Little girls / princess myth

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2005
Little girls / princess myth
17
Mon, 06-15-2009 - 2:27pm

Warning - vent ahead. (I'd love your perspectives on this topic!)

C. has a little girl who is five years old, so I have been exposed to more little girl things than ever before. (I have four nephews, so it's been all boy all the time.)

One of the little girl things that is really getting to me is the princess thing. Disney princesses are everywhere. Clothes that say "princess" all over them. Tiaras. Gowns. Glitter. Gag.

I learned from C. yesterday that there's a new camp for little girls -- "Princess Camp." I just about blew a gasket. What?? As if girls aren't taught enough (conciously or subconciously) that being pretty and landing their "prince" is all that matters in life. Do they really need a camp to reinforce the idea??

What happened to Brownie and Girl Scout camp, and making campfires and smores? Camps that reinforce the value of friendship, teamwork, hard work and skills.

I looked up Princess Camp online today, and they seem to be everywhere. The agenda includes dress up, story time (that bit is ok - but I'd bet it's all princess stories), tea

AJ, enjoying life with C.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2008
Mon, 06-15-2009 - 4:40pm

Oh, the princess saga!!!!

 
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2008
Mon, 06-15-2009 - 4:43pm
this is a touchy subject here... i cant stand the little girls all made up to be
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-04-2009
Mon, 06-15-2009 - 5:27pm
Wow, when I read your post I couldn't believe it!

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2008
Mon, 06-15-2009 - 5:54pm
This really seems like a huge paradox born out of the feminist movement: On the one hand, they want to empower girls to take control of their happiness and be strong and bold but they're also encouraging diva-like behavior and driving out all the independent and individualism of being a woman in modern society. I hope this is just a fad otherwise we're going to have an entire generation of spoiled, high-maintenance women who don't know how to do things for themselves.


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  "Aut dosce, aut disce, aut discede"
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-04-2009
Mon, 06-15-2009 - 6:04pm

"I

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2005
Mon, 06-15-2009 - 6:29pm

>> That's very sad...they also stated they would rather be pretty than smart. :( <<


That's the thing that scares me. There's a lot more to life than "pretty." What about having interests? Learning new things? Having goals? Traveling/having adventures? Helping people? Giving something worthwhile to the world?


It's no wonder there are so many girls with low self-esteem. They haven't been taught that their value is much, much more than skin deep and they can strive for more than just being "hot" and catching the attention of boys.

How sad to get to the end of your life, look back and say, "well, I was pretty." Don't all humans want to be able to say more than that?

AJ, enjoying life with C.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2008
Mon, 06-15-2009 - 7:14pm

This is one of my biggest frustrations with D's teenager.

 
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-12-2006
Mon, 06-15-2009 - 10:49pm

Can I just ask something here (and this may be a little off the topic)? This isn't meant to be aimed at Kristie, but a question to all...

<<>>

I agree that it's easier to influence a young one vs. an older one and that she gets to see and have a strong, good woman in her life. But, what about the pressure(s) from the outside world when you're trying to influence her? How can you win the battle with society's image of a woman needing to be pretty, skinny, etc. all by yourself? It just seems like it's between one and the outside forces. And of course, the outside forces always seem to win. I don't know if anyone can understand what I'm questioning here...

When my first niece was young, I always tried to make sure she didn't suffer from low self-esteem or tried to play activities with her that weren't "girlly girlly". We never played "dress up" or what not.

But, she is now 17 and about to go off to college, and sometimes, she'll say to me, "Auntie, I'm so fat!" but she's like 5'7" and really doesn't have any fat on her! And it really torked me off when my sis-in-law was telling her she needed to exercise more because her belly's getting bigger. Seriously, this girl is not obese - she is thin! So, when she's telling me that she's fat or she doesn't like a certain part of her face/body, I'm like, "Where did this come from? Didn't I teach you better?" Obviously, it's coming from the outside (e.g. the sis-in-law), but how can you win?

Again, most probably most of you won't know what the heck I'm asking or talking about, but I just wanted to try to throw this out there.

Thank you, though, for reading my blabbering!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2008
Tue, 06-16-2009 - 8:30am
yep i agree....
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2005
Tue, 06-16-2009 - 11:45am
>>But, what about the pressure(s) from the outside world when you're trying to influence her? How can you win the battle with society's image of a woman needing to be pretty, skinny, etc. all by yourself? <<

The societal influence is what made me so upset about "princess camp." I wasn't really upset with C. - he's just trying to find fun summer activities for his daughter. What peeves me is that what is available for little girls has to be so focused on princess-like behavior.

Magazines aimed at teens AND grown women all have scantily clad or heavily made-up women on them. They rarely feature true role models -- it's just focused on fashion, weight, beauty and consumerism.

So, to answer your question -- I think it is really hard to fight that societal message. It's everywhere - all the time. So much so that people don't even realize it or notice it half the time. It just IS.

I do think that having some strong women around helps girls. All teenage girls (and boys) go through that phase of being hyper-conscious about how they look. The trick is providing them with the guidance and information they need to realize that there's more to life.

When I think back on my childhood and teenage-hood, I can remembr the women I admired for their skill, their minds, their achievements. Sure, I wanted to look like Christie Brinkley (and, in truth, I still sometimes struggle with not feeling pretty enough), but wanting to BE something won out. I do think it's possible.

So, it's important for we grown women to be that something more and set a good example for the younger ones.

AJ, enjoying life with C.

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