This Mom Added Empowering Messages To Her Daughter’s Princess Book

It’s hard to find a little girl who doesn’t want to be a princess, and while there’s nothing wrong with wanting to dress up in fancy clothes and embrace your inner royalty, we still want our daughters to have big aspirations that go beyond just looking pretty. Many princess stories, however, don’t exactly prioritize much beyond having striking looks and falling in love. Tired of these shallow messages, one mother set out to fix that.

Danielle Lindemann, an assistant professor of sociology at Lehigh University, gave her soon-to-be 3-year-old daughter the Disney-brand “What Is A Princess?” book, and she was disheartened by the messaging.

“Like a lot of ‘princess’ stuff one sees out there, it presented such a limited range of options for femininity,” she told The Huffington Post. “I thought I’d jazz it up a bit.”

She then went in and added some personal touches to the story that she thought would be less shallow and more empowering for her daughter. “A princess is kind” turned into “A princess is kind of a badass,” and the sentence “A princess likes to dress up” had “in her medical scrubs when she goes to work as a neurosurgeon” tacked on at the end.


Lindemann found her edits amusing, and she ended up posting them on Facebook, without the intention of many people seeing them. A friend then suggested she submit her work to Sociological Images, and it went viral from there. The response was mostly positive, with people either finding her additions funny or rethinking these harmful gender stereotypes altogether. But she did receive some backlash, which had Lindemann questioning “Why does the idea of Cinderella being a neurosurgeon get to people that much?”


Her daughter, on the other hand, was not bothered by the changes, and in Lindemann’s words, “She just rolled with it. Maybe because it made complete narrative sense to her. Why wouldn’t Cinderella have sparkly shoes and be a neurosurgeon?”

[h/t: Huffington Post]