It happened. Sofia has asked for a Barbie for Christmas from Santa.
I always knew this day would come but I did not expect it so soon. As far as I knew, she had never seen a Barbie, but she says she saw one at Preschool.
So, I go back in forth in my mind. We all know she has the dimensions of a stripper and dresses like a hooker with whore make-up to boot. We all know she was the offspring of a German sex toy and that her dimensions on a real woman would mean that she would be incapable of walking. This is feminism 101.
I also know that my Barbies got dressed 50 times for one date and then had sex all the time–unprotected no less! Besides maybe riding in a Dream House elevator or pink corvette, I can remember making my Barbies doing nothing else.
I can also say that I never thought of Barbie as a real person. I never thought I should look like her or be like her, although I confess that even now a swimsuit that changes color in water is probably something I would still buy. So, Santa will be supplying her a Barbie this year–on a pink Vespa no less. Grandma will give her a friend for Barbie–who happens to be African American. (Did you know they make a RocaWear Barbie? Now that’s street.)
Don’t get me wrong, walking down the Barbie isle at Toys-R-Us was shocking. There were some Barbies that had more make-up on than Snooki or a “preschool teacher” Barbie that was dressed like Pam Anderson. I am not saying that these images are totally harmless or that they haven’t reinforced some unhealthy perceptions and habits.
However, after my mental tug-o-war on this topic I realized there are an infinite number of negative and unrealistic images of women out there. The best gift I can give my daughter is teaching her the skill of living in this world confidently despite those images–whether they come from toys or the media or even her own friends in the teenage years.
Barbie shall be lesson numero uno.