Is The “Princess Craze” Healthy For Young Girls?

Parents are split on whether princesses are a healthy obsession or have a negative impact on our little girls


 

Young girls being obsessed with princesses and pink is nothing new, but the debate rages on over whether this is par for the course or something which parents should intervene in. Looking for infomation that will help you decide what’s best for your little one? We’ve gathered some of the arguments for and against princess culture for you here.

Pros

Playing princesses encourages dramatic play, creativity and imagination. Little girls can bring this type of thinking into other contexts, and it is part of healthy development.

Princesses encourage children to dream big. There’s no reason to limit little girls, and princesses encourage a “reach for the stars” attitude where anything is possible.

Kids grow out of the princess phase. They understand princesses and magical kingdoms as separate from reality and are unlikely to still be clutching tutus and tiaras into their teens.

Playing princesses is an age-old tradition for little girls. Many strong women played with princesses and pretended to be them early on in life.

Princesses are generally seen as kind, sweet and polite. They teach little girls not to be rude to the people around them.

Princess toys, tiaras and such are fine and can be balanced with other types of toys and play. There’s a misunderstanding that it’s princesses or nothing—little girls can play with princesses and a variety of other toys and games for a balanced “play diet.”

The newer generation of princesses, such as Sophia the First, Brave’s Merida and Frozen’s Anna, have moved away from “looking for Prince Charming” as a central plotline. They’re bolder and better role models for young girls than the princesses that came before them.

Cons

Young girls absorb information early on and will carry what they learn from princess culture with them.

Princess culture teaches kids that looks are to be prioritized, and enforces beauty standards we’re trying to move away from. Often images of princesses are not age appropriate and are hyper-sexualized.

Princess culture likewise teaches girls to prioritize men and marriage from an early age, rather than themselves, their own ambitions, friends and family.

Princess play enforces gender expectations, and limits options of what young girls will explore.

Princess play is consumerist. Particularly since the branding of Disney Princesses, princess culture encourages kids and parents to buy lots and constantly be shopping for more.

Princess stories give little girls unrealistic expectations of possible futures, and discourage girls from thinking about other futures and careers that may interest them.

Princesses are often shown as meek. While they’re nice and polite, they’re not often tough or encouraged to express anger or question things.

It is hard to say if the “princess craze” is really harming our girls: we think that as long as our little girls are enjoying their play time, what does it matter if they play princesses, cowboys or cars?

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