“Girly girl” is probably the last phrase you’d use to describe me. Despite that, I find that my 30-month-old daughter is already enamored with typically girly pursuits: applying pretend makeup, collecting shoes & bags, enamored by bling, and occasionally says she wants to be a princess.
I’m not that keen on the princess culture. In fact, I deliberately avoid buying anything with princesses on them. Although she has more than her fair share of “girl” toys, I encourage Lil’ K to play with gender-neutral toys or even typically “boy” toys as well. I want her to grow up feeling like she could do or be anything that she wanted to — that there is more to being a girl than frilly pink and purple tutus, tiaras, and tea parties. Mind you, she does have tutus and tea sets, baby dolls and a huge collection of Hello Kitty stuffed animals. But she also has a toolbox full of plastic tools, cars, and a (*gasp!*) toy tank that she enjoys playing with.(For the record, the tank was given to her by her cousin.) I just don’t want Lil’ K to be put in a box and feel like she can only play with “girl” toys or do “girl” activities. (NOTE: I am also concerned about the sexualization of young girls, gender stereotypes, and body image — things that the princess culture tends to play right into. Go to the bottom of this entry for additional links to interesting articles about these issues.)
On the other hand, when looking at her, you might not think she was a girly girl. She refuses to let me to do anything fancy with her hair. She doesn’t like pins, rubberbands, or headbands in her hair. We also tend to dress her plainly in jeans and t-shirts, mostly for convenience and practicality. (Jeans are great protection against skinned knees, after all.) To be honest, jeans and t-shirts make up 95% of my wardrobe, so my lack of fashion sense might be to blame too.
Are you raising a girly girl? What do you think of the princess culture? What about gender stereotypes in marketing to children?
Who is Champuru?Aloha, I'm Donna, known everywhere on the Internet as "Champuru." I was born and raised in Hawaii. I'm a Christian. I'm married to my best friend of 18 years, we struggled with infertility and successfully conceived via IVF (and by the grace of God!) in 2008. I resigned from my coveted "secure" government job to be a work-at-home mom to my 3-year-old daughter. Using my degree in Information Technology and the skills obtained in the marketplace, I started my own business. Now, I work from home, taking clients on a part-time basis, working in my PJ's while the little one sleeps. Life isn't always easy, but it's all good.