Thought Catalog

Why Are We Teaching Girls To Be Princesses?

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As I window shop for my son, I notice the stark but subtle characteristics that differentiate the boys clothes from the girls. It’s not just the obvious boys clothes are blue and girls clothes are pink, the boys clothes are themed after real life scenarios, as precious little onesies are patterned to resemble construction workers outfits, fishermen and firemen, and even the occasional business suit. The girls section, on the other hand, is rife with garish pink tutus, glitter and leopard prints, outfits all fashioned to look like princesses (is that technically a job?) fairies (yeah, those don’t exist) and dare I say, strippers (seriously, I found an outfit of fishnets and a tube top sized for a five year old in one store. The fuck?)

No matter the store, I found the same themes again and again, leaving the girls section a veritable wasteland of escapism your daughter can wear on her back.

It’s as though every day is Halloween for girls, in the minds of department stores. It would be pretty cool to see a little girl’s onesie patterned to look like a baker or a painter or anything realistic, something she could actually become as an adult. Maybe I don’t see this outfit because the jobs we’ve always associated with women have outdated and (sometimes fetishized) outfits like old nurse’s uniforms (you know, the ones with the skirts?). But maybe I’m just making excuses for a lack of imagination on the part of those whom design children’s clothes on the large scale. 

The clothes we as parents put on our children’s backs speaks profoundly to their vast subconscious minds. As we raise boys in realism and girls in escapism, we are seriously setting up their future relationships with each other for failure. If a little boy is raised in a healthy environment by people who love and protect him, when he becomes a man he probably won’t be attracted to a woman who wants the world handed to her, as if she were a princess. Or, worst case scenario (hopefully), if he gets into an unhealthy relationship with this type of delusional person, he’ll wise up and quickly get out of it.

Just look at the entitled women featured on Bridezillas. Yes, those women have enticed men into marriage, but they’ve almost all ended in divorce.  A “bridezilla” should be listed in the urban dictionary as: the end result of raising a girl in the princess-culture, as years of entitlement and selfishness pressurize like crush like a diamond into a cartoonish parody of a woman. The princess-culture creates a divide between girls and women, and creates a chasm between the sexes. When pure Disney escapism gets confused with possible realities to strive for is when we’ve made a wrong turn in our parenting, and made a wrong turn as a species. TC mark

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