What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Princesses

I get it. Little girls have sparkly tiaras and Disney princess dolls thrown at them from every angle. So then some people panic that the “princessification of America” is threatening the development of empowered women (or at least non-spoiled-diva women).

But it’s a little strange that both the pro- and anti-princess camps tend to center their view of princess-hood around these three points:

Why is no one pointing out the fact that princesses are future queens? Why does no one respond to the girl (or boy) who wants to be a princess with “Okay, princesses get to rule a country when they grow up! What kinds of laws will you make in your kingdom?”

Bam. You’re talking leadership without having to take away anyone’s tiara.

Because look, I’m all for being critical of media and letting girls know that they can be lots of other things besides princesses–but even if Target rips some gender labels off its toys, gender stereotypes are not suddenly going to disappear. And continuing to position “femininity” as fundamentally opposed to “empowerment” isn’t helping anyone.

So if the tiara fits, take over the world in it.