Be like Amina not like Cinderella!

Yesterday, as my eldest daughter was playing quietly in the living room, with a rather worried voice she burst out saying:

“I am trying and trying to be like Cinderella, but I can’t!”

I was, fustrated, panicked, and slightly devastated by her remark…

Since she was born we tried our best to keep her away from Disney characters, particularly the ‘princesses’. Why? I did’t want my daughter to look up to someone whose only purpose in life is to look pretty, feel helpless and wait to be rescued by a ‘prince.’

I want my daughter to look up to Amina – the Mother of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

So I took a deep breath and tried to explain: “You know what would be really amazing? If you were like Amina, the Mother of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). She was a very smart lady, she was the Mother of the greatest man to have ever lived! She’s a real role model to everyone, she was very honest, an amazingly good person, helping everyone around her…. It would be fantastic if you could try to be like her. That’s why we named you Amina!”

My daughter, is a typical defiant little girl who is becoming increasingly harder to reason with, she just said: “Hmmm, OK, I’ll try!”

It just made me realise that despite all our efforts to raise her in a healthier way, she will be exposed to this nonsense. We can’t keep her away from it totally. She would see these figures and hear about them from her friends. It just made me sad that the little exposure she had already – was so impactful, that little exposure made her want to be like Cinderella…

We came out of this incident with more enthusiasm to provide alternative role models. I am constantly on the look out for children’s books with better role models – even better, with Amina & Zainab in them!?