Disclosure: Diary of a First Time Mom is proud to be a member of the Netflix Stream Team! Each month, we’ll share our stories about the shows we’re watching and how we’re making memories. #StreamTeam Dear Diary, A couple of weeks ago, I was undressing my daughter at bath time when she stopped me from pulling her shirt completely off. She pretended that the shirt was her hair–her long, silky straight hair. A smile spread across her face, which lit up like a Christmas tree. She pranced around the bathroom, tossing the sleeves over her shoulders and saying she was a princess. Although I remember doing the same thing as a child, I didn’t want to pass that game down to my daughter. Why? She told me that she didn’t like her hair–her short, curly-kinky hair. I told her she had very nice hair, and that mommy liked it. That wasn’t enough. My toddler, although too young to realize it, let society define beauty. And not even society as a whole, rather the small group of people who made casting decisions for television shows and movies. The ones writing parts played by women with hair flowing down their backs. Times have changed since I was a little girl. My daughter’s favorite shows are filled with characters of color, however for the most part, the princesses all have long locks. Locks my daughter tries to recreate with towels and shirts. I told her, mommy has short hair. Do you like mommy’s hair? Her answer–No, I like my stepmother’s hair (which is long and straight). I agreed that her stepmother’s hair was quite nice and then informed her that good hair comes in lots of textures, colors and lengths. I gave examples of friends and family with different styles. Still, she wasn’t convinced. I’m sure I read way too deep into her behavior, but I grew up hearing comments about nappy hair being bad or long hair being more attractive. Fortunately, I had a healthy level of self-esteem. I also had long, straight hair for the most part, until maybe middle school. So, the negative comments were made to me about other people. Still, not right. And still, I wanted hair like my bi-racial best. She could wear her long hair straight or curly, depending on her mood. And I witnessed my other friend get picked on for having very coarse hair. I want my daughter to know that Black is beautiful. That good hair is well maintained hair. That her short, kinky locks are fit for a queen. Netflix is helping me instill that confidence with the cartoon Little Princess—a cute cartoon starring a short hair princess. Based on the best-selling children’s books by author-illustrator Tony Ross, this animated series follows the curious and charming Little Princess on exciting adventures, mainly taking place inside the castle. And the characters have accents, like one of my daughter’s favorite cartoon Peppa Pig. When I played the Little Princess on my computer at a hotel recently, Caitlynn told me that she wanted to take the shirt off of her head. Ever since, her pretend play rarely involves a headdress. She even asks to watch the show each day before heading to preschool. Since Netflix streams three seasons of the show (countless ten-minute episodes!), there’s always a new and delightful program to tune into. I’m sure Caitlynn isn’t scratching her head and pondering on the perceptions of hair types. I’m sure she doesn’t know the historical roots of chemical relaxers and weaves. She most like won’t go to great lengths to understand the deeper meaning of the princesses portrayed on television. But as her mom. I feel good that she can see that beauty–and princesses–can come in all shapes, styles and sizes. Hey DFTM Fam–What are you doing to expose your children to positive images about their race and culture? What are your favorite streaming shows on Netflix to watch with your family? 2 Responses Pam May 12, 2015 We have tons of books featuring characters of all races. We also have books that tackle the “hair” issue straight on like Penny’s Magic Puffballs and I Like My Hair! Sometimes I worry about overdoing it but we’re in a very multi-culti area and I want to be sure that she loves herself and her history! Reply Rachee May 20, 2015 When my teen was younger we loved Nappily Ever After and read it all of the time. I was transitioning from relaxed hair to natural so that helped define her idea of beauty. It is tough to stay encouraged especially when the world wants you to believe otherwise. Good for you that your daughter is growing up in such a positive environment. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.