Let’s face it: there’s nothing more adorable than seeing little girls in princess dresses – witnessing the excitement on their faces as they play dress up and dream of being their favorite princess characters.
I can remember being a young girl and hoping that I’d one day be a princess just like my favorite childhood Disney princess—
Princess Jasmine. I wanted to the as wealthy and as beautiful as she was; In fact, I actually wanted to be her! The reality is that I never became “Princess Jasmine” and because of this, I felt that I never would be a “princess”. Sadly, this is a reality that many girls often face when they begin to grow out of the “princess phenomenon” As a child therapist and self-esteem advocate, I have found that the concept of a princess can create many deep rooted insecurities with girls that can oftentimes affect them in the future.
Here are a few of the issues that the “Princess Phenomenon” can produce:
First, the princess characters have the potential to cause low self-esteem in young girls. Just like I compared my life and my beauty with Princess Jasmine, I see little girls do the same with their own favorite princess characters. When we see the flawless beauty of the princesses, we can start to feel ugly in comparison. It pains me to hear girls as young as four years of age asking me if they are as “pretty as Princess Elsa”.
Second, the princess stories may lead to the encouragement of being vane and superficial. When girls say they want to be a princess, usually they only look at the outer appearances and material items that their favorite princess characters posses. As a Christian, however, this is contradictory to what the bible teaches us. Proverbs 31:30 says Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised”. God told even told Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7 that “people look at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart”.
Finally, princess stories promote the “damsel in distress” mentality. Every princess has a prince charming or some heroic male figure in their life that saves them from danger or rescues them to safety. Now, although I am all for chivalry and think that these male characters are a great example for girls to understand how boys should respectfully treat them in their future romantic relationships, I have concerns about girls feeling that they always have to be rescued. This implies a need to be co-dependent on someone and does not promote self-sufficient in order for girls to be future leaders.
I, by all means, am not bashing princesses, because I do believe that there are many redeeming character qualities in these characters. For example, Belle loves reading, Cinderella is an animal lover, Tiana is a hard worker, and most of them are sweet, gentle and kind. These positive traits of these princesses are great examples for girls, but unfortunately, what truly captivates girls’ interests in being a princess is the beauty and wardrobes. Well its time to dispel this frame of thought about “princessing” because it’s not realistic and does not promote self-worth and self-acceptance in girls. I believe that its time to redefine what “princessing” really is!
What if I told you that “princessing” is a part of your daughter’s everyday life. What if I told her that every single day she is in the presence of royalty! Everyday she sees a princess staring right back at her…because that princess is HER.
You of all people know just special your daughter is, but she needs to know and understand that she does not need to ever compete with or compare herself with any other princess characters, because she is indeed a princess of her own! She’s not your ordinary princess, she’s Extra Ordinary!
This is what my new book “If God is a King That Makes Me a Princess” is all about! I want to encourage girls all over the world that they do not have to pretend to be a princess for a day by playing dress-up because they are already princesses with or without the dresses and tiaras! Although those elements of being a princess are fun and exciting, our girls need to understand that since God is our King or Kings, we were born into a royal family and each of us is wearing our crown every single day. The crowns may not always be on us, but hey are always IN each of us. So moms, I encourage each of you to wear your crown because you’ve grown up to be your daughters Queen. And tell her to wear her princess crown because our God is a King. So wear your crown. WEAR YOUR CROWN!