The other day, little Emmie picked up one of our little Princess dress-up dolls. She would look at it and then hold it up for my approval again and again. I'd say, "Oh, she is so beautiful!" again and again.
I've been thinking about it ever since and practicing a different response for the next time she picks up a princess and wants to know what I think of her. Here is what I want to tell my daughters about the Disney heroines:
Belle - Oh, she is so smart! She loves to read and would do anything for her Dad. She sees beauty on the inside.
Tiana - Oh, she is such hard worker! (And a good cook!) She has big goals and dreams and works hard to achieve them.
Cinderella - Oh, she is so classy! She works hard and never complains, even when life isn't fair!
Aurora/Brier Rose - Oh, she is so down to earth! She would rather stay in a little cottage in the woods with her true love than go to live in a castle and marry a prince she doesn't know.
Snow White - Oh, she is so kind! She loves animals and does nice things for others.
Mulan - Oh, she is so brave and courageous! She fought for her country and her family as a soldier when her father couldn't.
Jasmine - Oh, she is so adventurous! She's very smart and won't marry just anyone, she wants to marry for love. . . after she's seen the world a bit.
Jane - (I know, she's never included with the princess set, but she's one of my favorite Disney heroines.) Oh, she's so smart! She's a research scientist and an explorer! She's also a good artist and a teacher.
Ariel - (I got a little stumped on this one. She's really very naughty and foolish!) Oh, she is so enthousiastic! When she does something, she goes all out and gives it her all!
"So much is at stake, for mothers with girls of all ages: How do we define
girlhood? What about femininity? Beauty? Sexuality? Our choices will tell our
girls how we see them, who we want them to be, our values, expectations, hopes,
and dreams. Do we want them to be judged by the content of their character or
the color of their lip gloss?" Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daugher