When I found out I was having girls, I knew I had to take steps to ensure my daughters would have an equal footing in life. We’ve done our best as parents and role models to break stereotypical gender roles, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the onslaught of pink and princesses. Here’s how a feminist, nerd-gamer mom handles pink and princesses!
At two, my eldest decided on pink. Not just stating that pink was her favorite color, but the fact that she indeed owned it. All things pink. At that point, we had surrounded her in mostly gender neutral clothing, toys, and stuff. I knew that we would have a few odd items in pink that would be gifted and I didn’t mind it. What I minded, was the association of the color pink to all things girl related. I wanted pink to be a decision she came to on her own, not something she had to like because of her gender. Then came the princesses, I was getting assaulted on both fronts. I didn’t believe it would start so soon, I resisted as much as I could, but I finally gave in.
Pink in Moderation
Everything in moderation, I wasn’t about to have everything in different shades of Pepto. What I’ve done is select key pieces of clothing to be pink, a few sweaters and dresses. A majority of her clothing is actually not pink, we’ve been able to introduce more patterns and designs that may have a touch of pink. I’ve also looked for pink items on things that are not traditionally pink – like dinosaurs and robots.
We’ve introduced many traditional fairy tales including international ones. Expand their perspectives with books that cast female heroines, super heroes, and little girls who do amazing things. Point is, there’s more than just princesses. Check out my article on How to Raise a Rebel Girl for a great list of books with strong female leads.
In a deep conversation last Halloween, she insisted on being a princess leaning towards Snow White. Instead, I managed to negotiate Princess Peach from Super Mario Bros (video game). This met the requirements of both a Princess and a pink dress. Check out our family costume!
Generics and Disney
I have nothing against Disney princesses, in fact I love them! They have more recently moved away from the “damsel in distress” archetypes and more towards independent ladies saving themselves and the world. We could easily just blast her with tons of merchandise that include all things princesses, however what we’ve done is challenge that notion to encourage and expand her perspectives. When she asked for a princess themed room, I came up with a creative solution instead of just purchasing Disney princess related items.
I hope these tips help give you a different perspective on managing the plethora of pink items and how to approach all things princess related. As with any toddler, there is a daily struggle on wardrobe each morning. She’s welcomed to wear whatever she wants, but there’s only one rule – no pink on pink.