does the pink worry you?

With four boys and just one girl, I’m sometimes stumped by girl behavior. I ask myself frequently, “Is ____ because she’s a girl, or is this just Mary?” And in most cases, it probably doesn’t even matter. But, as a fellow girl, I do wonder (worry) about how she’s growing up and how she sees herself.

You might think a girl with lots of brothers would be a tomboy (and she might) but Mary is taking the opposite approach and embracing her inner princess. Pink, sparkly, frilly, fancy. All of that. It’s a bit of a mystery to me, since I came of age in the time of flannel shirts and birkenstocks. Goodness knows, I’m in a pretty traditional female role at the moment, and I’m far from anti-femininity, but I was pretty relieved the other day when I asked Mary, “Do you think it’s better to be smart or pretty?” and she answered smart. Whew.

I’m sure we’ll be sorting this all out for 20 years to come, and I recently read an interesting book on the subject, Cinderella Ate My Daughter. I don’t agree with all of the author’s conclusions, but she did a lot of research for this book, and it’s a good read. If you want to hear lots of details about everything from Dora the Explorer to Bratz dolls to Britney Spears and how it’s all affecting the modern girl-child, pick it up.

Does anyone else worry about this stuff?


5 thoughts on “does the pink worry you?

  1. Robin

    Having had the best (and worst) of both genders, I can say that while there are certainly things that girls as a whole are more likely to gravitate to, some just embrace traditional girliness more whole-heartedly,a nd in different ways, then others. Lily goes gaga over any kind of play makeup, for instance, and constantly carries around her play cell phone, while Brianna much prefers to play with stuffed animals and draw.

    I think what’s at issue is having a child of the same sex who is different from you in notable ways. I find myself understanding Brianna a lot better than Lily sometimes because Brianna and I have very similar temperaments. I look at Lily sometimes and just think, “WHERE did you come from? You are so completely OPPOSITE of me!” Just remember that in the end, you are her true model of femininity, and while the sparkles and pink overload are big at this age, the messages you give her about her potential and abilities and what is important in life will be what sticks with her long after she stops wearing her princess crown.

  2. danielle

    I totally get your point…and I tried really hard to keep my daughter form anything princess-ish (mostly because all that stuff is tacky and ugly) but my husband would bring her home from the store with princess everything all sparkly and pink, and I decided it didn’t matter. Which really has nothing to do with what you said.

    I’m too tired to make any kind of point…but I am interested in that book you mentioned.

    And I’m going to not worry too much about the princess stuff…and I embrace pink…and I am going to try to teach her that she is both pretty and smart and both are great.

  3. Emily Mecham

    I’m on the other end of the spectrum. 3 boys, and I’m about the biggest princess I know. Makes you go, “hmmm,” right? Anyway, I read “Why Gender Matters” by Leonard Sax a couple of years ago. It details the biological differences in boys’ and girls’ brains, and what those differences mean in the real world. It changed the way I parent my boys and gave me a little insight to how their minds work…sometimes. It’s one of those books that I quote from and recommend to friends regularly. It’s not meant to be a “parenting” book, but it is very helpful to parents of all genders.

    I’m trying to be more zen about my noisy, muddy, rowdy household these days, but I have to say, I do envy you a little for the little girl who wants to be ruffle-y, twirl-y, princess-y. Maybe I need to borrow one for a day!

  4. Jill

    I too struggle with having these girly girls and I am was a total tomboy. There’s nothing like coming home from getting a new haircut only to have your daughters look at you mortified and ask what did you do? And yes, they are only 7 and 8 and it’s gonna get worse. My resolution has been to allow them to look (clothing/hair) the way they want to (within some strict boundaries). This has lead me to observe I have a bohemian and a pop culture girl. I just hope that I can continue to help them value character and education more than looks and stereotypes.

  5. Jodi

    I actually LOVE it but yes, do get worried at times. Bekah is definitely girly (you saw her Fancy Nancy pics!) but I figure, as long as we try to balance that out with playing at the barn, dirt and tractors, all will be well. :)


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