Lately, I’ve realized that I am raising two types of princesses: a Disney princess and a dog-tag-wearing punk-rock princess.
I have always tried to raise my kids to be independent. I let them make their own choices and stand by their own decisions. This has made it easier for them to hone their fashion sense, which could sometimes not fit into what other people expect of them. My youngest is ok when it comes to fitting in because her choices lean towards the usual girly stuff: Barbie dolls and Barbie movies, Disney-princess-themed clothing, doll shoes, ribbons and lace, etc. It keeps the conservatives satisfied.
My eldest has the hardest time because her choices have always leaned towards boyish stuff. She likes robots and basketball and marbles and bikes. One time, she was so fascinated with kites that she never stopped talking about it until some of my male cousins agreed to make one for her. She has never played with any of the dolls that I bought her. The only time she touched a doll was when she executed her sister’s Anna doll a la garrote, which was really funny by the way. (My husband and I couldn’t stop laughing for days after we found that Anna doll hanging by the window. The young owner’s reaction was priceless too.)
Her choices make my more conservative relatives a bit uncomfortable because they are afraid that she might grow up into a lesbian. I personally believe that there is absolutely no connection whatsoever between a child’s choice of toys, clothes, and playmates with whatever gender she prefers to be when she grows up. And if she does turn out to be a lesbian or a pansexual or a bisexual or a goddess, then rest assured that I will support her choices 100 percent. They try to sway her towards the girly things. They try to convince me not to buy her any ‘boy’ stuff even when that is what she really wants. They tell me that she is young and that it’s not too late to change her yet.
The thing is, why would I try to change her when I can simply support her? Why would I want to make her do things and wear stuff that she is not comfortable with? Just so the rest of the family would be pleased?
I’m sorry to say this but I have never been good at sucking up to the family. I myself have always been the odd one out. The middle child who just can’t fit in anywhere. Heck I didn’t even fit into the group of my closest high school friends. I had to suppress a lot of my individuality just to be appreciated. Even then, the appreciation merely trickled in. I regret that I let myself be boxed into society’s idea of what a woman should and shouldn’t be. So why the heck would I want to do that to my own kid?
That kid is going to be the me that never had the chance to be. So yeah, I am raising two different types of princesses. And I’m enjoying every minute of it.