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Hey ,

I've been thinking recently about role models.  And I came to this interesting realization...for many girls, our first exposure to a lead female character (outside of our family) is a Disney princess.  And I'm not sure I'm okay with this.  

While I remember watching Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid as a child, I don’t remember being enamored with them.  And now that I have a daughter of my own, I'm really not a fan.

Why?

I think they focus waaaaay too much on the idea that a prince will make life all better. 

And let me qualify this by also saying that I'm not man-hating here.  Of course, we all want our daughters to grow up and find a partner that respects and cares for her deeply, but should we really encourage them to wait on someone else to make their dreams come true?

Our older daughter, who is 5, loves to role play with her dolls and each time she tells me "pretend they are married" - it's usually Prince Eric and Ariel.  And I'm like "why do they always have to be married, why can't Ariel be a great explorer or a teacher or a scientist?"  It bothers me.

I think some of these movies teach little girls that a prince will come along to save the day and make all their dreams come true.  I've got news for you sweetheart...YOU control your future, YOU have the power to decide what's best for YOU! 

To consider someone else's opinion above your own is saying you have more confidence in them than you do in yourself.  I'm not okay with that!  I believe we need to teach our girls to stand on their own, to be brave and independent, as well as the traditional feminine characteristics of being loving, kind and empathetic (and when all forces combine together these traits make women amazing leaders and business owners).

(I do fully acknowledge that Disney has introduced princesses who focus on making their own dreams come true. These are stories I can get on board with.)

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Perhaps there's a greater conversation out there...in fact I KNOW there is, but I can't help but to make the observation that how we are introduced to female characters has an impact on how we view life as we get older.

I see so many women who are brilliant, smart and super talented yet struggle with lacking full confidence, feeling guilty (and selfish) for dreaming big dreams and fearing making a mistake (almost as if they are waiting on permission from someone else to succeed).

I worry every day about my daughter's future - I know her struggles and her brilliance, and I worry she'll let fear get the best of her.  I try to work really hard at teaching her it's okay to make mistakes because that means she's learning; and learning leads to knowledge and knowledge is powerful.  And I'll do the same for the baby as she continues to learn and develop.  

Yes, we want to protect our children from pain, heartbreak and failure.  But we also want them to succeed and most importantly, to be happy. 

I believe happiness and success are achieved by working through struggle, having faith, building confidence and trusting in your abilities.  Not waiting on someone else to make your dreams come true. 

At the end of my life, if I have raised two happy, confident and compassionate women, I will have considered my work on this earth a success.  


,
what you do and how you do it matters.  Who you are and what you have to offer matters.
How do you define success?

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I am thrilled to invite you to join me for a #FemaleFounder social experiment.  Join me over at WE Street Society, a place for both aspiring and growing women entrepreneurs to come for support, accountability and guidance.

Success is rarely achieved in solitude!  Come on over and share with us how YOU define success.


Cheers to your success!
Shelly Brockman, MBA
Creator, The Moxie Project + SheStarts A Business

PS.  Check out the behind the scenes story of The Moxie Project in this interview on LeadHer Lessons podcast.

P.P.S.   Do you agree?  Are these Disney princesses a good role model?  Let me know what you think - am I right or off base?


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