Say No to Princesses?

no-princessIs there anyone else out there who would agree with me that Cinderella, and all these other princess cartoons, should have a PG-13 rating? ¬†That these cartoons really aren’t appropriate for younger kids? They’re all about looking pretty, and finding your prince charming – really not the kid of lessons I want to be teaching my kid.

We went to a princess birthday party this weekend. There was lots of the expected – pink, purple, sparkles, swirly dresses, tiaras. All the pretty little girls had a ball. Since then, my girl’s been in a princess mood, more so than before, if that’s even possible. So yesterday she raids her closet, and grabs all the new dresses I had stocked up for the summer. She decides she wants to try on every one of them, along with her hats, and fake jewels. Then she wants us to take photos to send to family members while she poses like a miniature princess model. No, she’s not about to enter her teenage years… She’s two.

Princesses, to little girls all over, mean pretty dresses, jewels, tiaras, castles, magic, and handsome princes. Lost are the real morals of these stories on their little minds.¬†Appearances are emphasized – Belle’s the star of the story while the Beast is often forgotten. No kid will pay attention to a frog, even if he has a princely heart.¬†Cinderella isn’t teaching girls not to be mean – it’s all about magic, glitzy gowns and dancing with Prince Charming.

And as adorable as our little girls may look parading around in their tutus and tiaras, later on these habits could spell trouble for daddy’s wallet.

Now I don’t want every girl out there to detest me for bashing their beloved fairy tales. I too grew up on these and enjoy the royal treatment once in a while – but once in a while is the key. The commercialization that’s taken over these characters, with an overdose of princess paraphernalia, cannot be healthy for the younger kids. As we all know, too much of anything is not good. Since this stuff is everywhere, toys, clothes, movies, tv, books, you name it, it’s difficult for parents to keep their kids away even if they want to.

It seems that Disney has received some criticism on this topic, and is trying to remedy this using their latest princess, Sophia the first. What has your experience been with Sophia – is she really teaching some valuable lessons, or is it just more glitz and glamour now aimed directly at toddlers?

I’ve been wanting to host a princess party for my little one’s 3rd birthday. But now I’m thinking I’ll hold off for a bit… maybe till she’s 13. Of course by then princesses may be a thing of the past. She may have moved on to boy bands and the like – the next Justin Bieber… YIKES!

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Radio Flyer

I always wanted a Radio Flyer as a kid. The classic American toy that gives flight to so many kids’ dreams. Just seeing the bright red toys with white text splashed across it reminds you of happy, childhood days.

So yesterday I decided to take my baby girl to my favorite toy store to pick up her first Radio Flyer. We had a fun time scouring the colorful toy racks, searching for the familiar red wagons. I was surprised at how excited this tow year old was at the idea of buying this toy, assuming she hardly knew what a Radio Flyer was.

After a lot of browsing and trying, we finally settled on a ‘scooter. I grabbed the bright red, bulky package, when immediately a demanding voice squeaked, “Not the red one!”

What?! Not the red one? Red is what defines a Radio Flyer. Whoever even thought of coming up with Radio Flyers in different colors? Every image I had of these wonderful playthings was in red. Red is the Radio Flyer brand! So I tried explaining to her how cool a Red scooter would be, how envious every kid in the neighborhood would be, how pretty I thought the red scooter looked. Didn’t work. I tried a different approach – it’s red or nothing. A tantrum ensued.

We returned home with a pink, sparkly scooter.

So much for the Red branding! I guess the company has been more farsighted than me, catering to meet the needs of their ever-changing market including the new generation of pink-loving, bossy, princesses.