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In what may appear a rather morbid exercise, I’ve been asked by Compare the Market to pen a letter to my daughter for her to read in the event of my death.
I guess I didn’t look at it in a negative way. I found the exercise a great way to look back on our time together and distill my parenting experiences and approach within a piece of writing.
Here’s a taster from my letter:
You will probably always remember I had a bit of a bias towards all things Star Wars and superhero. Sorry about that. It’s stuff I loved since I was a kid and wanted to share with you – and it never occurred to me that I shouldn’t do that because you’re a girl.
My goal was always to enable these geeky things to get a fair go in your affections against the almighty Princess Industrial Complex. If it wasn’t for me, you would have been getting the message from everywhere – shops, peers, media – that all girls like Princesses, all boys like Star Wars and superheroes. I wanted to make sure you knew that wasn’t true, that being either a boy or girl does not define what you like.
As you know, I loathe princesses – not because it’s considered (stereotypically) ‘girly’ but because the whole concept sends damaging messages to girls: You must be beautiful and wear pretty clothes so that you can attract and marry a prince who will enable you live happily ever after.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to live your life with the partner of your dreams. I mean, that’s what I did with your mother. But there are many other things to define your life by than the mate you attract and end up with. That’s the message of princess culture, and it is limiting girls’ aspirations.
To read the rest of my letter to my daughter, please head to the Letters of Life page.