure that my daughter becoming a princess would be such a bad thing. She would get to ride in carriages and attend state dinners and plant trees and decide how to give away money, and I’m pretty sure she would get a private plane, which she could use to come visit her Mom any time she wanted. This all sounds pretty good to me, especially when I consider the alternatives. Medicine and the law are respectable enough, but they’re high stress and require long hours, and when my little girl doesn’t get enough sleep, she gets all rashy and whiny. I guess she could always follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a clog-wearing, over-analyzing social worker, but that definitely doesn’t come with a private plane.
The more I think about it, I think Princess is probably the way to go. Especially if I can get some of that fancy toilet paper.