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Flowergirls, Princesses, Sugar and Spice

I have made no secret of my absolute distain for the whole entitled Princess culture thing. The fairytales and the saccharin and the feeling that its all a bit limp wristed and pointless and amoral. I want strong images of feminity, not that waiting to be rescued nonsense. The only princess my girls really heard of was Shrek’s Fiona, cos I am not a fan of Disney’s limitations on beauty either. And so the militant perspective went on.

Tia was Beccy Beresic’s flowergirl, so we had to go to David’s Bridal to try on dresses. Expecting Tia to hate it, I tried to make it as simple and quick as possible.
But then she tried on the dress and fell in love with it.

“Mommy, dance with me” she says. We spin and twirl around the store. She catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror and is rapt with wonder.

“I love my dress! Let’s do ballet”

No longer needing my lead, Tia spins and dances and giggles and does her version of ballet. Captivated customers smile and sigh and coo, and the staff are grateful for the free advertising.

“I’m a princess!”

At that moment, my mind is bombarded by all manner of thoughts:

That my daughter is gorgeous, beautiful, charming and adorable. Its wonderful and terrifying at the same time. Wonderful, because she is. Terrifying because I’ve been given this wonderful gift and we’ve got to raise her, nurture her.It would help if I had a clue what I was doing! I know I am not alone in this thought. Anyway, I digress, but you know how thoughts wander…Yes, you are a princess I think to myself and I don’t care how much of a contradiction that makes me right now, how much of a hypocrite, in this moment I will live the dream and enjoy it with you. Maybe I am just a bitter old shrew who never got told she was a princess and that is why I am so militant. Maybe.
My final thought is this princess thing has more nuance than I gave credit… its going to be interesting to navigate in the years to come.

Reality gets all up in my face as Tia has the mother of all tantrums when as I try to get the dress off.

Then there is Zoe. Wonderful, one year old Zoe. I repeat, one year old. I’ve said this before; Zoe has this kind of personalilty that just is. It’s not that she is quiet or anything like that. Its just that Zoe has this quality about her that simply expresses who she is and will not be moved.

And what Zoe is, is girly. Actually they are both girly girls. But where Tia is out there and funky, Zoe is emerging as something of a fashionista. I first observed it when she was crawling around the house with a tiara in her hand, just because ( No I didn’t buy the tiara, it was given to us). And then she got into the pearly beads. Its like her outfits are not complete without them. And I don’t choose the colours either. Its all Zoe. If this is her at ONE, then obviously I am in for a bit of an education.

So am I just a musty old shrew with a princess complex? Am I taking this all too seriously? Quite possibly. But I won’t let go of my opinions just yet. My hope and prayer for my girls is that they grow to be women who are confident in all they are, and are more than a bit of arm candy. That they grasp and enjoy all that they can be as women.

 

Who knows, maybe they’ll do it with a whole lot of pink, fab shoes (no complaints there!) gorgeous outfits and accessories. And, no doubt, with a whole lot of flair.

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