Many years ago, when I was a young mom with two young daughters, we loved a cartoon we called “the dainty lady.” All three of us, deeply attuned to “tomboy values” like climbing trees and rescuing worms from rainy sidewalks, laughed with delight at the pink-and-white ruffled and flouncing Mary Sunshine, who ends her flutey song about “11” by falling into some mud. “Ewww, mud!” we laughed. We were not afraid of mud. We would never, ever be dainty ladies.
Is it harder today, to raise confident daughters, in a world that sells princess fantasies to little girls? The hyperfeminine flirty-girl was just a figure of fun to long-ago Sesame Street ( the clip first aired in a 1973 episode featuring Stevie Wonder, wow!.) But turn off the sound and the dainty lady looks a lot like a princess.
For a cheerier note, here’s an article I found from Twitter, whose Spanish title translates as “I don’t want to be a princess. I want to be a quantum physicist and study antimatter!” There’s a lot of cool stuff to do besides quantum physics, of course. But it helps at the start to climb lots and lots of trees.