My daughter recently turned 4. With this age brings along a whole new level of play. When she isn’t playing hair salon, she’s playing barbies, baby dolls, or princesses. Our playroom is engulfed in everything “girl”. Yesterday I watched her set up all of her barbies to watch her put on a ballet performance. She was wearing a bright pink tutu, a “Girls Rule the Universe” t-shirt and tool belt.
At 4 year’s old meshing her girly side with her tough side is common nature. They often go hand-in-hand at this age. It’s something she does every day. One moment she is in a tiara and dress, and the next she is having a wrestling match with her dad while wearing the tiara and dress. When I ask her what she played while at preschool she tells me: “During free play, I played princesses. When we were in the gym I played ninjas.” I wouldn’t want her to be any other way.
The innocence at this age is the best part. There’s no urge to choose whether you want to be a princess or superhero. It’s whatever her 4-year-old heart desires at that moment. Or what her classmate suggests playing! There’s no burden. But I do know that this won’t always be the case. The innocence of childhood will wear off and someone will make her think otherwise.
I want her to know that she can embrace every fancy and girly aspect of life. She can purchase all the beauty products in the world, wear high heels because they make you feel good, and collect a stack of fashion magazines. To know that she can do all these things while maintaining her strength, all in one breath. She can swap those heels for a cape any day, or better yet – wear them both together. I encourage her to embrace both sides.
I want her to know it’s okay to be pro-princess and search for her knight in shining armor all while fighting for her rights. Don’t let others make her think otherwise. She can be as feminine as she chooses all while being a strong independent woman. My hope is that I have set that stage for her, but as she will slowly find out with age, society may not always be ready for it. In society, she will find that some people will make her think that she may only be one or the other. And I say to her: don’t let this stop you.
I’m not saying that she has to conquer the world one day, though her dad and I dream of her doing so. And I know that there will be people there to support her no matter what. In our current society, women must stand-up and fight for themselves. I want my daughters to know that they can do this all while wearing that pink sparkling dress.
So remember that no matter what comes your way in life you can always shatter the glass ceiling while wearing glass slippers.