Happy Halloween, and Happy ABC Wednesday! I hope you've all had a positively perfect day, packed with plenty of pleasant experiences. :)
Like many parents, I took my kids out trick-or-treating this evening. And sure, getting buckets full of candy is always fun, but for them (and for me) the most fun part is getting dressed up in costume.
My son went as an Angry Bird this year (which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who knows him, since this is his latest obsession) and my daughter went as a princess (which is also no surprise to anyone who knows her.)
This is her fourth Halloween, and her third time dressing up as a princess. She loves wearing the pretty dress, and the crown, and having everyone tell her what a "pretty princess" she is. It's fun for her, and it's adorable. And I'm perfectly fine with it.
I know there are people out there who have a problem with little girls dressing as princesses (or any other kind of gender-specific "female role," for that matter.) And I completely agree that nobody should be forced into a stereotype. But I also believe that if a little girl wants to pretend to be a princess every now and then, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it.
The Office, Pam dressed up as "Dr. Cinderella" because her daughter likes Cinderella, but Pam wanted to set a positive example and remind her that girls can be anything they want to be, not just little princesses.
Sure, it was kind of funny. But this isn't the first time I've seen this type of reaction from a TV mom. On a show a few years ago there was a high-powered-lawyer mom who was all in a tizzy, wondering where she went wrong, because her daughter wanted to dress up as a princess. (How have I not taught her better than that? She doesn't have to fall into these gender stereotypes!) I actually found it kind of irritating.
My daughter knows that she can be anything she wants to be when she grows up. And sure, sometimes she says that she's actually going to be a real princess, but she's four, so that's understandable. She also sometimes says that she's going to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a builder, or a mom. Or maybe even a race car driver. For a while she was even going to be an astronaut doctor.
The point is, she knows she has options, and that she's not limited to some antiquated idea of what a girl is allowed to be. So if, every now and then, she wants to dress up in a frilly pink dress and pretend to be a princess, I don't see anything wrong with that.
What do you think? Should we discourage our daughters from dressing in stereotypical gender roles (or at least encourage them toward something else) or is it okay for a little girl to play princess if that's what she wants? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject!