I Hope You Aren't a Female Peter Pan Because That Is Terrible


Contrary to nearly all cultural depictions everywhere, men do not have the monopoly on refusing to grow up. There are plenty of women who resist adult-like responsibility for as long as possible, opting instead to remain immature, juvenile, self-absorbed and unencumbered for as long as possible, perhaps even forever. A lady has stumbled upon this concept and is calling this the “Princess Pan” — a female version of Peter Pan. And she’s come up with a list of nine signs you might fit the bill, with a little advice about what to do about it.

At first I thought this might be a celebratory take on the fact that women can be grown-up-averse, too. The phrase “Oh, he’s just a big kid” is near-universally used as a positive when referring to men, with their ageless sense of humor and refusal to do dishes. It’s high time women were let off the Advanced Maturity Since Birth Leash and allowed to be stuck up their own asses, too. Right?

Wrong, and shame on you for thinking so! Apparently, it is always sadder when women don’t embrace traditional, gendered, on-the-grid living. It is even more pathetic when a woman does not want commitment, children, or a life out side of downtown living in Portland, Oregon. Any woman worth her salt knows the path to happiness involves high-thread count bed sheets + corner office + house you own. Riding on a chillwave4life is just not an acceptable path for anyone.

In a piece called “Nine Signs You’re a Female Peter Pan,” author Tracy McMillan describes a phenomenon she recently noticed in lots of the women she talks to, knows: They don’t wanna grow up. She writes:

We all know about a male Peter Pan. A guy who dabbles rather than commits, who would rather bro down than man up, who winks and grins (or worse, blames) when he behaves badly. Perpetual childhood is a bad look on guys and we (perhaps rightly) give them a lot of s**t for it. But how did we never even realize we’re doing it, too?! I can’t tell you how many ladies out there are 38 or 48 and still dressing, acting, and thinking like they’re 28, or god forbid, 18. On a bad day, I’m one of them.

Signs include:

  • You’re the center of your universe
  • You’re cool
  • You’re uncommitted
  • You’re over it
  • You’re uncompromising
  • You love reality shows
  • You sleep with Peter Pans
  • You live downtown. Or in a loft. Or in Portland.
  • You think you’re immortal.

While I am confused about the reality show thing or Portland or downtown, the list seems light-hearted enough. Hey, there is no lifestyle choice that cannot be mocked. But this isn’t lighthearted poking. Each itemized point is a chance for the author to explain what these alleged Princess Pans don’t know they are missing, i.e, one day sooner than later, they are all going to wake up one day and realize they’ve missed the boat‚ and in case you didn’t know, the boat is called The Awesome Fulfilled Grownup Life With Husband and Children.

If you’re self-absorbed? “… as long as you mostly think about yourself, you’re not going to be a wonderful person.” But, uh, if you mostly thought about someone else, wouldn’t that make you a doormat?

If you’re uncommitted? “For every year past the age of 27, you need to take another step toward commitment somewhere in your life Instead of freelancing, you get a staff job. Instead of renting, you buy. Fine, instead of couch-surfing you rent. Just, you have to sign something, okay?” Suggesting that, in 2013, that home ownership or full-time employment is synonymous with stability is not only laughable, it is shockingly ignorant.

If you’re uncompromising? ” Grown-ups compromise. They sell out. They do things they don’t want to do because they’re responsible for boring-ass shit like the rent and health insurance. Deal with it.”

Yes, if only all the people without health insurance would just GROW UP AND BUY IT. I am seriously trying to think of anyone I know who can afford health insurance but deliberately chooses not to buy it just to stay cool and carefree. Nope, can’t think of a single person.

If you think you’re immortal?

But no matter how fantastic you look, your eggs are a day older than they were yesterday. I’m not trying to scare you. I’m trying to tell you I have humbly witnessed the very real grieving process of women friends who figured they could keep pushing the snooze button on their biological clock because Halle Berry is somehow 47 and pregnant. Who knows what Halle had to do get pregnant, and besides, isn’t Halle Berry’s whole deal that she’s got a painting in a closet somewhere??


Hey ladies, you ain’t Halle Berry, k? Look in a mirror! You thought you were Halle Berry! Not with that bone structure! You aren’t famous or beautiful enough to sell your soul to the devil to live a decadent life of vice, sin and corruption to stay young, ok? You don’t have the looks, money, talent, fame, or access to resources to live the way you’re living!

I think there are far worse things than living some allegedly selfish, no-ambition-having existence. One of them is continuing to frame all women’s choices through this one lens, and suggesting that the end game is the same for all of us: thing-accumulation, husbands and offspring. That is not just retrograde, it’s tone deaf concern-trolling, and it is making my allergies act up because it is covered in the dust of a thousand attic doilies.

But what-the-hayfever, ladies. Ask yourselves: Are you a Princess Pan living alone in your rented loft downtown? Wake up! It’s not too late to take your old-ass eggs and turn them into some kind of art installation project, then sell that to make a bunch of money so that you can become famous enough at your age to buy yourself a husband and a baby. Better act now. TICK-TOCK.

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