The Princess Invasion — An Inside Job

This post originally appeared on The Parenting Post on August 7, 2006.

It was me. I let them in and I make no apologies. I made the uniform before she was old enough to say “huntsman,” “dwarves” or “Michael Eisner’s marketing empire.” I bought the videos. I spent the ten bucks at Home Depot and put the removable stickers up all over her room.

In my grey‐hoodie‐wearing‐leatherman‐carrying‐aspiring‐ documentary‐film‐makering days, I swore that if I ever had children, they would not know what a Disney princess was, let alone have a room littered with them.

Then came an itty-bitty thing called reality.

I gave birth to a girly girl and I suddenly wanted to shroud her in pink satin and staple very small bows to her bald head.

As a new mother, I grew a memory and an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for the princess-loving days of my tomboy childhood. I always wanted to be Snow White, but with an older sister who was much more feminine than me, I was doomed to remain a prince for all time and I was not going to deprive my daughter of the girlish joy of make-believe.

I made a conscious choice to dip my family’s feet into the world of mainstream media and now I get to decide whether the princess stickers go in the cart, whether we buy the shoes with Dora on them, how many minutes of TV we watch a day and what makes up those minutes.

I hear so many parents of young children talking about how they can’t stand the fact that their entire house is covered in Teletubbies paraphernalia or how they’re so sick of listening to alternative metal music but Little Timmy just can’t get enough of Korn. “We’ve spent so much money following their tour around the country, painting Timmy’s nursery black, getting his tattoo and fashioning pictures of the band members into an attractive mobile for his room. I can’t wait for him to outgrow this stage.”

To the parents I hear saying this type of thing, I have to ask: What time do your children put you to bed at night and are you allowed to sleep with a sippy cup?

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