I have two daughters. My house is covered in pink and glitter. They love dolls and princesses. But we also have cars and blocks and footballs and plenty of other “non-girly” toys as well.
My oldest has a shirt that says, “Girls Can Do It All.” It has pictures of a female doctor, firefighter, police officer, scientist, and mathematician. It goes right along with the big push right now for STEM and attracting more females to science and math fields. I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment of the shirt – I did buy it after all. I truly believe that she can do anything she sets her mind to, but that is not limited to the careers pictured on her shirt.
Lately, I have seen many viral posts, comments, and articles floating around social media that seem to herald the girl that chooses superhero costumes over princess dresses, plays with cars, loves insects, and doesn’t play with dolls or other such “girly things” as deemed so by society. We seem to be praising the “non-girly” girls – the ones that choose things that aren’t pink, that are gender neutral or stereotypically ”boy.” But, why? Is it somehow better for a girl to prefer digging in the mud than playing with dolls? Is it a sign of a stronger girl if they choose a superhero costume, rather than a pink princess dress (all while we say boys are “secure in their masculinity” if they wear pink?)?
I have a princess loving, worm digging, tough as nails, artistic, wanna be doctor and she is perfect just the way she is. I will encourage her interests. I will let her try new things. I will embrace her love of pink and all things girly. I will continually tell her that she can do anything she wants to do. Whether it be a doctor or a teacher or a mommy. I do not want to stifle any part of her. I do not want her to think that being a doctor is more important or somehow a better choice than being a teacher, because it is one of the chosen STEM careers, while education is a typically female-dominated field. She can wear whichever dress up clothes she chooses and play with whatever toys most interest her and spark her creativity. We should shout it from the rooftops that our girls (and our boys, too!) can do anything and be anything they set their minds to and makes them happy. Let’s encourage creativity and individuality in our kids, no matter what that means to them.