My son’s best friend is a girl.
Maybe that’s why he’s into princess dresses.
Or…maybe it’s because he likes how twirly they get when he dances or how sparkly and pretty they are.
Regardless of his reasoning, the fact remains that he’s really into princesses at the moment.
We recently returned from spending a few days at Disney World. And while EZ was completely over the moon with the Toy Story and Cars attractions and rides, his eyes grew wide and a look of wonder overtook him as he stood in front of Cinderella’s castle.
We don’t have much in the house by way of Disney princesses. Mostly because of the holdover beliefs I’ve had re: patriarchal influence within the older Disney stories (that included the awful archetype of the damsel in distress who just waited for her prince to come save her). However, it should be noted that more current Disney princesses are kicking ass and taking names, apparently.
So, the fact remains, there’s very little princess stuff in our house, but somehow, my little one knew that the big, slightly gaudy – but still totally magical – castle in the middle of the Magic Kingdom was Cinderella’s.
This fascination with Cinderella and all things princessy continued as we came home and EZ recounted with incredible enthusiasm all about how he got to see her castle…to anybody who would listen really.
His best friend is also knee deep in princess-love, and encourages his stories about princesses. And usually, when he goes to visit her, they both end up in sparkly princess dresses with matching fancy shoes. I have absolutely no problem with this, and have even made a point to remember to add some princess gear to our dress up stash (which is woefully meager to begin with…it’s pretty much a bat costume, construction worker wear, pilot’s hat and a bunch of playsilks).
The other day I was working on a homemade “patchwork princess” dress for EZ’s best friend. It was to be a holiday gift for her, and one I knew she’d enjoy. EZ and I talked about what colors he wanted to include, and what he thought it should look like. I was halfway through with the dress’s construction when he suddenly demanded “I want a princess dress too!”
And so… I made him one. Nowhere in my mind did I stop and wonder if it was the right choice. Of course it is. It’s dress up, it’s fun, and it feeds his creativity.
I am still struggling with the response to NerdyAppleBottom, as well as to the general notion that boys shouldn’t wear dresses. I just…don’t get it. I don’t think dressing up in a princess dress will actually turn my son into a princess, just like I don’t think he’ll actually turn into a space ranger from running around as Buzz Lightyear.
If anything, my only concern is that due to my less then stellar sewing skills, my son looks more like Cinderella “before” (you know, when she’s targeted by her evil step sisters and her only friends are birds and mice?) rather than after she’s all done up.
Perhaps EZ needs a fairy godmother? Taking applications now…
All I know is that I got quite the look, and the dress was not deemed “twirly enough” when he wore it for the first time and danced around.
To be fair, all I did was take a t-shirt and sew a patchworked skirt to it, so…it’s back to the sewing machine for me, in hopes that I can create a more twirly dress (or perhaps, it’s off to Goodwill in hopes that I can find a more legit one there!).
The kiddo’s request for his very own princess dress comes at a rather timely moment. Numerous friends have posted this video interview of a mama who wrote a kid’s book based on her own son and his love of fancy dresses.
I certainly applaud this mama for being a much needed voice and showing the world that allowing your little boy to wear a frilly frock isn’t the end of the world. In fact, all it is doing is indulging his creative side – allowing him to express himself. There are no dastardly underlying motives or indoctrination going on. It’s just a kid…being a kid – just with a bit more pink and tulle!