In the middle of Ainsley’s Disney Princess Obsession I found a coffee table book about Princess Diana at the library and showed it to her.
She honestly had never considered the fact that there might actually be real princesses. She was as fascinated, if not more, with Princess Diana, Fergie, Duchess of York, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Caroline and any others I could think of. She loved having me Google them on the Internet.
They are really real Princesses? she would ask over and over.
It was actually a great segue way into politics and history lessons. I explained how our ancestors had come from England (we’re American mutts, but some of them did come from England) and other European countries that really do have royalty as a form of government still today.
Then I explained how the pilgrims had come to America and decided having kings and queens wasn’t the best idea. So, we now have presidents and representatives elected by the people who live here. I take her with me to go vote and we talk about how important it is for the people to vote on who leads the country. (When she was two we were leaving the polls and she said, But, Mommy when are we going on the boat?)
But, in England, where Princess Diana lived, they still have princes and princesses, I tell her.
We just watched The Queen together. I would have thought she’d find this boring. But, she made me pause it every single time she had to go to the bathroom. She kept asking who Tony Blair was and how he ruled the country at the same time as the Queen. She can not wait to be able to go to Buckingham Palace in real life. I pointed out that Prince Charles really is just a man and he cheated on his Princess so she divorced him.
Funny side note: the only Barbi-like doll she has is actually a talking Bill Clinton that I bought for my husband for Christmas a few years ago. His foot came off the other day and she said, Oh Mommy, I broke my favorite Bill Clinton that I love to play with! Can’t you fix my Bill Clinton? We also have a talking George Bush giant bobble head which Zack enjoys quite a bit.
Use the Disney Princess Obsession to open the door to teach girls about history and politics. It’s way more empowering that girls will be privileged enough to vote than sitting around hoping for some prince on a white horse to come save them.