Saturday, January 30, 2010

Princess phase is OK

I read more controversy about Princess worship by little girls than almost any other topic when it comes to fairy tales these days. Much of it is mashed up with Disney bashing, but there is also concern with feminism and realism interests. Still, it appears to happen and ultimately parents tend to give in whatever their personal belief systems... :)

Here was a different take on the topic that I decided to share. Princess phase is OK by NIESHA LOFING

Part of me wants to indulge this innocent adoration, but could doing so lead to an unhappily ever after?

Kristen Lagattuta, a psychology professor who specializes in child development at University of California, Davis, says the concern is common among mothers, but there's no need to worry.

A fascination with princesses is typical in children ages 2 to 4, although children as old as 7 may remain interested, she says.

"Part of it is related to gender identity," Lagattuta says. "Children that age have very stereotypical views of what a man is and what a woman is, and they are trying to establish that and let everyone know that they are either a boy or a girl."

Furthering the fascination is the sparkly, fun princess merchandise — something that young girls find appealing — that's marketed to girls.

The Disney Princess franchise hauls in a good chunk of change for the company — $4 billion in global retail sales in fiscal 2007, according to Disney Consumer Products' Web site.

Looks like I'm not the only parent indulging a daughter's fantasy.

Yet letting a little girl enjoy fairy tales and pretend to be Belle or Snow White won't warp her sense of reality, Lagattuta says.

"It doesn't mean that they are limiting themselves for the rest of their life and going to expect to be rescued," she says.

So there you have it at least from one mother and one psychologist...

I didn't have much of a princess phase. Yes, I was more tomboy than princess. Still, I enjoyed dress up. And I have to admit that most of the imaginative play was being Charlie's Angels, dressing up princess-style sometimes to be Sabrina with my friends playing other characters.

But really, I always wanted to be Nancy Drew...or Princess Leia... I loved fairy tales, obviously, but I never really wanted to be Cinderella or Beauty. Even at an early age, I was aware that their lives were rather dreary until the end of the story. And the Disney influence was at a minimum since my early childhood predated VCRs and DVD players just enough to keep them out of the home.


  1. I was obsessed with princesses as a child. But then, at the same time, I was obsessed with pirates and dinosaurs and kitties and dogs and orphans and raccoons and my hotwheels racing set.
    Children will go through fads and it's totally fine. I promise.

  2. I remember my childhood friend and I sometimes acting out stories, like Snow White and Rose Red, or the Phantom of the Opera (my grandpa played the phantom). We had gowns my grandma sewed, magic wands, and crowns.

    Coincidentally, our real lives did kind of imitate Snow White and Rose Red. My friend has red hair, is outgoing, and is determined to be on Broadway.

    I myself am a brunette and can do quiet things, like crochet. I also plan to have the quieter goal of becoming an art teacher. That's not to say, however, that I don't have a wild streak! ;)

    Anyway, it's perfectly fine for girls to like princesses. God designed them to be feminine, and the princess theme helps them to maintain their femininity.

    (And no, I'm not saying that tomboys are not feminine.)