Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A very pink paradigm shift

I didn't particularly want to be a mom to girls. In fact, when D and I got married, his mom only had three granddaughters. My mother-in-law had four boys before she had her two girls. From the looks of it, the chances of my husband giving me daughters were pretty slim. And I was very okay with that. I figured one girl would be nice, but I wanted that house full of boys.

The joke was on me, I guess. I ended up with two boys and four girls. I have a house full of crazy hormones!

I have tried my best to raise my children with options. No stereotypes. They can be who they are. Because that's what good parents do. There would be no giant hair bows for my girls. The froo-froo was definitely not happening here. Sure, Leelee loves pink and girly things, but she's not really "girly-girly." She knows she has a brain and likes to use it. Danger Girl, well, she's my tom boy. Rough and tumble. Sometimes I think she's the third boy I always wanted.

Then came Punky Brewster. She knows who she is. She likes who she is. And she has attitude and self confidence to spare. But, she is a girly girl. If there's pink or purple she wants it. Is it fluffy and frilly? Makes her look like a princess? Oh yes, she must have it. When it came time to paint her bedroom, it had to be pink. And not just any pink...princess froo-froo pink. Pink. Pink. Pink. Punky Brewster has been begging for bal-la-lay (ballet) lessons.

When I read The Happiest Mom's post on her daughter's pink closet, it started me thinking, "What am I doing wrong that my daughter is obsessed with pink girly things?" I know that totally wasn't the point of Meagan's blog post, but there really does seem to be two camps of raising girls: Totally embracing all things girly and fluffy vs No fluff allowed. And there's really not a middle ground. Honestly, I am quite happy declaring my home a "No Princess Zone."

And this leaves me feeling like I have somehow failed as a mom who is supposed to be raising a confident girl, a mom who wants to help redefine girly. Girls raised like this are not supposed to be all pink and fluffy and princess obsessed. They are supposed to be interested in math, science, art and everything other than big dorky hairbows, dresses, sparkles, etc.

Those who know us, are probably scratching their heads going "Wait, I've never seen Punky Brewster in anything frilly, other than on Sunday" and that's because I don't buy the stuff! She'd be in heaven if I did.

Thinking about all of this leaves my head spinning. Am I doing Punky Brewster a huge disservice by not allowing her to embrace her sparkly girly side? By doing this am I telling her she can't be the pink bal-la-ley princess and being just as damaging as telling her she can't be a scientist? Probably.

As much as it kills me, I'm going to have to go to the pink section of the store. I'm going to have to buy something glittery and sparkly. Because I've managed to raise yet another confident girl, who just happens to embrace all that is froo-froo about being a girl.


  1. After two boys (whom I love dearly) I was ready to have a girl. So ready, apparently that after I heard the amnio had shown positive genetic stuff, I went straight to Wally World and bought a pink and white striped terrycloth footie sleeper.

    You've given your daughter a great foundation from which she can blossom...WTG Mom!

  2. Do it Mom! She needs a pink table lamp with maribou trim along the top ... and she'll still be confident, smart, and YOUR girl. =)


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