How to be a Real Princess

February 04, 2015

This is a post that I have been struggling to write recently. I am not sure how to put my thoughts down without sounding condescending or rude. I think what I am about to say is really important, and it is one of the steps that we should be taking to help build our children up, especially our little girls, to be strong and powerful people.

We are always talking about how we want the best for our children, and sometimes it's the smallest details that can affect them the most. Right now there are many campaigns that have been designed for us -- women and men -- to look at how we treat our young girls and the expectations we have of them as a society -- check out Always "Like a Girl" campaign.

So here is what has been on my mind lately: It is how we and society are teaching our children -- especially girls -- how a princess behaves, when, in reality, the behaviours that we are teaching them are far from the truth.

Over the last few years, I have noticed an increase in clothing directed towards girls that talks about being a princess -- like a t-shirt hat says: "Only a true princess could get away with what I do." A lot of the clothing that is available for young girls does not have the most positive attitude, and makes it seem as if it is okay to do things that would usually be qualified as mean or rude. Sure, one might argue that it's just a t-shirt, but something that small can also have a great impact on a person.

I think that what we teach our children -- through books, television, and the way we talk --  about princesses makes them think that they only wear beautiful ball gowns, live in castles, and get to do whatever they want; but there are many qualities in real princesses that we should instill in our children above all else.

If you were to ask any princess out in the real world, she would tell you how much work goes into being a princess. Not only are you supposed to be well groomed and well dressed -- there's nothing wrong with being clean -- but you must smile at everyone and be happy and cheerful towards any one you meet. These interactions could happen at any time, and even if a princess is upset about something she must still put a smile on her face and converse with other people.

A princess is also always willing to help others and takes on several philanthropic endeavors to show the people that she cares about them and the society that they live in. A lot of photographs that we see of princesses are in these kinds of situations, and they always have a smile on their face and they seem happy with the support and care that they are giving, especially if it is something that is close to their hearts.

Yes, princesses wear nice clothes. Yes, princess live in castles and live extravagant lives taking vacations in warm places and shopping in expensive stores; but, this is not all that we should be teaching our children. Princesses are kind to others, slow to anger, show compassion and are, therefore, eager to help people. These, and many others, are the values that I'd rather instill in my children.

**Don't get me started on the slogans and phrases on clothing for boys. Some of it actually disgusts me and I refuse to buy anything of the sort for my son. He will not be taught to have any of the negative thoughts printed on those t-shirts, especially the ones that are geared towards women -- like "Chicks dig me".

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