Here is our story.
When we brought our daughters to preschool in the mornings we noticed the teachers greeted the children by saying something unique about each child. This was obviously well intentioned but it ended up sounding like this:
To the boys:
"Good morning Timmy, cool astronaut shirt! Are you going to be an astronaut when you grow up?"
"Hi Bobby, wow, fierce shark shirt! Awesome!"
To the girls:
"Hello Susie, beautiful princess dress. You look so beautiful!"
"Good morning Jane, what a beautiful dress. And you have a beautiful sparkly headband to match. Beautiful!"
Subtle, right? But like water dripping on a rock, these little comments every day must have some cumulative effect. The girls were hearing nothing but constant remarks about their looks! Meanwhile, our daughters like outer space, sharks, volcanoes, quicksand, lions. They also like to wear dresses. Sometimes it's frilly princess dresses. But not always. They like to explore, play, and dance. So far they only dance on Earth.