Further Proof that I am not “the cool” Mom.

31 Jan

Behold, further proof that I, as a mother, cannot control everything:




I hate Barbie. Hate her. Flat out can’t stand her. Chopped off her hair and chewed her feet, so my mother forbid them.

I was pleased that Vivian had absolutely no desire for this type of toy, and still doesn’t.

Rosalyn however, has yet to meet a Barbie that she doesn’t like, and manages to see them on the days I’ve decided to buy her a new toy and they’re 40% off.

Yes, I’m a sucker.

I used to worry about the potential effect on her development as a woman. And to a degree, it is worrisome-even this morning realizing that Barbie ALWAYS has long flowing, slightly wavy hair, regardless of her ethnicity. I worry that I’m not necessarily setting the best example in front of her.

But then I remember that I AM setting the example-by trying to show her that real women come in all sizes-that some are round and bumpy and squishy like Mommy, with crazy hair, and yes, some are slim and pale with long hair. That it’s ok to be either one-that it’s a spectrum, not an either-or equation. I set the example by reminding her they are Queen’s, NOT princesses, and that Queen’s kick ASS.

I am still amused that she absolutely refuses my offer of a Ken.

They’re toys. I’ve learned this since being pregnant the first time. The Ben 10’s, the snakes, the Barbies, the ponies-they are things we love. I love Holly Hobbie as a child-and I can’t think of anything problems I can attribute to that. I have had body image and self esteem issues-and I owned all of 2 barbie’s in my life. I learned, or didn’t learn, from my mother, and from the world around me, presented without a filter or explanation.

We talk, my girls and I. We watch real women and I comment on their beauty, their talent, their power and smarts. And mine, my future women, they hear this, even as they clutch what once I found so frightening.


12 Responses to “Further Proof that I am not “the cool” Mom.”

  1. Bon January 31, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    i love that you do this, this conscious parenting with your kids where you offer what filter you can on the world, helping them process rather than just tyring to control the input that comes at them. am trying to write about this conscious stuff today myself…inspired by your food post. at the rate i’m going i should have my thoughts collected by April.

    i loved my Barbies, to be honest. played with ’em by the hour, all kinds of imaginative play. and i can deconstruct the commercial craptasticness of the Barbie industry up the ying yang but i still don’t think that, for me, the years with Barbie were direct contributors to my bulimia or the self-esteem issues at its root. things – all things – are more complex than that, including the ways Barbie can be taken up by kids.

    and being conscious to me means taking that in. cool post…even if you don’t get to be the cool mom. 😉

  2. Hannah January 31, 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    Loved Barbie, played Barbie all the time. My mother had a lot of the same objections to Barbie that you do but she put them aside and let my sisters and I have them anyway.

    My problem is toy guns. I really object to them, Michael doesn’t. Isaac doesn’t want them really yet, but I’m sure someday he will. And I’m not looking forward to that battle.

  3. thordora January 31, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    Dude-I LOVED toy guns. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVED them. My mother never let me have them. I knew they were fake-I think I loved the idea of power. I still want one, but as a friend of mine in the states always points out, I need to be VERY sure to be taught how to handle them properly.

    Like anyone I live with will LET me own a gun.

  4. thordora January 31, 2009 at 5:58 pm #

    and thanks Bon. Somedays everyone tires of me obsessing, but the day I stop overthinking things id the day they bring back the New Coke.

  5. cooledskin January 31, 2009 at 7:30 pm #

    Hmm, I loved Barbies as a kid. I only had one or two Ken dolls though (one was actually an Eric [from the Little Mermaid] doll), so the left over Barbies were always lesbians. This was before I even knew what lesbians were – I just assumed that women hooked up with each other when men weren’t available… The terrible things Barbie has done to me, eh? She nearly made me a lesbian! …except I’m not gay, so that didn’t work out… But my dad was actually hoping it was true.

    At least your daughter’s not into Bratz dolls, though. Count your blessings!

  6. Betsey January 31, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    I used to chew my Barbie’s feet when I was little… (hangs head) but I loved her anyway.

    Being loved by me can’t be easy.

  7. crazymumma February 1, 2009 at 1:14 am #

    ha! i was terrified when my elder embraced barbie with a love deep strong and true.

    But it passed like a wavy river of perfect barbie hair and she has but a cheerful contempt of her.

  8. Marcy February 1, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    I love Betsey’s comment.

    Right now my tiny battle is putting up with Amy’s love of Barney, even though her only exposure is two books at her grandparents’ house. It is an exercise of great patience and tolerance that I don’t spit whenever I hear his name. I am glad it doesn’t come up all that often.

  9. March February 1, 2009 at 12:33 pm #

    what I’m most against with Barbie is all the marketing. if I can steer her into other things I’ll still do it. right now she’s into groovy girls and rag dolls.
    you’re right in the talking. we do that too, we “check out” other women and find the beauty in them. we talk about being beautiful and what that means and how ugliness comes in different forms.

  10. mamatried February 1, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

    i love this. the call of the princess is strong here and i am surprisingly okay with it (within reason, i will not go to the disney store in the mall…well, yet anyway).

  11. EJ February 2, 2009 at 1:51 am #

    If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

  12. bromac February 2, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    I tried to forbid it. Then I tried to find dolls of the same size (to fit dollhouse) and couldn’t. They just don’t exist. I hated to do it, but she loves them to death so…..

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