My daughter thinks she's a Princess.
She adores Ariel; a mermaid who gives up her entire underwater life to marry a Prince. Hence, becoming a Princess.
I've ruined her.
I first showed her Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast; those durn Disney films because I love Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.
They are good movies with great soundtracks (granted I'm a musical theater geek but--ahem, I digress).
When she started playing dress up at preschool and wore the princess dresses and jewels everyday, I couldn't help buying her a few so she could do the same at home.
She wore them morning, noon, and night and would have worn them to bed if I'd let her.
At least when I hear her playing at the park and her dialogue consists of "Save me, Prince. Save me!" I counter it with, "Don't forget you can save yourself, honey!"
That strikes the right balance, right? Riiiight.
Now I'm grappling with the fact that my precious girl, with her kinky-curly-just-above-her-shoulders-brown hair wants long straight hair; like Rapunzel (whom she learned about in Disney's Tangled.What?! I wanted to see it and figured she'd like it, too!)
Anyway, Disney's Rapunzel is an empowered ingenue who doesn't fall into your typical princess stereotypes. Well, except for that long (really long) straight blond hair.
Now, she runs around the house with an apron tied around her head so she can feel it swishing on her back.
While the princess dresses she wears are cute it drives me nuts to look her way and see that apron on her head. With great determination, she heads for the door with the intention of wearing it in public. I'm all for self expression but there are limits. The apron just makes her look like she's a crazy person.
The picture below was taken in the back of our house. I won't let her go past the driveway with that thing on her head.
The desire for long hair that covers your back is a rite of passage for most girls (unless they actually have long hair that covers their back).
Even Whoopi Goldberg in her1984 self titled Broadway show played a young black girl with a shirt on her head pretending it was her long straight hair; the hair our culture upholds and adores.
Generally speaking, black hair grows at a much slower rate than Caucasian hair because the hair coils in the follicle which makes it more difficult to come out.
Therein lies a problem.
I happened upon a solution the other day. In the dress-up aisle at Target there was a kid-size long blond Rapunzel wig made by Disney. I got dizzy thinking how much my princess would love it but then my excitement waned.
Then I began to think that getting her that wig would be a set up that would exacerbate her desire for a kind of hair she'd never have.
I figured it'd be irresponsible of me to let her wear it. Then again, it is better than an apron. Hmmm...
I haven't bought it. Just like I haven't bought one of those doll heads that lets young girls (and maybe boys) style hair and put on make-up. All of those things have straight hair. Even the black ones have straight hair.
Hey, doll makers! Curly hair needs styling, too! Hey, Disney kid-size wig makers! Why can't there be a long kinky-curly hair wig!
I guess I'll have to make peace with that apron, forgive myself for ruining her, stop trying to micro manage my daughter's childhood, and be grateful from the bottom of my heart that I get to have such "worries".
But that apron is not leaving the house.