Now I might be mistaken but it seems from the very beginning people call baby girls pretty (superficial) and "little princess" (expectation of having minimal utility) and baby boys strong (innate) and "little man" (expectation of standing up for oneself).
I'm about to have a baby girl and I would like to spare her from being judged by her looks and from being encouraged to value pretty things (rather than skills, perseverance, hardwork and innate value) insofar as I'm able. I know I can only mitigate the tide of bling and superficiality modern society drowns us in, but I've got to try.
I don't want to be a hard-line nutter and make people feel awkward, nor go completely neutral and make people have to ask her sex (and then just have them gush accordingly anyway) -- but was thinking of making some cute patches saying something like "tell me about books not looks" or something like this to stick on her blanket/bonnet/crib.
Note I expect my parents to be particularly difficult to approach about this. They already call my distended belly "pretty".
Does anyone have any advice or experience with handling this dilemma?