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DD is pink and princessy and cares about hair etc and is only 5

(405 Posts)
NormaStanleyFletcher Tue 30-Aug-11 21:04:17

So not like me.

I was brought up by progressive parents in the 70s, and got nothing but electronics kits for my birthdays - there was a cartoon I saw once with a little girl opening a chemistry kit and thinking "I would kill for a barbie" - that was me.

So I have not tried to sway in any particular direction. I am going to have to come up with a reasonable answer to "how do I become a princess?" "Mummy when are you going to be a princess?" Erm, never is the answer to both so far...

LRDTheFeministDragon Tue 30-Aug-11 21:08:58

Hello - I should say, I have no kids, so feel free to snigger when I say something stupid.

Is she getting it from school and so on? I was the same sort of little girl wanting barbie, and I would probably likewise want not to sway mine one way or the other ... but with the Royal Wedding, I imagine she's seen and heard a shedload about 'princesses' recently and couldn't really miss it?

LRDTheFeministDragon Tue 30-Aug-11 21:10:04

Btw, you have to love that she's asking when will you become a princess, too.

Do you have the Princess Smartypants book? It's old now but still so good.


Message withdrawn

DirtyMartini Tue 30-Aug-11 21:11:58

I think it happens to a LOT more little girls now than when we were young - the pink and princess culture is so prevalent, they cannot help but notice it and naturally they dabble in it.

It is a shame that it's so unavoidable, but my instinct is that little girls who are not naturally strongly drawn to that stuff - who just are sort of trying it out because it is EVERYWHERE and is superficially hard to resist - will probably tire of it in their own time, and come out the other side of the princess thing and be able to return to their own genuine likes and dislikes.

I am therefore braced for it to happen to DD at some stage (she is only 17 months, so not for a while) and am planning to make a huge effort to not overreact, not seem "bothered" by it or anything else that might make it into a red-flag issue and inadvertently cement her into a lifelong fan of Disney princess culture that she might otherwise naturally move on from.

LRDTheFeministDragon Tue 30-Aug-11 21:13:34

I think it's fascinating too - my little brother was the same, much more into stereotypically 'girly' play despite being brought up like my big brother and me. He also went through a massive weaponry phase, though ... grin

UsingMainlySpoons Tue 30-Aug-11 21:15:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThePosieParker Tue 30-Aug-11 21:17:39

Avoid TV, especially commercial channels. We now record things like Peppa, Charlie and Lola to AVOID the ads!! (Although dd is on an that's a real way to shame yourself into feminism!)

NormaStanleyFletcher Tue 30-Aug-11 21:17:54

On the when will mummy become a princess daddy has quite frankly stated that it is "impossible, unless mummy leaves and marries some euorpean royalty", and on DDs ambitions has stated that she is a commoner so can't do it in this country grin

TheRealMBJ Tue 30-Aug-11 21:18:17

Hmmm.... I really worry about this too. DD is still in utero (so may yet turn out to be a DS grin) but I was never a particularly feminine girl and am not a particularly feminine woman now. Certainly never a 'pink princess' type.

I worry about the 'princess' culture and the super-feminine/hyper-masculine contrast children seem to be faced with today.

How do people avoid it?

YellowWallpaper Tue 30-Aug-11 21:18:43

Don't despair my dd was exactly the same at that age, now a few years on she only wears what is comfy and nothing pink, prefers boyish clothes. Plus she is a great young feminist (not that I have indoctrinated her or anything) but in her early years it was pink, pink and more pink.

tethersend Tue 30-Aug-11 21:18:47

Right. I think it may be us who needs to change.

We need to challenge our own indoctrination that pink/princess = girly and girly = weak.

It's beginning to upset me that people- feminists- flinch at traditional 'girly' behaviour and praise traditional 'boyish' behaviour. It suggests that 'male' roles/activities are inherently more valuable, which is a message I don't think I want to communicate to my DD.

Sorry if I sound bitter- don't mean to. I just think eschewing pink sparkly princessy things misses the point, and reinforces the patriarchal gender roles.

DirtyMartini Tue 30-Aug-11 21:22:09

I agree with you tethers, and I recall you saying this on another thread that was in AIBU and went all fucked up just as you were hitting your stride.

I don't hate pink or princess stuff, I just don't particularly like that it is so expected of little girls to all like it because it's "for them".

I woul dbe annoyed by anything that seemed to be such a cultural "ton of bricks" coming down on the heads of four-year-old girls, tbh. But totally agree that it's not the pinkness that is the actual issue. All colours are created equal.

NormaStanleyFletcher Tue 30-Aug-11 21:22:14

I don't think of her as the pink one by the way. smile

She does favour skirts and dresses too, over good boden trousers (handed down from cousin)

MrsTittleMouse Tue 30-Aug-11 21:23:06

We have avoided the Disney Princess thing completely, but both DDs insist that their favourite colour is pink/purple. The trouble is that you only seem to need one girl in nursery/school that has an older sister and the whole class gets infected!

I did feel guilty today when DD1 wanted to play being a bride and asked for a pretty dress and "Something to make my lips pretty - like that Mummy." <points to photo of me in my twenties with lipstick on> I tried to explain that her lips look lovely as they are, but just the fact that she even cares about her lips at such a young age (4) makes me a bit sad.

UsingMainlySpoons Tue 30-Aug-11 21:24:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.


Message withdrawn

LRDTheFeministDragon Tue 30-Aug-11 21:25:16

tethers - I think that is a really important point.

Pink is pale red. It's not inherently 'weak'.

tethersend Tue 30-Aug-11 21:26:09

Yeah, sorry DirtyMartini- I have ranted about this many times before grin

My point is that breaking down the gender divide does not happen by encouraging girls to take on 'male' roles (which reaffirms the divide IMO), but to re-examine the values placed on the roles themselves.

If princesses had a higher 'value', boys might want to be them too.

And I say that as a republican wink

UsingMainlySpoons Tue 30-Aug-11 21:26:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I agree, tethers. The problem only arises when girls are only steered towards thinking about their appearance and/or marrying a prince. For example, we don't really want to discourage children from playing with dolls, or cars, or emulating adult behaviours (hoovering, cooking, using a drill etc), we want to discourage it being split along traditional gender lines. The fight isn't about pink being bad, the fight is about pink being all there is if you have a vagina.

NormaStanleyFletcher Tue 30-Aug-11 21:27:54

Well pink was originally for boys (watered down male power red) and blue was for girls.

It is more the indoctrination, as she has no Pink Princess stuff going on a t home (telly excepted)

DirtyMartini Tue 30-Aug-11 21:28:22

(I should add that I don't much like pinkness imposed on grown women, either ... e.g. "this toolkit is pink and it's for you, woman, and if you buy it we will give 10 pence to breast cancer care but if you happen to want a normal looking tool kit, we will give NO MONEY to charity and it will be YOUR FAULT because WOMEN SHOULD WANT PINK THINGS", etc.)

But, again, it is not about the colour really but the way it is used and the sense of expected conformity amongst all women to the same preferences.

That took me so long to write that everyone else has already said it. It's the italics that throw me <sigh>

YellowWallpaper Tue 30-Aug-11 21:30:10

Tethers you are of course right. TBH when my dd went through her pink princess phase I wasn't bothered but I am pleased to see her take a different direction now just because I like that she is individual.

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