Ahh yes, the weather is getting cooler and Pumpkin Spice is in the air which means we are getting closer to Halloween. This also means we are getting closer to all of the articles that talk about what a terrible mother you are if you allow your daughter to dress up as a princess for Halloween.
It is no secret that I am a Disney-loving woman, have been since I was a child. I've enjoyed numerous trips to Disney properties and I just can't help myself whenever I find myself near Disney merchandise. One thing I looked forward to whenever I thought about my future children was sharing my love for Disney with them; hoping if I ever had a daughter she would find as much joy in the Disney Princesses as I did.
Now as an adult (and a mom of a daughter) I've become more aware of these articles that blast parents for letting their little girls watch Disney Princess movies and for dressing up as them for Halloween and I've had enough.
Like Mindy Kaling, I think these articles that say not to do it, completely miss the point.
Why You Should Let Your Daughter Dress Up As a Princess For Halloween
Being a Princess Means Being Strong
Those against "princess culture" miss the mark completely when they claim princesses are weak. Would you call Mulan weak? I dare you to say it to her face. How about Merida? Pocahontas? Anna? These stories tell more than just "live your life until you a meet a prince", these stories tell us princesses don't need a prince. Heck, Anna dove in front of her sister to save her; prince need not apply.
Being a Princess Means Being Kind
It has almost become taboo to say that we want our children (mainly our daughters) to be "nice", and while we want them to grow up to make their own decisions and be strong-willed I don't think we want them to abandon their kindness all together. The littlest Disney Princess, Soifa is a great example of what it means for a princess to be kind. Every time she helps someone in need her magical amulet grants her a special power. Princesses teach children to not only be kind to those who look like us but also to those who don't (mermaid Ariel saving human, Eric), to be kind to the less-fortunate and to be kind to animals. Though I will say no matter how nice I am to my dog I never walk in on him sweeping the floors, but I digress..
Being a Princess Means Overcoming Setbacks
Every Disney Princess has faced some sort of diversity that they had to overcome. Snow White was being hunted for her heart, Ariel was fighting against a species (human vs. mermaids) barrier, Rapunzel was locked in a tower her entire childhood, Tiana worked long hours for little pay in order to achieve her dream and Cinderella was treated as a second-class citizen by her own step-mother. These stories teach our daughters that no matter what setbacks they face and no matter how hard it may seem or how many cards are stacked against them, if they perceiver and work hard they can achieve their dreams.
Being a Princess Means Being True to Yourself
Getting back to the notion that we want our daughters to grow up to be strong-willed individuals, if your daughter is asking to be a princess for Halloween why would you want to make her feel less than just because this year she didn't want to dress up as a doctor or astronaut? If the point is to teach our daughters that they can be anything they want to be, why would we stop them from dressing up as a princess? It.Is.What.They.Want.To.Be.
Our daughters (and sons) have plenty of years to figure out that life is not exactly like a fairytale. But while they are still young why would we want them to stop believing it is?