A Four-Year-Old’s Letter to Hillary Clinton

[Caveat Up Front: This is not a political post. I don’t care to know your politics and I know you don’t care to know mine.]

“Is a girl going to be the President?!”

Beanie, our 4-year-old daughter, has been excitedly asking people this for weeks.

We don’t really talk politics around the kids, but we tend to have the TODAY Show or Good Morning America on in the mornings, so the kids hear some of the topics of the day.

Tonight, Beanie asked us again, so we talked to her about Hillary Clinton, the front-runner to be the Presidential nominee for the Democrats in 2016.

We talked about her job in the Senate, helping the people of New York. And then talked about her job as Secretary of State, representing the United States around the world. She was in awe learning about a “girl” doing such important jobs.

[Bug, our two-year-old, stopped running around the kitchen to ask if she visited Anna and Elsa in Arendelle. We assured him she did.]

We explained that people will vote for who they think should be President later this year.

Our daughter’s mind was working overtime processing all of this information. She disappeared for a few minutes and came back with paper and a crayon. She said nothing to us, but proceeded to sit at our kitchen table and write. Occasionally she would ask us how to spell key words. When we realized what was happening, we were awe-struck. Beanie was writing a letter to Hillary. She wanted to write a letter to Hillary Clinton to tell her how happy she was that a girl (like herself) might be President.  Here is what she wrote:

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[Transcript – To: Hillary: I am Beanie. I hope you will be the President. You are the best. Love, Beanie]

No matter what your politics, this is an incredible time. Barriers are being shattered all over the United States, allowing for more people to see people like themselves in positions of power.

The current President is African-American. The Democrats have Clinton and an independent-minded Jewish Senator as their final two potential nominees. The Republicans have a celebrity businessman, a career public servant, and a Senator of Cuban heritage as their final three.

Of course, these people are more than just these titles. But it’s amazing that these nominees represent a cross-section of the American populace, allowing everyone to dream as big as possible…even…especially…a four-year-old girl.

 

 

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Leia: The Perfect Princess

We worked really, really, really, really hard not to “genderize” our kids.

We had a simple philosophy: let them play and explore and be kids without forcing them into stereotypical gender roles.

Our son hosts intricate tea parties and likes bulldozers and firetrucks.

Our daughter is a rough-and-tumble kid who loves both Queen music and unicorns and rainbows.

So the next step after unicorns and rainbows is princesses. The classic princesses, like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and the like, exist to be married to a prince. And that’s about it.

Disney has done such an incredible job over the past 20 years in reshaping the image of “princesses” to reflect so many cultures and ethnicities…but don’t neglect how they have also evolved into independent, skilled role models, like Merida and Mulan. When discussing the “princesses,” we focus on their talents and abilities, not just their partners.

With the recent release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we showed our kids the original trilogy.

Watching my daughter watch the first Star Wars was an amazing experience. Her world was literally expanding in front of her eyes. Light sabers, Jedis, SPACE! Her jaw was pretty much on the floor for the entire film.

But nothing topped “her.”

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1977 Lucasfilm Promotional Image

Princess Leia.

A princess like she had never seen before.

Princess Leia fought side-by-side not just WITH the heroes, but AS a hero.

You can use a dozen words to describe Princess Leia in the original Star Wars before you even begin to consider stereotypical femininity. Not that she isn’t feminine, but that is such a small part of her character in the first movie.

She was smart, strategic, aggressive, courageous, brash, witty, resourceful, perceptive, adventurous, commanding. To be honest, it’s easy to forget that she’s a princess.

For my daughter, this was the most amazing depiction of a “girl” on-screen she had ever seen. A princess that was the antithesis of dainty and proper opened new doors in her imagination.

In the two months since seeing the original Star Wars, she:

1) talks about Princess Leia just about every day

2) wants to dress up as her, hair and all

3) is now OBSESSED with space and astronomy. She has spent weeks learning about all the planets in the solar system.

The role models our kids choose for themselves shape how they view the world.  Thank goodness my daughter chose Princess Leia and the light side of the Force.