When my daughter was just a baby I read Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein. Although a little extreme maybe, it’s a very interesting read and it opened my eyes to the current princess culture and the mass marketing campaigns that are targeting our very young daughters. As a result we have tried to avoid the whole princess thing in our home. When I say princess, I really mean Disney princess. We do own Brave, but have avoided the earlier ones as I find the messages in those movies to focus heavily on outward beauty and being saved by men.
Well, in some ways this has come back to bite me in the butt. My daughter is three and LOVES all things princess and dress up. I honestly don’t know where she even learns about it all. When she goes over to her friends houses she will seriously be taking her clothes off as she walks through the door so that she can put on one of their princess dresses. And when she comes home it’s all she can talk about. So I decided that we need to come to some middle ground. When I really think about it the actual idea of a princess is not what bothers me, it’s the messages that so many of the princess movies promote about females. And to be honest I love to dress up and look nice and so I am sure that she has learned a lot of it from me.
Our compromise is that I will make her dress up clothes, even princess dresses, as long as they are not Disney princess specific. I also refuse to pay crazy amounts of money for dress up clothes so I am going to be sewing them up from my stash of fabrics. They will not all be pink and sparkly. I will make them from what I have so there will be a wide range.
In the end I decided on Simplicity 9497 for the pattern and am actually making up four at the same time (we participate in babysitting swap where we often have 4 young girls over at a time.) I am just trying to be creative with the ribbon, bias tape, beads etc… that I have.
I started them this morning and it’s pretty much all that my daughter talks about. I will make sure to show you some pics of the finished products. In the meantime here is picture of what I have to work with.