It can be hard to find good TV shows for my preschool-age daughter to watch. Many shows aimed at little girls reinforce gender stereotypes or over-emphasize the materialism and beauty obsession associated with "princess" culture. While I'm fine with my daughter watching shows with male protagonists, I also want her to see shows with strong female lead characters. I want my daughter to have access to healthy entertainment that lets her know that girls can be just as smart, fun, and adventurous as boys. Here are some of my favorite shows for little girls.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
This is, by far, my favorite show for little girls. Every major character in the show, with the exception of Spike the dragon, is female, and presents some form of strong role model for little girls. The show really demonstrates that there's no one right way to be a girl. Pinkie Pie is silly and friendly, Rarity is an artistic fashionista, Rainbow Dash is an athletic tomboy, and Twilight is a fun intellectual. No matter what kind of personality your daughter has, she can find validation through this fun TV show.
I enjoyed this show when I was a preteen, and I'm glad that my daughter also enjoys it. The Powerpuff Girls is a perfect blend of girls being girly-- with "sugar, spice, and everything nice"-- while also being tough and strong. Like "My Little Pony," Powerpuff Girls gives girls a choice of characters with whom they can empathize-- the cute, giggly Bubbles, the smart, authoritative Blossom, and the powerful, no-nonsense Buttercup. Although the mild violence is a bit much for the youngest girls, it's still an excellent, fun show with strong female leads.
Dora the Explorer
For the youngest girls, Dora the Explorer really takes the cake. Although I personally don't enjoy this show as much as I enjoy some others, I can tell that it's been good for my daughter. Dora is a brave little adventurer who teaches kids Spanish and basic preschool skills. She's not only a strong female lead, but also a good role model for Latina girls and a valuable teacher in our increasingly bilingual nation. I'm glad that my daughter counts Dora the Explorer among her favorite shows.
TV shows that target little girls are rarely as educational or as empowering as our daughters deserve for them to be, but, fortunately, a few shows provide kids with strong female role models that they can joyfully admire. I'm glad that my daughter watches and enjoys so many wonderful TV shows made with little girls in mind.