Some people considered me a girly girl as a child. I loved the colour pink. I loved wearing dresses and fake high-heels. I loved putting on makeup. I loved having my hair done. I loved playing dress-up. I loved wearing wigs. I loved Disney and Barbie princesses and was always sure that I’d fall in love with the perfect prince someday. This is not uncommon behavior for a child.
However, some people considered me as a tomboy. I always ripped my tights on picture day. I was always running around with the boys at recess, scraping my knees and earning several battle-wounds on the playground. I liked playing in dirt and mud. I didn’t care if I ripped my jeans. I liked exploring. I loved jumping in puddles. This is not uncommon behavior for a child.
I always loved Barbie dolls. I remember always wanting to be pretty and thin and beautiful like them. But who says that the definition of a woman is a tall, thin, sleek-haired, blue-eyed princess? I wish that when I was growing up there were Barbie dolls like we have today. It would’ve been great to look up to the red-haired archer and sword fighter Merida from Disney’s “Brave,” or the elegant warrior from District 9 named Katniss Everdeen from “The Hunger Games.” Yes, I grew up in the time period of Mulan, and Pocahontas, but whenever somebody were to mention a Disney or Barbie “princess”, I would automatically think of Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Clara (from The Nutcracker), Rapunzel, and the Swan Princess. As a child, I associated “beauty” with sparkling gowns, small figures, gals with a ready “Prince Charming”, and skills of dancing and singing. Of course I feel that girls ought to play dress-up and want to live in a castle if they wish, but I also wish that there was more diversity and variety in the female cartoon role models of my generation.
I hope one day that characters like Merida and Mulan are associated as beautiful princesses just the same as Belle and Rapunzel are. Don’t tell me that when you think “princess” the first thing that comes to mind ISN’T a sparkling, pink frilly girl in a dress. It is absolutely acceptable for a young girl to have a “girly-girl” side and a “tomboy” side. It’s a shame that there’s always been more focus on the girly-girls in the media. We should have equal representation of both! The scales are still uneven, but I have hope that in time we will have more balance in this society.