Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Sesame Street: ‘Princess’ Is Not a Career

Sotomayor paid a visit to Sesame Street to discuss careers -- and shut down the idea that being a princess counts as one.

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There’s something about little girls and princesses. It could be the continued prevalence of princesses in children’s books and films, or it could be the sparkly glitz and glamour associated with royal life. Either way, it seems many young girls aspire to be princesses, even in an age when those girls could realistically aspire to become surgeons or lawyers or professors instead.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor must have noticed this trend, as she recently paid a visit to Sesame Street to discuss the meaning of the word “career.” She explains to the pink, perky, uber-feminine character Abby that a career is “something that you train for and prepare for and plan on doing for a long time.” Abby lights up and quickly tells the Justice that she certainly wants a career — as a princess.

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And then Sotomayor shuts her down. Hard. “Abby,” she says, “pretending to be a princess is fun, but it is definitely not a career.” She then turns to the camera, repeating the aforementioned definition of “career” to viewers. While the average young girl might whine and cry and throw a fit if someone told her she couldn’t dedicate her life to becoming a princess, Abby takes it in stride. “Well, then what kind of career can a girl like me have?” she chirps.

Sotomayor encourages Abby, letting her know she can go to school and train to eventually become a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer, a scientist. Ultimately, though, Abby decides she wants to be a judge, just like Sotomayor. NewsFeed kind of expected Sotomayor to tell her to get her own aspirations and quit being such a follower, but she remained upbeat, assuring Abby that she’d make a great judge.

For the record, this wasn’t Justice Sotoymayor’s first time hangin’ out on Sesame Street. In February, she appeared on the show to enjoy a cup of coffee, chat in Spanish and settle a fairy-tale dispute.

MORE: Sesame Street’s Elmo Talks To Kids About Hurricanes


Why would you need a career if the government is going to take care of you the rest of your life?


Though it is absolutely limited to a select group of individuals, and not a path open to most individuals, I think that saying "Princess" is "not a career" is as unrealistic as the thoughts of millions of young girls who aspire to be such. I feel fairly certain that Kate Middleton's day is filled with a bit more than sparkly glitz and glamour, as was Diana's. And Elizabeth's upbringing was the very definition of “something that you train for and prepare for and plan on doing for a long time.”The problem may simply be that pop culture has mis-represented what a princess is and does; and that Americans do not understand the role that royalty play in cultures not our own. Instead they replace it with an assumption that a princess is a fictional fairy-tale occupation. Unfortunately, Justice Sotomayor perpetuates that stereotype rather than setting the record straight. She could have set Abby's expectations without denigrating some very hardworking (albeit privileged) women, and didn't. Instead, she implies that U.S. Supreme Court Justice is a realistic career path for young girls and boys, even though becoming one is only slightly more probable than marrying royalty.So thumbs up on the attempt, but thumbs down on the execution.


Good get rid of the princess mentality!!

hollywoodbig 2 Like

I wish someone would support stay at home Moms who raise well-balanced children who are the real future of the country.