|Bella in blue.|
People like Melissa at Pigtail Pals and Crystal at the Achilles Effect and all the commenters on their Facebook pages (Pigtail Pals here; Achilles Effect here) sucked me right out of my vacuum and inspired me to challenge the gender limitations my girl has crashed into since starting preschool.
Along with crying at the sheer goodness of seeing so many girls embracing all the vibrant colors and interests this world offers, I've decided to go for the teachable moment.
Like a true suburban guerrilla activist, I've asked Bella's teacher if I can come in to do a story and activity with Bella's class. We'll be reading Not All Princesses Dress In Pink, The Paper Bag Princess, and My Name Is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can A Girl Dream?
I decided on those three (or however many we get through) because they allow girls to be princesses without having to be copycat, cookie cutter, Stepford molds of each other. You can play princess and still wear blue shoes or love dinosaurs or want to work on the car. You can do all things -- whether they are "for boys" or "for girls."
My intention for my time in the class is not to make Bella's experience an example or hammer these kids over the head with my beliefs. My intention is to help each child reframe their beliefs on what's acceptable for boys and girls, and help them start pushing back against those limitations the adults in their lives have given them.