• Tue, May 14 2013

Awesome Five-Year-Old Is Bored With Your Ridiculous Princesses, Wants To Be A Real Hero

shutterstock_117984760When little Emma Moore turned five, she didn’t dress up as Jasmine or Mulan or even Merida. With the help of her photographer mother, Jaime C. Moore, she posed as five amazing women who have shaped U.S. History that kinda put the Disney princesses to shame and made me want to tell my two-year-old all about Helen Keller now.

Moore was surely trolling Pinterest and the like for creative theme ideas for her daughter’s fifth birthday portraits, but all she saw was one variation or another on the princess theme.  Moore and her daughter Emma openly love princesses, but it didn’t feel right for these special pictures.

[I]t got me thinking, they’re just characters, a writers tale of a princess (most before 1998)…an unrealistic fantasy for most girls (Yay Kate Middleton!).
It started me thinking about all the REAL women for my daughter to know about and look up too, REAL women who without ever meeting Emma have changed her life for the better. My daughter wasn’t born into royalty, but she was born into a country where she can now vote, become a doctor, a pilot, an astronaut, or even President if she wants and that’s what REALLY matters. I wanted her to know the value of these amazing women who had gone against everything so she can now have everything.

Moore chose five real idol-worthy women and took her daughter’s picture as she recreated their most famous poses — from the hair to the expression to the outfits. Her daughter Emma stuns as civil rights heroine Susan B Anthony, Coco Chanel (the only fashion designer to appear on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century), aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, 79-year-old British anthropologist Jane Goodall and Helen Keller, famous American author and political activist who was both blind and deaf.

What an amazing idea, right?  Isn’t that so much better than some unrealistic princess who has no bearing on her life? I admit I don’t understand princesses personally, and I have no experience with them thus far in my daughter’s two years. But if my daughter suddenly comes home requesting a polyester princess outfit I doubt I will blink an eye. Yes, I’m glad that she prefers the things her older brother is into like Matchbox cars and Megabloks but I won’t see a princess phase as her downfall if she has one.

Even at this young age I know my daughter will be as awesome as five-year-old Emma Moore. Neither of them strike me as the kind of little girl who is going to sit at home and wait to be rescued by anyone. My daughter doesn’t care about being pretty and she values making people laugh with her expressive personality over her outfit for the day.  Part of that is definitely my doing. Her wardrobe consists of a lot of my son’s hand-me-downs and her praise comes from how high she climbs at the playground rather than her appearance. But honestly, she pretty much came out of the womb this bold and fearless force of nature. Some princess play is not going to change that.

I’m not afraid of princesses, but as soon as I heard Moore’s idea I began to wonder why we even dress our daughters up like royalty we don’t have here in the U.S. I’m starting to think it’s just the lack of options that makes parents buy these pre-packaged doses of instant royalty, complete with dress, mini-high heels and tiara. Simple and easy, I get that. So where are the stories and movies and dolls that turn real life women into fantasies our children can emulate? Wouldn’t you rather buy a pre-packaged piece of history? I know I would snatch up an Amelia Earhart outfit for my daughter in a heartbeat.

The last portrait in the series is one of the little Moore smiling and wearing a pin that says “Emma For President 2044″ with the caption “set aside the Barbie Dolls and the Disney Princesses for just a moment, and let’s show our girls the REAL women they can be.”  Yes! I swear for all their faults and flubs, I’d even put my daughter in a Marissa Mayer or Sheryl Sandberg suit. Why doesn’t Disney market those?

We need more real life options.

(photo: Kuttelvaserova Stuchelova/Shutterstock)

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  • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

    This is amazingly awesome! Love this Carinn

    • http://twitter.com/carinnjade Carinn Jade

      Did you click through to the mom’s site? They are breathtaking photos!!

  • outlaw mama

    I saw these photos this morning and started telling both of my kids about Amelia and Helen and Jane and I added Cher to be cute, but you know, she’s done well for herself too. Great piece!

  • Blueathena623

    Are there lots of real life options for little boys?

    • chickadee

      Yes. Far more than five….

    • Blueathena623

      I guess I don’t know what little boys dress up nowadays. I’m still stuck in preschool world, so my kid would dress up like curious George if he had the choice. Is Pinterest the best place to search for costumes of real people for boys? I’m not finding much on google.

    • chickadee

      Oh hey….I thought you were asking if there were real-life role models of smart men for boys. Because obviously….

    • Blueathena623

      No, my fault. I mis-read the article and got hung up on the sentence “wouldn’t you rather buy a pre-packaged piece of history?” and it made me wonder if there were options for little boys. It was a random thought and I should have read the article closer.

    • chickadee

      Oh, right. And it would be nice if there were commercial costumes that went beyond monsters and superheroes.

    • Blueathena623

      And now I don’t know if I got down voted because I have poor google skills or what.

    • LiteBrite

      I upvoted you to balance it out. :)

  • KB

    This mom is my hero. And that little girl is absolutely gorgeous!

  • chickadee

    I know authors don’t necessarily write the titles, but this one is just incorrect. It’s the mother who is bored by princess role models and sought out other options, not the daughter. I think the mother had a very interesting idea, but it is the mother’s idea, not the daughter’s.

    • http://twitter.com/carinnjade Carinn Jade

      Emma didn’t post anything on the blog herself, but I’m betting you can’t get a little girl to sit for something as detailed and intensive as those portraits if she isn’t fully on board. So, yes, I extrapolated from the mother’s words, but I’d bet it’s pretty on point. She looked thoroughly excited to be portraying real women over princesses, didn’t you think?

    • chickadee

      I understood that this is a yearly tradition, so I think the daughter is accustomed to modelling and would certainly be on board. The author said they selected the women from among some she researched, but she is quite clear that this was her idea. Which is great…but she is very definite that she, the photographer, was looking for something beyond princesses.

      I don’t mean to sound aggressive or anything, but I just don’t think that activist women are that prominent on a five-year-old’s radar that she would insist upon them as the subjects of a session.

  • Whitmore Sinclair Thompsoon

    Puhhleeeeze Ladies! Can you fledgeling mothers be any more insecure? Im sorry but there IS a difference between make believe fantasy characters (spiderman, superman, the incredible hulk) and the real life role models we want to teach our kids about in history class. Your generation of women who have grown up over reacting to the firmly entrenched belief that you are victims have been over reacting to this perception for the better part of 3 decades now and I don’t think I like the results. How about focusing on the true inner qualities such as HONESTY, RESPECT and COMPASSION for Others, Humility and decency instead of going from what you perceive (and often correctly) to be narcissistic and vain superficial bimbos right into their masculine alter ego’s of power and influence. There is a place in between that would serve women and the world a far better lot than the simple emulation of all things male.