Reassurance from PunditMom

Thu, January 11, 2007

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Two of my favorite bloggers have been writing this week about the ascendance of their daughters to ‘girly-girl’ status.

I just want to reassure them that being a girly-girl and a strong girl are not mutually exclusive.

Just coincidentally, I was with my current favorite girly-girl and her mom this morning.

As I watched C.’s little blond curls bounce on her almost-three-year-old head, spinning around her living room, a vision in her candy cotton pink ballerina outfit, jumping and plie-ing to that perennial favorite Dancing Queen, I fondly remembered PunditGirl pretty much doing the same thing at that age and wondering then, “Where is she channeling this from?”

I was never militantly against her becoming a girly-girl, but not having been one myself, I had to scratch my head about where all this ‘sugar and spice and everything nice’ was coming from? How had she acquired the gene that compelled her to twirl in tulle?

I admit, that the insecure parent part of me did worry, just a little bit, about how her seemingly total surrender to girly-girl status would carry over into other parts of her life — how it would impact her ability to stand up for herself, speak out and not always be the damsel who needed to be saved?

I tried to tell myself that anything she got that much sheer toddler joy out of could not be all bad. Plus, from a few of her tantrums, I knew there was some serious will power in that little body!

Over time, I discovered that for PunditGirl, being a princess girly-girl was empowering, too, and there are couple of authors who know that. Even while wearing the pink princess dress, tiara, wand and slippers included, I’ve made sure PunditGirl knew about The Paper Bag Princess and Princess Smartypants. Just because you’re a princess, doesn’t mean you’re a pushover!

Now, at the ripe old age of seven, her first-grade sensibilities lean more to playing so hard that at the end of the day, her jeans are dirt-covered and wearing out at the knees. But I suspect there is still a little bit of the pink princess in there, and if she can make space for both of those things in her life, that’s OK by me.

Are we shirking from our 21st century, P.C. parenting responsibilities to let our young daughters embrace their inner princesses? I know some mothers who would disagree with me, but I say, let them revel in the innocence of that moment. Soon enough their young lives will be complicated by the politics of the playground and the schoolroom and the mean girls and the bullies.

As a first-grader, PunditGirl has become confident in her abilities to run and jump and climb. So if she still has the occasional desire to break out the sparkly necklaces and pretend high heels, I’ll get them out for her, and maybe I’ll throw on that purple, fluffy boa and join her for a few minutes, as well!

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11 Responses to “Reassurance from PunditMom”

  1. Kelley Says:

    I agree with you; a little girly-girl fun is harmless. I don’t know how a parent could avoid it, really. A stroll through Toys R Us reveals how girls are assailed with all things pink and fluffy or jewel-encrusted; the “princess” thing is totally pervasive in our culture.

    I think it’s sad that “feminine” is so often equated with “powerless”. You don’t want to teach your daughter that she has to be sweet, pretty little “princess”, but on the other hand, you don’t want her to perceive that her femininity is an inherent weakness or disadvantage. There are a lot of powerful women clicking around in Manolos! I don’t know; it is such a difficult issue…

  2. Gunfighter Says:

    Don’t sweat it, PM.

    Olivia is a girly-girl as well. She loves to play dress-up, she loeves sparkly things and pink dresses, etc… but when she grows up, she wants to be a Paleontologist… at least, thats what she says now.

    Letting our girls be girly-girls doesn’t mean that they will be weak and powerless as long as we don’t teach them that being female is synonomous with being weak and powerless.

    Cheers,

    GF

  3. Gunfighter Says:

    “There are a lot of powerful women clicking around in Manolos!”

    And don’t they look good doing it!

  4. Flybunny Says:

    My 9 year old who I thought would be the girl to end all girls has now turned her attentions to soccer and on occasion football. I love both sides of her personality and have found that as of yet, they are not mutually exclusive.

    I think I cheered more when she took two girls who both stood at least 6 inches taller than she is and knocked them both down and still managed to keep the ball and score. Is that bad?

  5. impromptublogger Says:

    My 10-year-old hates girly-girls, although she sometimes goes between that and tomboy. She doesn’t like prissiness and the snobbiness of the more “popular” girls. Although she loves to play that with her dolls (Bratz).

    But she has always gotten along well with boys and I fear what’ll be like in a couple of years. :-(

  6. Mrs. Chicky Says:

    You have taken almost everything I tried to say and wrapped it up beautifully. I never could have said it so eloquently. I’m enjoying my girly girl. I wouldn’t have her any other way, despite what I may have thought before she was born.

  7. Queen of the Mayhem Says:

    I say let the girls have fun! There is so much pressure these days to grow up. They should be able to cherish these days where being a princess seems realistic. Sometimes I still feel like I am a princess!
    ( I’m a legend in my own mind!)

  8. Momish Says:

    Right on!

    I was a girly girl. I use to cry when my mom tried to put jeans on me! I still very much am a girly girl, reveling in my new lipstick or high heels. Yet, I am also successful in a male dominated field and stand up for my rights, speak my mind and shoot a good game of pool.

    Well rounded, loved, respected and confident is the key – whether in a tutu or on a scateboard.

  9. Oh, The Joys Says:

    Girl POWER Punditmom! Thanks for the post – and the book suggestions!!

  10. Lawyer Mama Says:

    Girly girl fun is good for everyone, I think! In fact, my 2 year old (boy) has very recently decided that playing dress up in Mommy’s clothes and shoes is more fun than anything in the world. I’m going to help him embrace his inner princess too. God knows society will try to stomp it out of him soon enough.

  11. modmom Says:

    hi punditmom!
    my daughter is 3 + just going into princess ballerina phase. you can’t keep it out of there consciousness, it’s in nursery tales, tv, online games, sandcastles at the beach. okay we took her to disneyland + her grandma showed her a cinderella dvd. we try to avoid the princess/bratz aisle at target. she’s well rounded.


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