People often argue about gender roles and if they are learned or if they are inherent. If you give a boy flowers instead of guns will he grow up to be more gentle? I don't really have much to say about boys since I don't have any, but I do know that Miss Mia is definitely Girly-by-Nature.
I myself was "girly" as a child in that I loved pink pleated dresses and patent leather mary janes and continued to wear them long after most other girls had already switched over to Jordache Jeans. At the same time I also loved to dig in the mud, climb trees and collect worms. I didn't see why there was any reason I couldn't do this all decked out in Gunne Sax lace.
But I was definitely encouraged to be girly by my grandmother. If either my sister or I had been tomboys she would have been extremely disappointed. As for Miss Mia, I haven't encouraged her to be that way, she just always has been. I'll never forget when she dragged me into a shoe store when she could barely talk (let alone walk) and insisted we get a pair of gold glitter ballerina flats or she wouldn't leave the store.
I haven't encouraged her, but I certainly do have fun with it. I got a vintage 1950s Bakelite nail set and we regularly give each other manicures. She also seems to have a good eye: when we went thrifting together in San Francisco a couple of months ago I wanted to get her this boring-ass teddy bear sweater but she said: "No, mama. This." and pulled off the rack this adorable vintage white and blue polka dot little number that looks like a 1960s tennis dress. No lie.
It was no real surprise then that she LOVED these hair clips my sister sent her, no doubt bought in some little Mexican store in the Mission. When we opened the box Mia said, "Oh my goodness (don't know where she got that one, because I swear like a sailor ;) ) Mama, it's princess crowns." We then put all of them in her hair and she spent several minutes admiring herself in the mirror. As you can see, I also added a few to my hair, albeit more moderately.
Only Baby Li wasn't particularly interested. So far she doesn't seem to be as interested in the girly stuff, though she is obsessed with shoes. But white tennis shoes with purple stripes not pink unicorn ballerina slippers. Parenting. What never ending fun. ;)