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Royal Controversy

A funny and interesting post by one of my favorite mommy writers over at a place called Wonderland describes the range of conflicting emotions the princess craze brings out in the parents of little girls.  Some rail against the stereotypes of beauty and dependence, others find role models in the stories of the always kind-hearted and persevering - if unassertive - princesses.

I've been there, pushing the shopping cart behind a toddler click-clacking in her plastic Cinderella slippers, reading bedtime stories to the five-year-old in her Sleeping Beauty nightgown, biting my tongue at the places where I desperately wanted to proselytize about Snow White's unbelievable gullibility or Ariel's ridiculous sacrifice for a guy she barely  knew.  (You think he'd give up his legs for her?) 

But my strongest objection was always editorial; those Disney princess books were among the most poorly written children's books we ever came across.  There were sentences that made me cringe; entire passages in which every sentence seemed to begin with an adverb. Determinedly, we set out to find better alternatives.  We found versions of Cinderella from every corner of the world, reflecting a wide range of cultural differences. We read the original The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, a strangely violent tale that doesn't resemble the Disney version in the least.  And Petite Rouge, A Cajun Red Riding Hood  is still one of our all-time favorites.

Anyway, my point is... don't sweat the princess years too much.  They go by very quickly.

Save your strength for this:

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(That's me in the background shrieking "Where did my little princess go?")

Cheers,

SK

© 2007 P.M. Dunnigan/Suburban Kamikaze

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Comments

You rock. That photo is hilarious. Thanks for moderating the hysteria over girls being too princessy. I grew up hating dolls and only playing with stuffed animals, and now I am the most vain, body obsessed woman I know. As the mother of two rough and tumble boys, I wouldn't mind the softening influence of a somewhat girlie girl in their love lives (when the time is right of course). How is a boy supposed to grow up to be a man if the all the women out there are already acting like men and only want a guy to act like an accessory?

LOVE that picture. I feel like I am looking into a crystal ball, man.

I love the picture! Believe it or not, it makes me want to have a girl.

LOVE that picture. LUUURVE.

My mother has one just like it.

Okay, but don't say I didn't warn all of you...

Princess-schmincess. Let's get real.

Speaking as a dad, the worst-case scenario with a son is that he may someday get into a fist fight with you and bloody your nose. But a daughter . . .she can come down the stairs dressed in a leather miniskirt and halter top -- while her beau waits astride his rumbling Harley in the driveway -- and say, "Piss off old man, I'll screw anybody I please" as she heads out the door.

So it is that as often as once a week, but never less frequently than once a month, I turn to Josie, my eyes welling with gratitude, and I say to her: "Thank you. Thank you for having sons."

[I know that, bio-genetically speaking, it was my Y chromosome that made the difference. But let's face it, she did all the work.]

All I can say is thank God third-graders can't drive Harleys because my little princess already has the miniskirt and the attitude. It's probably just a phase...

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