Monday, June 28, 2010
Oh the pain....
It hurts my feminist nature-purist heart to see my kids favorite toys at the moment. I think a little part of me died when I realized that the My Little Pony love was going to turn into a long term relationship. And now HER, the plastic fantastic fake-o-rama "woman" that is Barbie. They love her too. Even Harper who has about 10 words- one of them is "ba-ba" which means Barbie. Oh my.
I resisted. Well not so much with the ponies. I thought that were just horses after all. Even if they were very lurid and looked kind of flammable. I saw the imaginative play that could happen with a horse-even one called Pinkie Pie (I know all their names, oh the shame). But Barbie, the anti-christ of feminists everywhere. I dug in my heels. Then I relented about a year and a half ago and Tans got a couple for her 4th birthday. But they were not played with, rather left naked in my path so I packed them up and I decided if they were not asked for for a week then off to the garage sale they would go. They girls did not ask and it was bye bye time for Blahbie.
Then about 6 months ago there was more asking for a Barbie. "Why?" I asked Tannah "Because she is beautiful" she said. Oh my heart. "beautiful like faeries and unicorns" hmmm. "Why don't you like Barbie?" she asked me. "Because no woman looks like that and she's so...fake." Tannah said "she's not real Mum! I play with unicorns and they are not real" I told her that she wasn't going to grow up to be a unicorn but she was going to grow up to be a woman and I didn't want her to think that's what women actually looked like.
"It's just pretend Mum, and you don't have to play with her"
That last bit got me. Who am I to pick her toys? Barbie is filling a part of her play in a way that a rag doll can't. So Tannah has a Bindi Irwin doll (of course) and Willow has a brunette barbie type doll and they both have a ballerina Barbie as they are both starting ballet next term (another post for another day). By resisting I was making them more exciting by being forbidden. I'm glad Tannah and I talked about it and I'm glad I let go and de-schooled myself a bit.
So we have Barbies and My Little Ponies and there is a lot of pink pink princessy stuff going on here at the moment. We also have a train set and a heap of plastic animals and duplo and blocks. Sometimes I feel like I overthink the whole toy thing. They like what they like and there is value in play with pretty much everything. I will not have a pornified fashion doll anywhere in my house however...But I can get a bit more zen with Barbie, I think.