Emily: Ah, I have a wonderful idea! Have you ever worn a tiara?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. To emphasize this concept she might have a Sweet Tooth because Real Men Hate Sugar. While somewhat rare, it can happen with little boys, but in a different way. At around the time they learn the differences between genders, they may have an infatuation with femininity and look at girls differently than before. In short, they may be more likely to have a crush on princesses during their phase. 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.
Rory: Well, when I was four...
Emily: You look like a princess.
Rory: Well, when I was four...
Emily: You look like a princess.
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Anime & Manga
Films - Animation
- 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.
- Scarlet Overkill from Minions apparently grew up unloved and thought that becoming a princess or queen would make up for that. Years later, she's still stuck in that phase. She achieved success and infamy as a supervillain, but she still has her heart set on being crowned. In preparation for her coronation, she demands that the dressmaker copy the princess drawing she made as a five-year-old and blows him out of the palace with rockets when he balks at the idea. At the very end of the film, having lost everything she's built up in her life thanks to the Minions' antics, she still thinks she's won because she at least managed to snatch the crown again right before she and Herb are frozen by kid Gru, who takes the crown from her.
Films - Live Action
- 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.
- 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...
- In Girl Genius, Big Bad Zola 'Heterodyne' aka Zola Anya Talinka Venia Zeblinkya Malfeazium, cousin to Agatha Heterodyne exploits this trope enormously, successfully convincing multiple characters that the only reason she's agreed to pretend to be the Heterodyne is because of the pretty dresses and fancy parties. It really, really isn't. She turns out to be one of the most formidable antagonists in the comic to date.
Zola: Once I'm settled in as the Heterodyne, I shall have a big, fancy party! And I'll wear a pretty dress, and I'll dance with all the boys - but mostly you, of course.
Zola: [a long while later] ...and gold and pearl beads on the lace trim! And for you-
Tiktoffen: We're safe, my lady.
Gil: Safe from what? The fashion police?
Tiktoffen: The Castle. We're in a dead zone now. Before, it could hear everything we said.
Zola: I want the Castle to underestimate me. Surely you didn't as well?
- 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.
- Lola Loud The Loud House is a six-year-old who dresses up like a princess, complete with a pearl necklace, sash and tiara. Unusually, her male version, Lexx, goes through a prince phase. He's decked in a pink scarf (according to concept art, he was originally decked entirely in pink) and a prince crown.
- Implied with Ella in Total Drama Pahkitew Island. She acts and dresses as a fairy tale princess even though she's a teenager.