If you know me well, you'd know I'm a moderate feminist.
Who never, ever would have considered buying a Barbie doll for her kids. Just a month ago, I spoke those words out loud to a group of friends at a party.
And here I am, a month later having purchased two of them for Easter baskets.
You see, my son has a keen interest in this "Barbecue Princess" he sees on previews and in print at the library. He sees them and their missing shoes (always, right?) in the 4-year-old-and-up area he was just graduated to at the gym kidcare. Because you know, those stinking shoes are choking hazards and also, profanity inducing to parents who have to pick them up or worse, step on them while barefoot. Just as hazardous as LEGO, and much less valuable.
I hate Barbie for all she stands for (or doesn't stand for at all, rather). And I'm saying that having a personal friend who I grew up with that works for Mattel as a Barbie designer. Yes, I saw the new launch of the "curvy" (ehm, normal) Barbie dolls and I didn't buy them. Why? Because they aren't appealing. They wear ugly denim skirts (and I like denim skirts!) and glasses and relatively modest clothing. That's all fine and good, but what, may I ask, is more appealing to small kids? Denim skirts or glittery tulle dresses and jewelry? The curvy variety just wasn't going to appeal. And so I left them on the shelf. I see those hitting Target red stickers pretty dang quickly. And I hate to say that I personally contributed to their demise by opting for the more popular skinny varieties.
Benjamin has been telling me he wants to watch Barbecue Princess movies. And while I tell him no, I really have no good reason to prohibit the book reading or imaginative play with the actual dolls. For all I know, Barbie might actually find herself a decent job in a spaceship or take a ride on Captain Hook's ship. It might serve her well. The movies, Benjamin knows, are for "older kids" because honestly, I can't bother to stomach the worthless plots and zero bits of moral value they provide. I just can't do it. When he's older and if he still has a love affair with the skinny lady, I'll revisit things. I try to encourage all forms of book reading, even with the plots being SO HARD to stomach.
I didn't always hate Barbie. I had a plethora growing up. One year, I even received three of the same variety at my park birthday party. I was wearing a sweet neon splotched sweater that I can vividly picture with a french braid and my brother was scowling in the background wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers blue baseball cap.
I tried to divert Benjamin's attention. I tried to tell him no. And you know what? He told me he would do it himself. At barely four, he was expressing to me that forbidding this (relatively harmless but obnoxious) doll would cause him to make poor choices against my wishes. And so I changed my wishes. I reevaluated. I reasoned. Because the last thing I wanted was for him to choose poor behavior or worse, feel ashamed of something he likes.
I had two criteria for a Barbie doll. She had to have pink and a crown. He loves both of those things and I think he'd quickly throw my investment to the birds if she didn't have that princess appeal. I also added a final criteria that she would have no shoes or removable clothing. I'm not searching for those stinking things. I bought Benjamin this ballerina one and a beachy one-piece one for Claire. I even bought some books and one about Barbie becoming President (insert laughing until you cry emoji here). Who knows, maybe by Christmas we'll expand the line to a Ken doll and some mini skinny, super tan and ripped kids. An update will be in order.
So on Easter Sunday, we celebrate Jesus and also, welcome the good ol' American feminist killer to our home.
Anyone else ever purchased something (they previously swore off) for their kids?
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