I don’t want to be a pretty princess!

Hey guys. I’m talking about a girly subject today.

The ‘p’ word.

P-R-I-N-C-E-S-S. What do you mean, ‘princess?!’ it’s in the title, you dirty pervert. I thought this was especially relevant this time of year. I get insanely annoyed seeing all the ‘sexy’ costumes and related BS. (For some genuinely awesome, age-appropriate kid’s costumes, check out A Mighty Girl)

Anyway, for as long as I can remember, my family, and the general media has tried to convince me to be more ‘princess’ like. To be feminine, (or what they deem as feminine), pretty, sexy, ‘ladylike’ and domesticated like a milk cow. Now, when I say ‘domesticated’, I don’t mean your average housewife these days. I technically AM a housewife, so i’d be self derogatory if I did. No, I mean ‘Stepford Wife’ style. Like, being able to cook perfectly, keep a pristine house and 2.5 perfect little children with a shiny Labrador Retriever playing fetch with little Bobby in the white picketed fenced front yard.

Now, I’ve never liked being shoved into a box I don’t fit into. Square peg in a round hole, and all that.

It started back as far as I can remember, as a toddler. My mother and grandmother were obsessed with trying to turn me into a girly-girl. I have nothing against being a girly girl; it’s being forced to do something that’s not my nature that bothers me.

I never did get along with Barbie. She was tan and blonde, I was pale and dark-haired. But my grandmother insisted on me having a doll house, so dad built one. I greatly preferred to take apart aforementioned doll house to see how it was made. (it even had electric lights, that was how I learned about circuitry, lol). I was constantly dressed up like a doll myself, in frilly dresses which I had a tendency to wreck, as I shimmied up trees and through the bush looking for animals. My mother even dressed me in some VERY inappropriate clothing for my age (even for an adult) which impacted my gender image for decades to come.

They stopped pushing dolls on me when I lynched Barbie from her doll house porch.

I wanted to play with electronics, and truck, and science! But my entire childhood, I was forcibly mashed into this mould that I didn’t fit. It screwed me up for a long time, and in my late twenties, I’m only now repairing the damage.

To my mother, being smart, into science and computers wasn’t feminine. It was something ‘man-hating lesbians’ did. (Her words, not mine) Sadly, the bad part of being a genius is that I have an excellent memory for what people say to me.

I think the harder people tried, the harder I revolted against it. I’ve never been one for following, and I thought it was unfair that I was being forced to be something that was obviously against my true wishes.

In any case, a lot of this impacted how I saw myself for a very long time. For the longest time, I was pretty much terrified to be seen as girly, even though I do like some girly stuff. I tried very hard to avoid looking feminine, or acting ‘girly’ because I thought it was weak.

I didn’t even know how to use make-up all that well until I was in my twenties. I’m now only getting comfortable with dressing somewhat ‘womanly’.

Now that i’m older, I understand that it’s more just another way to express yourself. The important thing, I think, is letting people decide for themselves.

I’m now 26, nearly 27. Within the next decade it’s likely I’ll have kids of my own. When that happens, I’ll let them decide.

If my daughter wants to play with Tonka trucks instead of Barbie, I’m fine with that. 🙂

-Dannielle

 

Have you had experiences being forced to be someone you’re not? Comment below!

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  • manda

    but what about when our daughters wanna play with barbies… how do we react then?

    • Nionvox

      You let them, of course. My point is that they should be able to discover what they like, not pushed into it 🙂