The day my best friend’s 5-year-old daughter showed up for her school Halloween costume contest, she was crushed. Lindsay had every intention of showing off how fierce she was as a girl Power Ranger, but came back crying that she didn’t want to dress up because every other girl in her class was a princess.
Her mom used all the powers in her arsenal to reassure her daughter that she didn’t need to wear a crown or sparkly pink dress to feel special and pretty. But given society’s infatuation with princess imagery and feminine ideals, you can bet she’ll need to emphasize that message many times during her daughter’s grade school years.
Fortunately, not everything fits the princess mold. More and more stories are being developed with complex female characters. Here, we round up the community’s favorite movies that portray girls in a more positive and complex light. They’re not only entertaining but also can help remind your child that there’s no need to wear pink or purple and wait for Prince Charming to have a happy ending.