The Kind of Princess I Want My Daughter to BeAs the world welcomes England’s new princess, I can’t help but think about the title, how it is used, and what it means for our daughters.  In the United States, the girl’s section of the department store is littered with items proudly proclaiming PRINCESS across the front.  We place this label all over our daughter’s bedrooms, on their shirts, and in their hearts, but I wonder, what is the message we are communicating to our young girls when we proclaim them royalty?

The traditional fairy tale princess, an extraordinarily beautiful girl who, after accidentally meeting a prince riding through the woods, sings a duet and starts planning a wedding, may not be the ideal role model for my young daughter.  Does that mean I can’t pull my sweet girl into my chest, kiss the top of her head, and whisper, “I love you Princess?”

The truth is, being a princess isn’t just about the diamond tiara.  It isn’t just about the dresses, the shoes, the parties, or the privileges.  The title ‘Princess’ is not exclusive to girls with a certain waist size, skin color, or family pedigree.  Princesses, like England’s Kate, don’t get to do and have whatever they want, whenever.  They work hard.  They are educated.  They speak for the less fortunate close to home and across the world.  They are mothers.  They are wives.  They make their own, “Happily Ever After.”

So I do tell my daughter SHE IS a princess, and then I tell her what kind of princess I hope she will be:

Be a Beautiful Princesses

Princesses are beautiful, not because of the dresses they wear, but because of who they are.  True princesses smile and radiate friendliness wherever they go.  They look their best when they are serving their communities or comforting a friend.  Princesses are prettiest when they are healthiest.  They appreciate the bodies they have and take care of them.  They are beautiful whether they are playing soccer in the mud or performing a ballet on stage.  Be a Beautiful princess!

Be a Powerful Princesses

Princesses are powerful, not because they tell everyone what to do, but because everyone is watching them.  As a princess, your actions will speak much louder than your words.  Command less, and do more.  Educate yourself so you can be confident.  Use your influence to bring lonely girls into your circle of friends.  Encourage understanding, growth, and creativity among your peers.  Share your love for learning, and assist others in their exploration.  Use your power for good, Princess.

Be an Accountable Princess

Princesses, today, are accountable to their public for their actions as well as their use of funds.  You are accountable too.  If you use your power to bully or exclude, there are consequences for that.  If you treat those who look up to you poorly, they will stop following you.  If your actions are not admirable, they will no longer respect you.  Choose wisely princess, and learn quickly from your mistakes.

Being a princess isn’t for the faint of heart.  It is for the strong.  It means that you lead after you listen.  It means that you accuse less and encourage more.  Being a princess means that you have power to make change, and you should.  You are a beautiful princess.  You are mine, and you are loved.

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42 comments on “The Kind of Princess I Want My Daughters to Be”

  1. This is such a sweet post. I think these kinds of posts are my favorite, where mamas share what’s really on their hearts for their children. Mine would be kindness, above all. (Among some of the same things you listed!)

  2. This has such a great message, and you are absolutely right! I hope that if I have a daughter she will understand the importance of being accountable for her actions, and using her voice to do good. Not abusing her ‘power’ or being shallow towards other people’s appearance and her own. A beautiful person starts with a beautiful soul.

  3. This is going into the list of things my daughter must read. 🙂

    I heard a woman speaking on NPR last week about how we might be teaching our daughters the wrong thing by showing beauty as something painful–brushing their snarled hair and straightening it (i.e. Black women), getting their eyebrows plucked, etc. As you said, it’s extremely important that we teach our daughters to be kind and generous…and *that* is what being a princess is really about! 🙂

  4. Great post, and I am glad that there are other role models for our princesses today than just Disney Princesses! Diana and now Kate show girls that they can be strong and make a difference in the world.

  5. This is beautiful! I love the point you make about accountability. It’s so important and such a good reminder for our littles. Thanks for this!

  6. What a lovely post. Disney princesses are cute, but they are also not real. This is a post parents should share with their daughters so they realize the power they have and learn to appreciate that they are more than glitz and glitter

    • We love a good princess movie, but then we have to talk about reality. Beauty is great, but what is underneath? I hope my girls will feel powerful and beautiful, but also be kind.

  7. I love this post! It reminds me of Princess Diana, who visited AIDS patients in hospital in the 1980s and did so much to reduce the fear that surrounded them in the early days. Also, Kate may not have been born into royalty but she is class all the way 🙂

    • I think Kate is such a great example of this. She rocks the princess thing. She is totally pretty, the entire world is watching her, and handles it with such class. She’s a princess I can’t tell my girls to look up to.

    • Thank you Tirralan! Raising princesses is tons of fun, but it is tricky sometimes too. This is my strategy to help them find the balance between their beautiful and powerful. I hope it sinks in.

    • Thank you Kelly! Raising princesses is so fun, but I want them to know how to be beautiful, not just look it. I want them to know they are powerful and responsible for how they use their influence. I hope it sinks in 🙂

  8. What a beautiful post . I never really thought about the meaning of “Princess” until you described it the way you did! That’s the kind of Princess I want my daughter to be. Thank you for sharing another beautifully written post. Pinned because I think other Moms should read it to their daughters!

    • It’s true. You’re never too old to be a princess. I hope that I show them how to feel powerful as well as accountable. I try to remind myself I am beautiful as well. It’s easy to forget sometimes.

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