Sayonara to Tiaras: The End of My Daughter's Princess Phase

by Casey Berna

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After being in our lives for almost three years, our dear Disney Princess Phase recently passed away, just five weeks shy of my daughter’s 5th birthday.

“Mom, Princesses are for little kids. I am a BIG kid. I’m interested in things like crafts, baking, decorating and rock stars now.” It was then that I knew it was over.

I was warned by other parents who have experienced this loss that our time with the Princess Phase was limited. After many months of endless sparkly-pink everything, falsetto singing throughout the house, princess dolls, princess stickers, princess outfits and even princess toothbrushes, I admit that I had whole heartedly looked forward to the Princess Phase's demise.

But my friends said, "One day it will be gone, and then you will want it back more than anything.”

Listening to the warning of other parents and seeing the early signs of disenchantment in our daughter, my husband and I decided to book a trip to Disney World this past September to make the most of our last precious Princess days. We had breakfast at Cinderella’s Castle and I begrudgingly made an appointment at the Bippity Boppity Boutique, a service where stylists named “Fairy Godmothers” give your little prince or princess a sparkly makeover.

My husband and I had taken my daughter to Disney World a couple of years ago, when the Princess Phase had just entered our lives. During that first trip, I saw girls coming out the Bippity Boppity Boutique looking like the poor unfortunates on the television show “Toddlers and Tiaras.” I said to my husband in my most judgemental tone, “I will NEVER allow our daughter to do that!”

I am pretty sure that person who came up with the expression “Never say never” is the wisest person in the universe. When my daughter found out that we were going to Disney World a second time she said, “I really wish we can see where the princesses get ready for their day! That would be amazing!”

So there we were, two and half years later, at the Bippity Boppity Boutique in Cinderella’s Castle, watching my baby pick out a pink hair piece and have pink makeup smeared onto every inch of her face. It was the culmination of many years spent together loving all things princess. My daughter was in heaven.

Just three months after our magical trip, the Princess Phase ceased to exist. As I did my shopping this past Christmas, it was bittersweet to first pass the bright pink baby and toddler toys, then pass the many Disney Princess aisles and instead go straight to my daughter’s new world of crafts, Barbie and cake pop decorating kits.

For the first time in a long time, there was nothing Princess related on her Santa list and she did not want a Princess-themed Birthday Party. The death of the Princess Phase was another milestone in my daughter’s development; a sign of her getting bigger and losing some of the magic of her younger years.

Some women’s rights activists feel that the big business of all things Princess is damaging to young girls. They feel that it makes young girls shallow, dependent and brain washed and limits the notion of what it means to be a woman. I disagree. Our family's Princess Phase is survived by my still independent, strong willed, unique daughter.

The lasting legacy that I see is one of kindness, charity, seeing the best in others, being true to one’s self and of course, the love of everything sparkly-pink.

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