“K, You are my princess. Daddy will make sure, you get everything in life. All your dreams will come true. Daddy won’t ever let you ever cry. He will make sure that you are protected from all the dark clouds. He will never ever let you hurt.”, my husband mumbles to my 5-year-old daughter.
But, it’s not only my husband who is obsessed with raising his daughter as a princess but also my five-year-old daughter carries an obsession with being one. When anyone asks her, what she wants to be when she grows up, she replies: “A princess”. Thanks to the marketing genius, who has captivated the mind of a 5-year-old.
Although I keep adding real hero stories to my daughter’s mind space, sadly, they just can’t compete with the glitz and glamour of the princess fairy tale stories. These women have become my daughter’s heroes. While my mother-in-law feels proud of how his son is going to raise a princess, I am not at all comfortable with the concept of raising our daughters like a princess.
I have seen multiple women, who were raised as princesses by their parents, faltered later in life. These princesses couldn’t stand against the patriarchal society to fight for themselves as they always wanted someone else to rescue them!
Because in our patriarchal society, the princesses struggle whereas rebels thrive.
Here are some of the reasons, why we need to stop raising our daughters as princesses, rather as rebels who could stand for themselves and their dignity.
Princesses Depend On Others To Rescue; Rebels Are Their Own Heroes
It is heartbreaking how most of the princesses in fairy tales are so much dependent on the men for their rescue?
Many parents who tend to raise their daughters as princesses tend to raise them with a similar kind of attitude. Rather than letting them struggle, they come to their rescue. Rather than letting them make their own decisions, they make decisions for them. And, sadly, when these princesses are hit hard by the ugly reality of life, they tend to look out for people who can either rescue them or take a stand for them.
So, I do have a problem when my husband promises my five-year-old, that he will protect her from all the dark clouds. Because I don’t want to raise a woman, who needs someone to give her shade when the storm hits, rather I want to raise a rebel who scares off the storm.
I don’t want my daughter to expect her father, her brother, or her husband to rescue her from life challenges. Rather I want her to sail through them like a true warrior.
I want to raise strong and independent women, who don’t need a prince charming to rescue her.
Princesses Are Delicate; Rebels Are Strong & Confident
If it bothers you how princesses’ are portrayed as delicate, then you would understand why any strong and independent mother doesn’t want to raise a daughter like a princess.
It is heartbreaking how even our movies, animation, children’s products depict women like princesses and men as warriors. And, this is the mindset that our society also promotes.
While many of us want to raise our daughters as princesses, we want to raise our sons as warriors?
It’s like even before they realize their power, we dim the light of our daughters. We never let them believe in their strengths. We raise them with the wrong notion that they are delicates and they need to protected by men – sometimes their father, sometimes their brothers, and sometimes their husbands.
Princesses Wait For Prince To Be Loved; Rebels Indulge In Self-Love
My friend, who was raised like a princess, always sought love from others. She never understood that sometimes the others won’t reciprocate love in the same way as her parents. She was so much used to seeking love from others that she forgot to learn how to love herself. And, when her marriage didn’t work out, she struggled to fill that gap.
My friend and many women, who are raised by overprotected parents as princesses, struggle a lot in their lives. Unfortunately, they have to learn these lessons the hard way. But, I don’t want my daughter to go through a similar cycle of pain, disgust, and hopelessness. I want her to be her own hero. I don’t want her to be a damsel in distress who will wait for her prince on a white horse.
We live in a patriarchal society that dims the light of women at every step. In such a society, if you want your daughters to shine, don’t raise them to be princesses. Rather raise them to be women, who know how to stand for themselves when others won’t. Raise them to be emotionally empowered, that they don’t have to wait for someone else to make them happy. Rather than coming to their rescue whenever they fail, let them stand on their own feet. In the end, let them be their own hero!