Sidelined for two weeks with a bad knee–ice packs, cortisone shot, the whole nine yards–I finally got out last weekend to shop for a baby girl. I nearly drowned in pink and purple princess stuff. Princess dresses, princess tights, princess hair accessories,princess toys, princess backpacks, princess books and movies—most of it tied to the Disney franchise. It made me wonder whether this emphasis on royalty is really good for little girls. Are we raising children who feel a sense of superiority and entitlement based on a royal fantasy?
There is nothing wrong with pretending. It’s how children try on different roles, explore who they are and what they want to be. As a child, I dressed up in my mom’s hats and high heels and jewelry and clomped around the house pretending to be the glamorous women I saw on TV. I loved Barbara Hale as secretary to brilliant lawyer Perry Mason. Ann Southern, Marjorie Lord, Spring Byington, Mary Tyler Moore in her cute little capri pants. But I wonder if the deluge of princess merchandise has gone too far in setting up expectations that can’t help but fall short. Especially when I see merchandise that seems to tout being a spoiled diva.
What do you think?