Princess Phase

Charlotte never grows out of that phase.

Emily: Ah, I have a wonderful idea! Have you ever worn a tiara?
Rory: Well, when I was four...
Emily: You look like a princess.

If you ask a girl who's in preschool or kindergarten she'll probably know that Everything's Better with Princesses. She will have a fairy tale princess's attitude making her anywhere between a gracious but breakable cutie to a Tiny Tyrannical Girl who might feel entitled to a pony. Bonus points if she is a fan of the Disney Princesses.

She is or acts like she's seven years old at the most. Princesses Prefer Pink so that's probably her favorite color. She'll imagine herself as a pretty princess or pretend to be a princess bride. Her court will be consist of stuffed animals and dolls. She might want a Prince Charming by her side as long as she still gets to be her Daddy's Girl, looking up to him as if he's a king. If you tried to explain it to her she wouldn't understand why Girls Need Role Models. To emphasize this concept she might have a Sweet Tooth because Real Men Hate Sugar.

If early childhood isn't specifically mentioned it might fall under Princess for a Day or Everything's Better with Princesses.

This trope is so strongly associated with childhood that a teenage or adult woman still clinging to this attitude cannot but come across as childish. Still, even those who grow out of it will still cling to a wistful shred or two: a taste for romance and a Prince Charming, or a pretty gown they twirl around in when no one is watching. The wedding industry in particular is built around letting women be a "princess" for a day.

Compare Real Men Wear Pink (where there's a little princess in each manly man), Pink Means Feminine, Graceful Ladies Like Purple.

Contrast One of the Boys.


Animated Films
  • In The Princess and the Frog, Charlotte LaBouff is firmly in this stage when we see her and Tiana as young girls in the opening — her room filled to the brim with pink frilly dresses, tiaras, and fairytale accessories while she moons over a fairytale read by Tiana's mother. Flash forward fifteen or so years, and we find very little has changed.
  • Barbie: Princess Charm School: Emily is so firmly in the phase that, being too young to register in the princess school, she did it for her big sister instead.

  • In at least one film version of A Little Princess, Sara Crewe lives such a charmed life that she not only fancies herself a princess but says that all girls are princesses. She's nearly a teenager but it fits since it takes place in the Victorian period which is when the phase came from so it is probably expected to last longer. It's worth noting that Sara's idea of being a princess does not mean it entitles you to be a spoiled brat.
  • When Vivian of Pretty Woman was a little girl she would pretend she was a princess... trapped in a tower by a wicked queen. And then suddenly this knight... on a white horse with these colors flying would come charging up and draw his sword. And she would wave. And he would climb up the tower and rescue her.

Live-Action TV
  • One day Manny of Degrassi imagines herself as Cinderella with Craig as her Prince. Craig likes her but says that he can't kiss her because she reminds him of his five year old sister.
  • Lana Lang's first scene on Smallville shows her as a child of three pretending to be a fairy princess — which is unfortunately immortalized forever, as that is what she was wearing when the meteors fall.
  • Rory Gilmore of Gilmore Girls doesn't want her grandmother to make her into a princess as she thinks of it as being something for small children.

  • Mentioned by Taylor Swift in "The Best Day", when describing early memories of her and her mother.
    There is a video I found from back when I was three...
    It's the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs...

Newspaper Comics

Web Original
  • Discussed in Shadowjack Watches Sailor Moon:
    What I find fascinating about the series is that it really is girl power in action. It does not take traditionally "masculine" action tropes and simply gender swap them, no, and it does not deny or condemn the attraction of the pretty princess fantasy. Instead, it takes all the "feminine" girly stuff like frilly princess dresses and pink unicorns and makes them into implements of power. The hypothetical girl in the audience is being told that she can be as girly as she likes and still dream of growing up into power and responsibility. Feminine articles are not shackles or playthings to be eschewed, or tools good only for obtaining the approval of men — they are treated as cool and desirable things, in and of themselves.
    Boy craziness is even part of this, in the way they make the knightly romance fantasy an active one. The girls wanna be swept off their feet by a handsome knight, and, damn it, they're gonna go out there and find that handsome knight and make sure he does it.