RICHMOND, Va. -- A question asked at a Richmond-area playground gave local author Mark Loewen an idea for a children’s book.
"(My daughter Zoe) wanted to play knights and princesses. I asked, what does a knight do? She said, ‘He fights.’ Okay, you're gonna be the princess, what does a princess do? And she said, ‘She looks beautiful.’ I was surprised that she just looks beautiful."
In the book, a young girl named Chloe learns that being a princess doesn’t always mean you have to be perfect.
"She wants to make a dress and it's crooked" Zoe explained. "And she tries to pull it off, but the glue was so strong. And she starts to cry. Then her dads peek in and then they say, ‘It's beautiful.'"
Mistakes can be part of being a princess.
So can masks.
When asked if a princess could be a ninja, Zoe said, "Yeah. Anything."
"Today's culture teaches girls that you have to be smart, strong, geeky, beautiful, a mom," Mark said. "You have to do all those things perfectly and you have to make it look easy. And that's too much."
Studies show confidence and self-esteem are important factors in educational success.
"The message I would like to get across is that a girl can be whoever she wants to be," Mark said. "She doesn't have to be all of the things either."
Building self-esteem is Building Better Minds.
Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs every Wednesday at 6 a.m.
You can find copies of Mark's book at Chop Suey, Fountain Bookstore, and Barnes & Noble - Libbie Place. It can be found online on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.