Let me start off by saying that I will always tell my girls that they are princesses. Because I believe it with my whole heart. I believe I am a daughter of royal birth. I have a Heavenly Father who is King over all the Earth, and I am his daughter. There is something powerful about believing this and acting accordingly. I always talk about acting like a princess, but my idea of a princess is different, I am finding out, than Disney’s princesses. A princess is refined, respectful, kind, generous, loving, friendly,talented, strong and beautiful. It is hard for me to look at a girl or woman and not think they are beautiful. All woman are naturally beautiful. It is when we take that God-given beauty and desecrate it that woman become ugly.
Maybe I have not caught on to the feminist wave, but I think it is admirable when woman are feminine and modest and ya girly. A woman is given a special role to fulfill and I do not like demeaning it or trying to hide it to “beat out” the men. Can’t we just appreciate each other’s strengths instead of trying to be better? Also I actually support Disney in most things. I think they are very family friendly and always try to have their characters display good qualities that I hope my kids learn from.
Self Absorption vs. Self Confidence
But I do agree with some negative outcomes of the princess complex. As stated in the NY times, “girls are being taught that self-absorption is the same as self-confidence.” Yikes that is not ok. Self confidence to me is knowing that you are divine, a child of God, and understanding how that role makes who you are. Self-absorption is all about me me me and nothing good and kind ever comes out of that.
I also agree that we should be taught that boys and girls are equal, and we should serve and love each other as equals. I do not like girls thinking that all they have to do is look pretty and they will be wooed over. Ugh. I shared my feeling about this already in a post about Lisa Bloom and her book THINK: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World. This is a book where Bloom indicts the tabloid media and society’s focus on beauty over substance. Putting too much focus on looks, rather than character is the last message we want to send our girls.
Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter, suggests celebrating your daughter’s girlhood without basing it on prettiness and sexiness. I love that thought. There is so much more to woman than their physical attributes. I would love to continue to explore ways to do that. Any ideas?
I enjoyed listening to Peggy Orenstein on the Diane Rehm show of “Cinderella Ate My Daughter” give the insights of what she means. It actually opened up my mind to many things I could improve on when raising a daughter. With our culture these days we need to be so careful that our daughters are understanding their role and self-worth. It is so easy to get confused.
What are your thoughts?