she wants to be a princess

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I love watching my dear girl prance around the house.

If I leave her side, at any given moment, she is absolutely guaranteed to come back with a purse, an extra skirt or dress, and any other two to three accessories.

Leaving the house? She needs her phone, her purse, her baby, and probably her pair of sunglasses.

Laundry? She causes me to do many more loads than necessary due to her constant rummaging through her dress-up bin, then back to normal clothes, then back to the dress-up bin again.

Around and around.

Adorable smiling little girl in princess dress isolated on white
Adorable smiling little girl in princess dress isolated on white

And you know what, her favorite color is pink.

Her room is pastel green — I painted it for John before I knew his sex and kept it because her sex was a surprise too — but now we’ve added a pink blanket and pink bins and pink pillows and sheets.

And you know what else, I’m proud of who she is and who she wants to become too (a doctor or a panda or Elsa).

Why am I announcing that my daughter loves pink and princesses?

Just last week, I met someone who described herself as “feminist mom”. She honestly used that term. (I almost laughed out loud.)

She, and I quote, “Doesn’t bring any books into the house with princesses or fairy crap. My girls are raised to be strong women that can do anything a boy can do.”

Well, um, where to begin??

My girl is right alongside her brother during all play.

She can play trucks and Legos with the best of them. So does playing with “boy” toys mean that she can do “anything a boy can do.”

We don’t consider these “boy toys” either.  They are just toys.

Shouldn’t we just encourage our children to be children and give them oh so many life experiences and let them choose for themselves?

Have you seen a little girl’s face light up as she’s twirled in a new (or old) dress?  That light, that gleam in her eye, is natural, it’s inherent.  It isn’t wrong.  We tell her she’s a princess every day.

And now there are special “breaking gender stereotypes” girl (boy) t-shirts. And here.

Because little girls really REALLY can’t wear a shirt that says “I’m a princess.”  Because they will think that they can’t be a doctor or a mechanical engineer!

So now we have to “break gender stereotypes” with t-shirts?!

Do little girls really need their own line of phrase clothing to tell them “Girls are important,” or worse, “Forget princess, call me president”?

Does this make ourselves feel better about our children? Or our parenting?

It’s all a contest of who can be the most politically correct. Or seen as the least gender defining.

“If my daughter wears an “I love Math” shirt, she’s going to be really REALLY smart.”

Go ahead, get the shirt.  They are half-way cute.

But please, please, don’t think you’re superior to me because you don’t allow princess or fairy things or gasp PINK in your home.

Femininity is beautiful

My daughter wears princess dresses. And she wears them because she loves them. Her face, oh her face, brightens up when she puts on a dress. “Watch me mom!” And she spins, oh she spins. I never taught her how to do that spin. It is inside of her, seeping out of her pores, that spin. So, dear feminist moms who perhaps thinks that I am subjecting my daughter to hours of barefoot and pregnant moments in the kitchen, let’s bring it down a notch.

My daughter wants to be rescued.

My daughter wants to be beautiful.

My daughter wants to be seen.

And she can wrestle and build and run and recite and read with the rest of them.

We can encourage feminine behaviors in our girls without stooping down to asking that they should “be like boys”. Because doesn’t that miss the point? Don’t we want them to be like girls? And embrace our girl-ness and love and cherish our femininity?

Oh I remember twirling around in circles for my daddy. The sheer joy. My two sisters and I would twirl and twirl. And now, we are three Master degrees: engineering, education, and nursing. And I’m a Sergeant First Class in the Army Reserve. Those beautiful memories and times of rescue and peril and queens and kings are my fondest memories.

We didn’t need to have a feminist t-shirt to tell us how to study or be smart or think or believe.  And we certainly didn’t need to outlaw princesses from fairy tales or dress-up clothes from our homes and play. My parents wouldn’t have dreamed of it.

Imagination and a celebration of innate beauty. That’s what our little girls need. Don’t hinder their joy.


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  1. suziehomemaker says:

    YAAAAAA! yes in todays world they are trying to mess up their gender! God made us Girls we should be them. I loved twirling too (still do) and so does my 3.5 yrs. Our daughters would have a fun play date if that got together. we even ribbon dance at church. I have called her princess sense day she was born. a friend said to me when she was 3 months. oh we”re not going to start that are we. I said I have called her that from day one. I don’t know what your problem is but she is a child of the King and there for a princess!

    she would wear her huge dressy dresses everyday if I let her. and why I don’t, because she is 3 and hasn’t yet been able to always toilet without it landing in there. so we do other dresses other then sunday that she can handle. but soon Im sure that will be less issue as she is getting there. some sundays she does not ask me for help at all. oh and I was just like her when little and I still love to put of victorian style dresses. I also have camped in a tent by myself for years before I met my man. thats how we met. camping! I took karate. Drove a bus for 8 years! know how to use tools. yes power ones. I have my own even tho hubby is a contractor. oh and my mom taught me to use them. she grew up on a farm. wearing dresses because that was what girls did in the 30s and 40s!

    so girls feel free to be what God made you.and you don’t have to growup to be a power queen like some women think to make it big. you can truly be a women!

  2. It’s humbling to think about how often I try to push my attitudes and preferences off onto my kids, and especially ideas that probably contradict my experiences as a child. I have felt in the past that I don’t want “too” much pink or “too” much princess stuff. But isn’t that really me, and choices I’ve made after 30 years? I did get my chance to play princess, take tons of dance classes, and love pink and anything frilly! Shouldn’t my daughter, if she wants to? We can put shirts on our kids that they can’t read or didn’t pick out, and feel great about it. But in the end, its our children who choose who they are going to be. I think we can either be part of that process by walking with them and building confident, lasting relationships with them; or work our way out of their lives by being critical and controlling. Thanks for sharing your experiences on this topic!

  3. Keyanna Flowers says:

    This was so beautiful to read from you. I was sourcing through the web, not because I have children, but because I am a young adult trying to find my childhood fulfillment again. I feel it was taken from me. When I was a young girl, all I wanted to be was a princess, Indiana Jones, and Captain Jack Sparrow, etc. And now that I’m older, paying dues, working the typical 9-5, and I have lost all sense of my internal compass. My home was very strict and tough loving, with endless highs and lows. Now trying to follow my path into life, to be what I presumably “want” to be… is truly exhausting. I don’t at all feel like who I was before puberty and graduating. I feel caged in and forced to modernize into whom the world around me assumes I am. I have lost connection to that sweet free wild world I originated in. Blame the home I was raised in or the economy I grew in, regardless of the misfortune of the loss, I blame myself for losing her. This Message has really helped me to retract much of my conditioned thoughts on denying the pirate explorer princess I longed to be. Thank you, genuinely.

  4. Amy,
    Beautifully put. I’m a feminist daughter,wife,mom,sister grandma(my grandkids call me Grammie) friend,preschool teacher, whatever relationship someone wants to attach.
    Being a feminist doesn’t mean you deny “all things feminine”. You are free to be or do anything or anyONE that calls to you. That goes for all children!
    My grandson loves the color pink, he was watching his mom and auntie spin around in their dresses and he asked why boys don’t have clothes that allowed them to spin?
    So my daughter dug out an old crochet dress she had from when she was a little girl and let her son experience the pure joy of spinning and watching his skirts rise and spin.
    My grandaugher is 15 months old and loves watching any show that has tools, the louder the better. She will stop what she’s doing whenever the toy soldiers appear on Toy Story.
    Let children be children!
    Our job as caregivers is to give all children the opportunity to live life, experience the things that call to them, give them the freedom to become what they wish to be and do whatever brings them joy. That might be in 3 inch heals or military boots.
    Remember the Princess will become the Queen and rule her kingdom.

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