6 November 2013

Please. Don't call my girls princesses

Recently, I found myself physically grimacing when somebody referred to my daughters as 'adorable princesses'.  I really feel strongly about the word 'princess' in relation to MY small people.  Really strongly.

1. They are not. I'm not a monarch, but husband is not a monarch and there is no monarchy in our history apart from a rumour that we are distantly related to the woman referred to as the "Catholic whore of King George IV".  Which we are not according to the chief genealogist in our family. Which is a pity - because everybody likes a salty story in the family tree.

No frog when kissed becomes a prince
2. Even by the urban definition of princesses as 'spoilt, pampered and sheltered from real life', my girls don't qualify.  They've been involved in social justice marches since they were babes-in-utereo and we don't automatically switch off the news or avoid stories that don't have happy endings.  They might be but 1 and 3 but we talk about it all.  If they are to learn compassion, empathy and how lucky they are, they need to learn about it as naturally as they learn about using please and thank you, or how yelling the word 'bottom' is never going to lose it's comedic value no matter how old you get.

She thinks they fit and that's all that matters
3. The Disney definition of a princess as somebody who needs rescuing (preferably after being kissed by a man they have never met) goes against the grain of all sensible personal safety messages that we seek to ingrain in our girls.  Firstly, if somebody is kissing when you wake up and you didn't ask for it - kick the bastards in the bollocks and run like the wind, screaming as loudly as you can. Secondly, if your stepmother is a bitch and makes you work rather than going out and getting an education and doesn't give you the love you deserve - I will be coming back to haunt your Daddy for his ill conceived choice of a second wife with every supernatural bastardy I can lay my ghostly hands on.


4. My 3 year old wants to be taller so she can drive a cement mixer.  I'm proud of her for having the foresight to understand that the cement is always going to be a useful thing and therefore being the driver/operator of a cement mixer is a valid, long term career option.  A career like that will always have relevance.  Unfortunately, monarchies will not.

Tiaras are not just for royalty
5. People use the word princesses to indicate that they think girls are beautiful.  All small people are beautiful. When my 3 year old was a baby she looked like Chairman Mao.  When my 1 year old was a baby she looked like Paul Livingston's Flacco. I can tell you quite honestly, that I have never seen two more beautiful babies in my life.  

I am proud that when you ask Tully what she is she'll answer all sorts of things like "I am hiwarious", or "I am impossible" or "I am orrrrrrrsome".  If I say to them "who are my favourite girls in the world?" they'll both answer "ME".  They interchangeably hear me refer to them as "my girls", "dudes" or if I'm cross they even hear "GIRLFRIEND WHAT ARE YOU DOING?".  I throw my "sweethearts" and my "darlings" and "my beautifuls" and "my gorgeous'" around with the gay abandon of the endearment over user.  I have no problem with them understanding that they are beautiful to me in every single way, inside and out.

But they aren't princesses.

They are better than that.