‘Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl in a high tower guarded by a dragon. One day, Prince Charming came and saved her from the dreaded dragon.’ That’s how bedtime stories used to go, the princess – in pink – waiting for a prince to save the day. That’s how many female characters in the story books are portrayed, especially in fairytales. If you were to pick up an original version of Grimms’ Fairytales, though, there are a few stories of the heroines saving themselves, such as in “The Robber Bridegroom” and “The Fitcher’s Bird”, but it’s the stories where little girls grow up to be princesses that live happily ever after that seem to be the ones made into movies and merchandise, for a while influencing the goals and and results that girls should aspire to.
Well, change has been a long time coming, and as parents we want to give the best for our children and that includes making sure they are comfortable of being themselves. No longer should we reinforce stereotypes to our children and instead we help them develop their own preferences. One of the small steps in fighting off stereotypes is through bedtime stories, such as these books that defy gender roles that could inspire your children to be more than just a princess. Yes, they can still be a princess if they want to, but a princess that does more and uses her “princessness” to make the world a better place would be much more ideal.
Feminist Bedtime Stories For The Un-Princess
Here are our picks of 5 interesting feminist bedtime stories that are perfect for your girls.
1. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Most historical figures in textbooks are male. However, not many know the tales of brave women in history such as Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator, mathematics pioneer Ada Lovelace and the courageous Malala Yousaifzai. The stories in the book are inspired by true stories of extraordinary women illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world.
2. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
If your daughter is interested in science, this is the perfect book for her. It is filled with true stories of remarkable women and their achievements in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This book will inspire them and give them a role model in the science field to look up to.
3. Not All Princesses Dress in Pink
This story book teaches girls that princesses do not have to be prim and proper all the time. It talks about the princesses’ daily lives and how they dress and act. Sometimes they wear a gown that’s not pink and play football with baggy shirt and shorts while wearing a crown. The perfect book to let girls know that they can dress to be comfortable and they don’t always have to dress to impress.
4. The Paper Bag Princess
Instead of the princess being kidnapped by the dragon, it’s the prince’s turn to be kidnapped! This princess wears a paper bag when the dragon burned all her clothes. She also plays the knight in shining armor (or knight in wrinkly paper bag), challenging the dragon in order to save her prince.
It teaches girls that they don’t have to play the damsel in distress. They have the power to take matters into their own hands and save the day!
5. Princess Smartypants
One of the royal princes’ expected role is to marry a prince and live happily ever after. But this princess is different, she enjoys being single. In order to stay that way, she created ridiculous and humorous ways of scaring off her suitors.
This story is entertaining and shows how girls can be smart, brave, fun and a princess at the same time. Being princesses do not limit them to the stereotypes of marrying a prince to get their happily ever after.
All books featured are available at Kinokuniya.
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