My daughter Maggie is only 3 but she already knows what she wants to be when she grows up.
But not just any princess. She wants to be a beautiful princess. And preferably, one who wears pink dresses. And does ballet.
Three years ago, I despised the princess craze. Why would I—I thought at the time—want my daughter to chase after an unattainable physical beauty that only resides in fantasies and Hollywood-style Disney movies?
But here I am, three years later, with a daughter who wants nothing more than to be pretty and to wear nail polish, and who wakes up every morning wanting to don the latest princess fashion.
How did I get here? Believe me, I didn’t promote it.
As much as I’d love to blame Disney, I really can’t. If I did that, then I might as well blame the football manufacturer who designed the kiddie pigskin her twin brother recently used to break a light bulb. Just as he is naturally attracted to physical activity, she has a natural yearning to be physically beautiful. And that latter concept terrifies me.
It scares me to think about my daughter growing up in a culture where a simple trip to the grocery store can turn into a fleshly battle, with society screaming at every turn: “You’re not beautiful enough!” There, on the billboard, is the perfect-looking Hollywood star, telling anyone who happens to look: “This is what you should look like.” And there, on the cover of the checkout-line magazine, is that same woman, only this time she’s lost half of her clothes and is promoting a “secret” diet and exercise routine that helped her lose all of that baby weight and get back down to 98 pounds!
Unless you have $50 million, a live-in nannie, a personal trainer, time to burn and an air brush, who can compete with that? Our culture’s objectification of women is to be loathed, but thankfully, Scripture gives us a better option. So what will I tell my daughter? This: