This Christmas was the Year of the Princess for my 4-year old daughter. Her gifts were a Disney Princess bicycle, princess Barbie-style dolls, and a craft kit with gemstones and tulle to turn her bed into a princess bed. In her stocking, she got a Cinderella DVD and a 6-pack of princess underwear.
She is obsessed with all things princess and with looking pretty. She is so concerned with how she looks that she often fights wearing a jacket because she wants everyone to see her clothes.
Where did this little girl come from? I am about as far from "girly" as any girl can be. When she tells me how she wants to be a princess when she grows up, I have to fight the urge to argue with her, "Why not a scientist, or an astronaut, or an artist, or the President? How about a ballerina? (I would totally take ballerina over 'princess' these days) Don't you know you can be anything?"
I try to keep my defensive reflex responses in check, though. While I do think it's important to teach her that "beauty" is about more than her dresses and hair, I also want her to know that she really is beautiful. "Princess" is her ideal right now, and I don't think I can argue that out of her. I have faith that this, too, shall pass. As long as it does last, I have resolved that I don't want to somehow give her the idea that she is less than qualified to be a princess, whatever that means to her, so I choose my words carefully.
And put up with enough plastic high-heels, crowns, and necklaces to provide the wardrobe for our own production of Victor! Victoria!