My little girl loves everything to do with princesses. If it's sparkly and pink, then she acquires it and adores it. She loves wearing dresses and she loves looking girly. She is five years old.
For my other daughters, five was about the age when they started to lose their love of all things girly, or at least, they pretended to lose their love of dresses and tiaras and other girly things.
I wonder if my little five year old will start to think that she has to show the world a different face. Why is it that the world around her seems to encourage her to be tough rather than tender, stoic rather than emotional, and suspicious rather than trusting?
She is hanging on to her idealism about being a princess. I hope she continues to do so. There is nothing wrong with being tough and strong, but there is also a great deal of strength to be found in things that are traditionally considered feminine. Being able to shed tears and show emotion has the power to help us heal emotionally and the strength to face almost anything. Being able to show compassion and tenderness is one of the ways of making this world a better place for others.
When did the world start equating femininity with weakness? When did the world at large decide that to be anything other than macho and masculine was to be weak and victimized? It's a falsehood that should never have been given legitimacy in society.
Some of the most feminine women I know have backbones of steel.