There’s this stuff that pops up in my newsfeed all the time, it’s the same story, written by six different news outlets. Sometimes the information is life altering, and I can understand why it’s getting so much attention…but most of the time it’s really not.
Last week I couldn’t get away from the dog that takes the bus to the dog park. She was everywhere. I bet she’s buckled from the pressure of being in the limelight, and now takes herself to regular appointments with her therapist. I get it, it’s a dog…there’s a bus, enough already.
The thing that keeps being shoved in my face, this week, is the woman that’s giving Bratz Dolls radical makeunders. She’s an artist or something, her idea was to remove the copious amounts of plastic cosmetics from the faces of these playthings, and then repaint them to look more natural. That, in and of itself, I thought was a pretty neat idea. It’s been done before with Barbie, but it was interesting to see it…again…I guess.
The neat factor quickly wore off when I started to read the comments. Comments will do that to you. People were getting really heated about these dolls and the message they think they send to girls. They were harping on their clothing. I believe the general consensus was that these dolls are packaged to look like little strippers. I kept myself from commenting. No need to be attacked by a stranger for pointing out that strippers and over application of makeup has been around since before the days of Holly Hobbie. Yep, people will argue about anything…just a bunch of adults yelling at other adults…about toys.
Now, to be fair, the genetic lottery did not award me with a female human…so, I’m not exactly in the struggle. I have a son, my living room floor is covered in a layer of plastic superheroes with impressive pectoral muscles. I have never once stopped to wonder if Spiderman’s washboard abs are negatively effecting his psyche. I’m not publishing the letters I’ve written to Mattel demanding that they introduce an action figure with a receding hairline and love handles. This is an area of his life that I’m okay with not over-thinking…because they’re toys, people. They’re used for play and fantasy.
I know it’s hard to believe but I, at one point in time, was a little girl. I may not have been the most feminine of womanlings, I didn’t really play with Barbie’s…unless you count cutting off all of their hair…and melting their faces with a magnifying glass as play. But that’s not the point. It never crossed my mind that the thing I was destroying had an unattainable physique. Not once. I never felt inferior to a hunk of plastic and cried myself to sleep knowing I would never look like her. Any ill-feelings I had about my body came long after I stopped playing with dolls.
It’s highly unlikely that your daughter is thinking about the fact that she might not grow up to resemble her doll, unless you’ve said that to her…which is kind of a douche move. If you have pointed this out to her, I hope you also gave her a complete list of things she will not grow up to resemble: Buicks, waffle irons, lamp posts…just to name a few. While you’re arguing the very adult topics of sexuality and objectification keep in mind your daughter is probably thinking, “I want to play with something brightly colored and sparkly, and it might be a bonus if the thing that is brightly colored and sparkly has a face.”
It just seems to me that this is a thing manufactured by adults that need something to argue about.
I grew up in the 80’s, when we wax nostalgic about this particular period in time we bring up the big hair and hideous clothing. It was the decade of excess…and orphans…lot’s of orphans. Sometimes they sang, sometimes they grew in cabbage patches, sometimes they wore mismatched clothes, sometimes they were adopted by old white men of varying income levels, but they were all somehow abandoned by their parents for entertainment purposes.
No one worried ad nauseum that I would grow up to develop severe separation anxiety and a sceptical outlook on produce. I’m not the most well adjusted woman on the planet, but I can’t blame that on anything I played with.
It irritates me that people assume little girls are this impressionable, the argument as a whole is ludicrous. It’s rooted in feminism, sort of, but it really makes women sound stupid. Like we’re incapable of thinking and reasoning.
Not one female I know ever expressed interest in voluntarily becoming a quadriplegic, because they were gifted a sock monkey at a tender age. “I just want to flop around like Mr. Pickles,” wasn’t a slumber party confession.
When I see a little girl dragging around a teddy bear, I don’t feel overcome by concerns. There’s no wondering if she’ll grow up, wander into the woods only to get her throat ripped open by a 500 pound Grizzly, because she was trying to put a t-shirt on it and get it to take a nap.
Why is it we can trust that a girl is smart enough to work through unrealistic ideas about the congeniality of woodland creatures, but we suggest she isn’t smart enough to figure out the truth about a doll?
So what if she plays with a toy that slightly resembles your slutty neighbor, Carol. You’ve got more important things to worry about and fight for.