It’s perfectly fine for little girls to dress up as princesses, right?
Every once in a while, I’ll come across a blog post or column decrying little girls and princesses. Some are by those that don’t want their daughters feeling like they need a knight to save them from trouble or a prince to marry in order to find happiness. Other times the angle is that we shouldn’t be primping up our girls and placing such a large emphasis on how “beautiful” they are, that princesses are an unattainable standard that they shouldn’t be expected to live up to.
Since becoming a father to a little girl I’ve suddenly become something of a feminist.
I like the prominent role that Wonder Woman has in the advertising for Batman Vs. Superman, but wish her armor was a little less revealing.
We sing along to Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” in the car and watch Supergirl on TV.
But I don’t have a problem with princesses. Anybody who’s been paying attention to the Disney movies of the last decade has noticed that this new generation, from Rapunzel to Merida to Anna, aren’t sitting around waiting for rescue. They are strong willed, capable young women often times wishing that the bumbling male lead would just get out of the way.
Here’s what my daughter likes dressing up and pretending to be: everything.
Superhero, pirate, Stormtrooper, forest animal, and sometimes even a princess. She likes swords and shields, but also tiaras and glass slippers, showing off her jacked biceps and her pretty painted nails.
And I love it. I think that it’s great that for every vapid waste of oxygen like Kim Kardashian there is a Ronda Rousey or Serena Williams showing young girls that it’s possible to be both strong and beautiful.
This past weekend we attended a “Princess Party” fundraiser for a local church. Along with her friend and approximately fifty other young girls, Alaina put on her finest dress, got her hair styled, makeup applied, and her nails done. There were snacks, dancing, and a sing along with their favorite Disney Princesses. She loved every minute of it.
She spent a lot of time over the past few days being told how beautiful she was, and will continue to hear it from me just about every other day also—not because I want her to ever equate self-worth with how she looks or ever believe that it’s the pretty girls that get the prince and the happily ever after.
I’m going to tell her because she is beautiful, and I don’t want her to ever doubt it. She’s also intelligent, brave, and kind. Whether she’s wearing her Snow White dress or her Iron Man armor she will always be daddy’s little princess.
And I don’t see a damn thing wrong with that.
Photo: craig Cloutier/Flickr
This essay originally appeared on Thirsty Daddy.