When Shorty #1 was born, I vowed we would be those parents that supplied their kids with only good toys. You know…
1. Toys that educate
2. Toys that are ethically made
3. Toys that are environmentally friendly
4. Toys that are gender neutral
You get the idea.
Fast forward 6 years and you’ll see how impossible it was to stick with the plan. In that time Toys R Us crept into the picture, as did hand me down toys, as did Disney. The Polly Pockets invaded and now we’re swimming in a sea of tiny little rubber dresses (for what I guess are little Polly Pocket fetishes).
What could we do? Sheltering our kids from the reality of the corporate machine that monetizes and markets every TV show and movie franchise with the toys that go with them is an uphill battle. Especially when they start preschool. Shorty #1 loves it all. Who are we tell her not to – all we can do is try and educate her.
So as we discuss the merits of children’s toys, let us jump with both feet into the dialogue about Barbies, shall we? While I do agree with the argument regarding Barbie propagating unrealistic body images for little girls, I for one played with Barbies growing up and never seemed to notice her shape. What I did notice was her imaging.
Warning: here’s where I climb up on my soapbox.
I will only contribute to the Barbie franchise IF said Barbie has an actual profession. Please note that the world’s oldest profession does not count!
Yes, I am sick and tired of Barbies dressed like prostitutes playing role model to our little girls. If I’m forking over cash for a Barbie she has to have a real job. Chef Barbie, Teacher Barbie, Dentist Barbie, Computer Programmer Barbie – all of these are ok. Hell, even Malibu Barbie is a pro-surfer. I can accept that. I want to see Lawyer Barbie in an Armani suit or better yet Supreme Court Justice Barbie in robes – that would be amazing. Nuclear physicist Barbie perhaps or even Entrepreneur Barbie complete with tech conference badge and elevator pitch in hand.
Having a profession is really the tip of the iceberg. Barbie needs to be dressed for the job. Tell me, why does poor Barbie always have to have her feet positioned in a 180 degree angle to fit into heels? Really, don’t you think Chef Barbie would be better off with a pair of sensible Crocs? She could slip on some foie gras in those heels and break her tiny little neck. Or Dog-Walker Barbie – heels for that job – as if. Imagine if you will Barbie careening down the street with 5 dogs pulling her along in those shoes. Wait til they get to the dog park – she’ll be on her ass in no time.
Don’t even get me started on the short skirts and plunging necklines. I don’t think that a real Dentist wears a micro-mini when seeing back to back patients. Are you listening Mattel? Oh and if you are listening, perhaps you could add a few extra millimetres to her waistline while you’re at it?