real life

"I don't mind if my daughter wants to be a Princess when she grows up."

Do you?

Like any four-year old girl my daughter aspires to be Elsa. She wants to wear a crown and dance in an ice castle.

In fact truth be told it doesn’t need to be an ice castle, it could be a lonely, windy creation at the top of a hill where she needs to grow her hair long and cast it down for a prince to climb up.

Or she would happily scrub floors until her fairy godmother arrived and turned her into a pumpkin (or is it something else she turns into a pumpkin?)

My daughter wants to wear a blue dress and live in an ice castle, heck any castle will do.

My daughter loves princesses. She loves Elsa and Princess Fiona. She loves Merida and Cinderella. She adores Ariel and Pocahontas and you know what I am okay with that.

I am okay with her admiring Snow White and Aurora. I am okay with her dressing up like Jasmine and Mulan. If she wants to be a princess I am totally on board with that.

Princess Emme kinda flows doesn’t it?

It’s a very unpopular opinion though these days.

Other mums I express this fact to gasp in shock and frown in horror. "Mama I am going to be a Princess when I grow up" she stated in a loud and regal voice the other day. "And you can come live in my castle."

The women in the park listening on exchanges glances in concern. What kind of daughter is she breeding?

Isn’t she concerned what kind of feminist she is raising?


Here is something to show your daughter when she grows up. Post continues after video. 

But the fact is as well as wanting to be a princess when she grows up my daughter wants to be a giraffe. A giraffe in the zoo.

Possibly even a feminist giraffe in the zoo.

She wants to live in the zoo and eat leaves and be looked after by her older brother who wants to be a zoo keeper.

I am not bothered by the fact my daughter wants to be a princess when she grows up because the fact is that she has as much chance of being a princess than of fulfilling her dream of being a giraffe.

At the same age I aspired to be a dancer on Fame, as well as Punky Brewster’s long lost sister.

Neither of which materialized.

I also hoped to be a vet, a driver of diggers and to live in the clouds with the Care Bears.

I know this is simplifying the whole concept of 'princess culture'. I know there are concerns that in amplifying the warped gender roles of some of these Disney princesses we will raise our daughters to be weak, to look to a male for “rescue”.

But really?


Princess, giraffe, vet. Children aspire to so many things.

Are they not more resilient than that? Can they not, when they are older, separate fact from fiction more clearly?


Can they not be showered in positive role models at home and at school and from family and friends and learn discrepancy when it comes to the fictional characters they are exposed to?

Are we not just as concerned that they will come to expect snow men to come to life, a monkey named Boots to accompany them on adventures, their toys to come alive and play together when their child owners back is turned?

The very concept of a princess has in fact many traits that I hope to encourage in my daughter.

The very concept of a princess has, in fact, many traits that I hope to encourage in my daughter: kindness and perseverance, acceptance and hope. And surely in these times we live in hope is one quality we should be wishing for more of.

I don't worry that my daughter wants to be a princesses. I know that before long there is a very real threat that she will be more interested in pop princesses than Disney Princesses, in selfies rather than in snowmen.

And that's when I will worry. Until then I am happy for the magic of princesses to stay alive as long as possible.

Are you concerned about the impact of "princess culture" on our daughters?  

Want more? Try these:

“The 20 things I want my daughter to know before she grows up.

How young is too young for baby ballet?