Be the hot dog, be the Ninja Turtle and be the princess if that’s what you want to be.
My granddaughters have been exposed to many modern princesses who have courage and decide their own fate: Merida from Brave, Rapunzel from Tangled and Elsa from Frozen. They have plenty of courage. But kindness? Not so much.
When we censor our children's stories to exclude the suffering that is inherent in the human condition, we isolate our children. We create an environment that promotes shame and a belief that they are not good enough because they cannot live up to the standards in these stories.
Come with me. Let's open the door to a parallel universe. Here in this parallel world, the rules are different because gender roles are flipped. Loving parents and teachers accept this strange culture as if it's not so bad, or perhaps even good.
Maybe I just wanted to win the argument. Maybe I am as weary of people finding me a killjoy or a cliche of retro hippie culture when I talk about tutus as I am of the tutus themselves. Either way, I thought of another reason I dislike tutus on toddlers.
There is a petition sweeping the Internet asking Disney to incorporate a protagonist with Down syndrome, but there is a backlash brewing even within the special needs community asking, is it necessary?
If my son is gay, so be it. Maybe he is. Maybe he's not. Maybe he'll be a cross dresser. Maybe not. I have no control over any of it. All I can do is be supportive.
If I remember correctly, most of those princess stories have the ladies facing down evil, running through forests and climbing towers -- and they manage to do it all in a dress.
Our girls have to get messy and learn to relish what they can do, even if -- or especially if -- that power causes trouble.
I want her to love someone, not because they own a castle or a nice horse, but because they are a good person with values and virtues. Someone who will not treat her like a princess, but treat her like a partner.