My little girl had her birthday recently, it was the big six and we invited all the girls from school to her birthday party. It was a marvelous fairy garden extravaganza at the local bowling club, fairy bread was had, lemonade sipped and party goods with numerous amounts of added non-nutrient dense foods were consumed.
When the party was over something funny happened.
One of the mothers, (whom I shall name Daphne) arrived to pick up her daughter, pulled me aside and said “Oh, I hope the girls had a lovely time, you won’t have to worry about our present, unlike some of the others *insert solid eye roll* we chose not to waste our money on barbie dolls”. I was a little taken back and said “Oh, no barbies? why not?”
It was honestly like I had stolen her first born, (that or added non-organic almond meal to her muffin). A fury spread across her face, her brow dropped and I knew immediately I was about to receive a lecture.
The next five minutes of my life was consumed by a rambling, yet well-rehearsed, compilation of all things wrong with Barbie.
I tried my best care-factor zero face…but, she continued….
- They do nothing for our girl’s self esteem
- Barbies portray girls as weak and stupid
- They are tramps
- They don’t offer realistic body standards for our children
Now I am not stupid, I know that rarely is a human being able to match up to barbie’s body image, but I do also know that no human is going to match up to Batman’s physique or ability to fly. Should I remove him from our home as well?
My girls create scenarios whereby the Barbies are superheros or surgeons, vet nurses or checkout chicks. Heck, last week, one of the Barbies was the guy that landed the aeroplane in the Hudson River. Imagination in children is free forming and in our home Barbie dolls are just a tool to utilise that imagination.
Plus, if you know ANYTHING about Barbie you will know this lady is accomplished as fuck. She has had over 150 careers and comes in over 40 nationalities. She has had every job from being an eye-surgeon to being a paratrooper in the military. I honestly believe that my little girls’ self-esteem grows each time they use one of their Barbies to tackle a crisis, they know that their Barbies can come in and save the day. We have about 30 Barbies and only one Ken Doll. What does that tell you? That’s right, in this house we don’t go looking to be saved by a boy, we save ourselves.
My three little girls spend hours playing together with their imaginations running wild. Yesterday’s Barbie experience involved an invasion by the Orange Ninja Turtle which was settled by Wonder Woman. You can’t tell me that any sort of play that encourages imagination, and coordination can be bad for my little girls. My one year old can put on Barbie shoes and clothes, her chubby little fingers concentrating on placing a tiny shoe on the highly arched foot of Barbie without a doubt increases her fine motor skills, plus it is a way for her to be involved with the older girls.
In addition, let’s not all lose sight of the fact she is a doll. That’s right the same doll that it likely to be played with by my nephew, the same one that the dog will eat when she is left outside under the trampoline, the exact same doll that will probably go for a swim in the toilet at some point due to the one year old’s fascination whether things float.
Not everyone will agree with me, but just remember our little family will happily be known as a Barbie Rehoming Station should you feel the need to rehome your vicious soul-destroying Barbies.
So thanks Daphne for your pep-talk but I am just going to kick it over here with my girls saving the world, one Barbie at a time.