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!