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How long can you avoid princesses?

My husband and I are totally wary of gender issues and want our kids to be able to be whoever they want to be. Our daughters wear dresses, and pink on occasion (lol), but we try to do things like buy them trucks along with tea sets, etc. Our daughter is 22 months, doesn't really watch tv (occasional Signing Time DVD). and doesn't get clothing or products with cartoon characters on them. In your opinion, what is the longest we'll be able to avoid the Disney Princesses, because this phenomenon really scares me. I've seen so many preschoolers totally obsessed! I'm not saying this stuff is evil or judging anyone at all for buying these things, but I do think some of the cultural messages through these stories/products, etc. are not good for girls. Any thoughts?

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:05 PM on Apr. 27, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (26)
  • My granddaughter is four and very into princesses. She loves her pretty princess dress. I guess that make-believe is a valuable part of life. :)

    Answer by Bmat at 10:09 PM on Apr. 27, 2009

  • my daughter has: a basketball hoop, soccer goal, baseball stuff, trucks, cars trains and airplanes but loves girly dress up stuff too. i think as long as your children are taught they can be whatever they want than they don't see the princess thing as something they "have" to be or do. my daughter loves the disney princesses but she loves the cars and toy story movies too. and i don't think there are "bad"messages for girls there, in most of them in one way or another the princess goes above and beyond to get what she wants out of life. and in the movie enchanted, giselle actually saves the prince instead of the other way around.

    Answer by vabchmommy at 10:09 PM on Apr. 27, 2009

  • haha we have also tried to avoid this ...we don't by cloths with characters (unless someone gives it to her) and she has motorbikes and dolls lol

    Answer by ELIZABETHSMO902 at 10:44 PM on Apr. 27, 2009

  • You don't really have any control over it from what I can tell. Some kids get into it, some don't. My daughter loves balls, cars, her bike, her trampoline... but she is also starting to play with her tea set and is suddenly wanting to twirl around in a dress. Sigh. She's 2.5 years.

    I won't be buying any of the Disney Princess stuff if I can help it. I'm also trying to teach her that princesses are brave, smart, and kind - pretty isn't part of our discussions.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 1:04 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • Well, I can tell you the stereotypes are pretty much true.... We have Boy / Girl Twins... and they share every toy we get. We don't have many girl toys because they just don't have lots of selections for infant/toddlers that we've found anyways, just a few dolls... but we have balls, trucks, cars, etc too.... SHE LOVES the stuffed animals, stickers, dolls, cats, etc... HE LOVES the balls, cars, trucks, etc. They are SOOO funny to see them, we just let them pick and choose and guess what.... they are so "Boy" like and so "Girl" like it is TOTALLY AMAZING!!!
    We don't have any princess things yet either, but doesn't matter here... She loves girly things on her own. He loves the boy type toys on his own.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:56 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • ny daughter plays with cars, trains, plays in the dirt, is ruff and tumble... all while she is dressed in her pretty little dresses and even her little crown. Daddy calls her his pretty pretty princess, and so do I. She is our princess. I don't buy charecter stuff, simply because, she is has no idea. I don't see the fear in her being all feminine.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 2:33 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • I don't know what to tell you. I was SO anti-Barbie; we played with blocks and trucks, etc. Against our explicit wishes, my husband's cousin sent Barbie for our daughter's 3rd birthday, along with clothes and accessories; to my horror it was love at first site. I will skip the disney pricess outfits and fast-forward to today, where we thankfully have a well-adjusted feminist daughter who decries gender rolls and swears that if she has a daughter she will never have barbies.
    I guess it's like the boys who pick up a stick and say "bang", even though their parents ban weapon toys and violent TV.

    Answer by rkoloms at 5:38 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • I don't know about anyone else but to me a girl is a princess from the minute she is born. And she should be treated like one.

    Answer by Chrissy629 at 6:11 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • I think all you can really do is just buy her the things you feel comfortable with buying, when you have holidays or birthdays specify to your family that you don't want Disney Princess merchandise, and maybe she'll just be so indifferent to it just by it not being present that by the time she gets to school and sees other girls with it she won't want it... however, if you make it obvious to her that it's not something you want her to have she'll probably want it more so if she wants it then I wouldn't blatantly refuse to let her have it, just try to emphasize to her how much cooler other things are and leave it up to her to choose.

    Answer by lady_kira at 6:31 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • I want to add that my son is nearly two years old and he has yet to want anything specific, so the toys he gets are the ones I choose for him and he usually loves them.

    Answer by lady_kira at 6:32 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

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