Little girls aren’t princesses

When the Popple was born, we received some gifts – clothes, mostly – that labelled her as a princess. Or pretty. Or spoiled.

I wouldn’t let her wear them.

She didn’t care what she wore. I could have dressed her in Tesco carrier bag and she would have just gone with it. That wasn’t the point. My daughter was no princess. How many princesses regularly poo through their clothes? She was just a baby. A farting, burping, screaming baby. I didn’t feel comfortable stereotyping her before she could even lift up her head properly.

I kept coming across these sort of clothes as she got older, and they kept bothering me. I was shopping in a second-hand store just a few weeks ago when I saw this:

Girl's striped shirt that says "Does my bum look big in this?"

This was in the 12-18 month-old section. No small toddler should ever be worrying about the size of their bum, unless it’s because their nappy is so full that it’s sagging halfway down to their knees.

I continued flipping through the rack and came across this gem:

Girl's striped shirt that says "Pampered princess"

‘Pampered princess’ is just a nice way of saying ‘spoiled royal pain in the a**e’.

It kept getting worse.

Girl's shirt that says, "I'm a heart breaker"

NO. Your one-year-old is not a heartbreaker. She is a TODDLER. She may break wind and pretty much everything she touches, but she doesn’t break hearts.

And then there was this:

Girl's shirt with flowers that says 'So pretty..."

It seems so banal, but this shirt annoyed me the most. Yes, our daughters may be pretty, but they are so many other things too. Clever. Determined. Kind. Funny. You’ll never see those things on a shirt, though.

And here’s the worst thing about this shirt: that stupid ellipses.

An ellipses isn’t an accessory that you can just tack on to the end of your sentence to make it look trendy. It’s an actual type of punctuation with an actual purpose – to imply an intentional omission in a sentence, which leaves your readers to fill in the blank.

So pretty…that no one seems to be interested in anything else, even though I can turn five pairs of Mama’s underwear into one awesome necklace, make great noises by banging on stuff and take off my own bib mid-meal. I HAVE AMAZING SKILLS THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH MY LOOKS.

How would your daughter fill in the blank?

30 Comment

  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! I completely agree. This drives me to distraction! we also don’t let our daughter wear these kinds of statements.

  2. Urrrrgh.

    Still, I heard ‘prinny’ once. That sounds like slang for fanny. AWFUL.
    Fran @ Whinge Whinge Wine recently posted…Big boy bed: The cot-to-bed transitionMy Profile

  3. LOVE this! I have all the hate for these sort of slogan clothes. It’s so demeaning. One of the reasons I didn’t find out the gender of the Child was so we wouldn’t be inundated with pink or blue stuff. Finding unisex stuff that isn’t white though is a nightmare though.

  4. I’m always lost for words when I see yet another horrid slogan on children’s clothing. The gender stereotypical ones annoy me, but “Does my bum look big in this?” really takes the biscuit. It’s absolutely disgusting.

    I’m pretty sure if my daughter could have a slogan right now, it’d be “champion farter”. #EatSleepBlogRT
    Sarah – Mum & Mor recently posted…7 Ways I’m Cutting Costs For My WeddingMy Profile

  5. I’m with Sarah (above!) my daughters blank would be ‘I fart like my dad and I’m
    proud of it!’. I am always a bit disturbed with young girls clothing. Kids clothes with bizarre slogans and outfits that I’m pretty sure my mum wouldn’t have,et me wear as a teenager!! Great post!!! #EatSleepBlogRT

  6. YES! I have written a similar post about the labels on girls clothes and how I hate princess on clothes and what it is implying. Grrrrr. I will rant so I should stop. I once had an argument with a shop assistant in Clarks because my youngest girl wanted a pair of blue trainers with cars on it and the shop assistant said that she couldn’t because they were for boys!!!! #EatSleepBlogRT
    Emma recently posted…We have a shop!My Profile

  7. I totally agree with you. Having said that, some are cute. But not the first t-shirt about the bum size! That is ridiculous and then we wonder why teens get complexed about their body! #EatSleepBlogRT

  8. My son is saved from such logos – his wardrobe is slogan / smutty phrase free. I don’t even allow brand names on him. He is 3 not a publicity board for a large cooperation. Completely agree with you #EatSleepBlogRT

  9. I’d love nothing more than a little girl, and I know this would infuriate me beyond belief! X

  10. So true! Had a good giggle about the bum looking big due to an overfull nappy! #fartglitter
    oddhogg recently posted…Banchory Beer FestivalMy Profile

  11. So so true. This really resonated with me. I got so angry with gap buying clothes for my son…apparently they were girls clothes and they told me they were cut differently. The size? Six – nine months. The cut? A lower, tighter cut than the boys…I could write for a long time about all of this. #bigpinklink
    Lucy at occupation: (m)other recently posted…LaughterMy Profile

  12. I totally agree with you here! And you’re right about it being mostly girls clothes! I think I’m going to be quite fussy with what my baby is dressed in when he/she is here!
    Also laughed at the full nappy big bum comment! You’re so right!

  13. This is great! I can’t stand the girls clothes these days. I’m now at the stage where my almost 8 yo wants all the clothes with the words and phrases (or cut improperly for her age) and I’m trying very hard to teach her about it all.
    #EatSleepBlogRT
    ~Jess

  14. Love this post. My daughter would never wear any of that crap #fatglitter
    jeremy@thirstydaddy recently posted…An “OK” Dad DayMy Profile

  15. What you said – totally. I can’t be doing with crap stereotyping and insipid slogans on teeshirts. The other day I bought my daughter a t-shirt with a slogan about adventure written by Amelia Earhart (famous early pilot), much more empowering. You got me thinking about……..I use them all the time….
    Fab post. #fartglitter

  16. Amazing read! I hope that clothes designer would give us what our kids really need which is comfort as oppose to those words that labels them into something they are not!

    #EatSleepBlogRT
    Merlinda Little (Glimmer of Hope) recently posted…Third WheelMy Profile

  17. Totally agree with everything you said in this post. Hate that we are gender stereotyping our kids so much! I think boys clothes are just as bad TBH covered in star wars or super heros or dressed up in buttoned down shirts to look like daddy and everything blue! Come on clothing designers… #FartGlitter
    An imperfect mum (Catie) recently posted…Book Corner: The Night PiratesMy Profile

  18. I love this so much! You are clearly on the same wavelength as me when it comes to this topic. I hate little girls being referred to as princesses, and the other examples you show are equally rage-inducing!
    #eatsleepblogrt
    Beta Mummy recently posted…Beta Mummy Cooks…LasagneMy Profile

  19. A great post. I enjoyed reading this and I agree whilst my daughter is a princess she is also many other things and I like her to wear a variety of clothes. Angela from Daysinbed 🙂 popping over from #eatsleepblogrt

  20. I totally agree with you. Why are we trying to dress our tots like teenagers when they only really tolerate clothes to wipe their dinner on and to keep the mud off their bodies? Quite rightly too! “Princess” makes me gag, and I have spotted the “Does my bum look big in this?” slogan before and it made my teeth hurt. Very well said. Thanks for linking with #fartglitter x

  21. I absolutely agree! I’ve seen these awful slogan items of clothing, and it totally makes me cringe. I saw a news story the other day, where New Look got into a lot of trouble for having pyjamas in their age 9-15 clothing range, with a picture of a pizza on, saying ‘cheat day.’ How absolutely awful to suggest that girls of that age should be on a diet, or even be worrying about what the concept of a cheat day is. I have two boys, so there isn’t much out there for them, in the way of these slogan things, (but I have seen the odd few,) but I wouldn’t allow them to wear them, preferring to stick to clothes adorned with whatever they’re into-bikes and cars usually!
    #bigpinklink
    This Mum’s Life recently posted…The Big Pink Link Week 27My Profile

  22. Rachel (Lifeofmyfamilyandme) says: Reply

    Oh what sort of slogans are these on little toddlers clothing! So pretty… you’ve no idea those pigtails turn into devil horns! Thanks for linking up to #EatSleepBlogRt
    Rachel (Lifeofmyfamilyandme) recently posted…#EatSleepBlogRt Linky Week 2My Profile

  23. I so agree with this! I HATE HATE HATE the Ickle princess clothes rubbish you can get. My youngest is no princess! She is nicknamed ‘the scruff’ in our house. And it is a good job she isn’t all ‘princessey’ as she starts school Sept in a class of 15, 12 of which are boys! These slogan clothes are vomit-inducing but seem so popular…which is a worry in itself.. great post x Kathy

  24. I agree I hate some of these clothes with their ridiculous slogans. No wonder our children grow up worrying about how they look and expecting everyone to love them! I have to say for Pudding the shirt would say So Pretty… until I can’t poop and then I scream like a banshee and scratch your eyes out #EatSleepBlogRT
    Petite Pudding recently posted…Top Tips for Raising Children with DogsMy Profile

  25. This is a subject I am passionate about. I hate these kind of clothes too! I made a rule when my daughter was born, “No words on clothes please”, just to stop her grandparents buying this kind of stuff. And we still got some that slipped through and I took straight to the charity shop. It’s not just girls either. I saw a baby boy in a onesie that said, “Lock up your daughters!” I know there are more important things to deal with like obesity and equality and curing cancer and world peace, but I really think there should be a law against these kind of clothes. Thanks for writing this post. #Chucklemums

  26. I’m back for #chucklemums and usually I don’t comment twice but I even read it a second time because I agree so much with everything. My daughter has decided that now, in fact, she is a princess. But that’s OK. She’s almost three. Not a baby.
    Fran @ Whinge Whinge Wine recently posted…The working mum experience: Part 1My Profile

  27. I have commented previously on this one but it is a post that I particularly loved so popping back again for #chucklemums.
    Thanks for linking up!

  28. I agree! I have a daughter and when she was younger it was really hard to avoid slogans like this. Now she’s in older girls clothes it’s a bit easier but you’re completely right.

    Would also like to see the underwear necklace!
    #chucklemums
    Jenny recently posted…Mum QuestionsMy Profile

  29. Jane likes wearing pretty things. Her brothers are autistic so we did Makaton sign language with her as much as talking. I’ll never forget walking around s mall on a family holiday and the whole ten of us (relatives came along too) stopped when the girl in my buggy was pointing and signing diamonds as we walked past a jewellery shop – oh dear I thought! But with two older brothers at least she’s wearing her princess dress whilst climbing trees and playing football 😉

  30. Susie - This Is Me Now says: Reply

    Ha ha ha! Love your writing, so funny. Is it bad that I’ve never really thought about this before?! I don’t think we have any princess type wording clothing now but definitely had some ‘mummy/daddy’s little angel’ type stuff when she was worn. But yes, ‘does my bum look big in this?’ – Who commissioned that for production for a 12-18 month old?!

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