I met a woman today in line while selling back used books. This is quite the environment to meet someone in. It's surprisingly personal to unload boxes of books, presenting little pieces of your life to complete strangers in exchange for money. I'll have to admit that the $27 cash I walked out with was about 0.01% of the once-upon-a-time "value" of those books, but the happiness of not having those boxes in the place-where-we-used-to-keep-our-cars was worth a lot more than that.
Anyway, this woman somehow started telling me about the sheer lack of princesses in her life. She has proudly raised three girls to tween-dom without subjecting them even once to the abuse that is the world of princesses. It seems she is morally opposed to the objectification imbued by the princess industry and wanted to offer her daughters more than a square hole for a future. We chatted for a while about this, and I learned how hard it is to prevent the princess from infiltrating your home; after telling her I had two little girls at home, she gave me lots of advice about how to go about accomplishing this.
I was walking out to my white chariot, 27 bucks in hand, when I saw the woman getting into her car. Which was right next to mine (of all the parking spots in all the world...). Without blinking, I waved goodbye and opened the sliding door to put away my bag, unabashedly exposing the princess-plastered interior. I think she may have gotten some on her.
On the way home, I thought about this quite a bit. For at least 5 whole minutes, I wondered if feeding into Big and Baby girls' princess fetish was harmful in some way.
Tonight, I was "reading" Baby girl a book (aka watching her turn the pages really fast and point at random pictures). Yes, it was a princess book. Know what Baby girl calls every princess? "Mommy".
I wear many hats in life (and have been called many different things) but alas I do not own a crown (yet?). It is very clear to me that Baby girl is not at all identifying with the physicality of the princess motif (in fact, I should probably pull out the eye chart and test her). I am proud that Baby girl identifies such a group of strong independent young women as teachers, leaders, forward-thinking, loving, funny, supportive caregivers. At least that's who my mom is to me.
To all those dragons and wicked witches out there - watch out for this next generation of princesses. They're tough. And to the lady at the bookstore - the sparkle does eventually wear off.