What is a Trophy Daughter?

20120721-110219.jpgMore than one unsuspecting victim, uh, visitor, has stumbled across the blog by googling this question, so let me explain. I coined the term as a gender-specific alternative to “golden child” or “hero”, the current vernaculars for those kids who bring some semblance of credibility to their crazy families by striving to be perfect.

Yes, that’s right, I’m claiming credit for Trophy Daughter. (And no, don’t be ridiculous, I did not invent the internet nor have I ever claimed to.) Others may also stake claim, but I’m not budging. Back when I started, images of young girls holding trophies popped up when you googled Trophy Daughter. Now you get me. And there are t-shirts! Not that I’m getting any royalties. . . seriously, the one original thought of my lifetime and not even a dime. What’s up with that?

So Trophy Daughter is mine, no matter what you say, and I get to define it. Argue all you want but my blog, my rules. So here it is:

trophy daughter: n; a daughter held to overly ambitious expectations for behavior and achievement by parents who use her to impress others and bring glory to themselves.

Trophy daughter is NOT a term of endearment. A trophy daughter is born when her parents only see her as an extension of themselves and when her accomplishments become the measure of good parenting. Somewhere along the way, our parents forgot that we are actually unique individuals whose personalities, dreams, and decisions are not a reflection on them. Instead of seeking to know us, they sought to change us into someone they could be proud of. As if we were innately lacking of anything to be proud of on our own. If we met expectations, we were ignored (yet, ironically, despised by relatives who were sick to death of hearing about us.) If we failed, the pressure increased. If we rebelled, we were ostracized. It was the classic can’t-win-for-losing.

Interestingly, trophy child, has been around since 1990. You can read more about that at wordspy.


5 Comments on “What is a Trophy Daughter?”

  1. disgusted grandmother says:

    Totally agree with your definition. Without ever checking this I told my daughter that her ex thought of my oldest grandchild as his trophy daughter. She is still not involved in school sports because she’s too young but is in a select league for softball. She’s been a sought after little athlete since she was only 7. Somehow her “daddy dearest” has managed to convince her coaches to let him assist which embarrasses her to no end. He is brutally critical of her but when she does well takes all the credit.

  2. How sad and lonely. My parents also tried that, but I refused to cooperate and became the reason for anything bad that happened.

  3. Melanie says:

    My friends Father passed away, a very beloved man that loved his daughter more than blood allowed him.. someone wrote to her and said she was a trophy daughter, she is not sure how to take that.. from what I heard it can be a positive statement. They had a very special relationship.

    • I can see why your friend would be confused. I have also heard people use “trophy daughter” as a compliment although I think they don’t understand the meaning. It’s really a play off of “trophy wife” and nobody interprets that as a compliment.

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