Mothering and Life in General
K2 has one Barbie, it was given to her during her welcome home party DH’s mother held for her. It was her first, and I swore I would not let that horrid thing out of the box. It was brought home and it was the first I stored away.
Then came the day K2 found the Barbie and asked if she could play. I paused, first thinking where did she find this thing and second, because was Barbie as harmful as I thought? I mean she is ‘just’ playing with it? So I opened the box with a sigh and removed all the small pieces.
I could see it helping with imagination, and adding another outlet to her play. I can see it helping with dressing herself, and dexterity, maybe even relationships and knowing her environment more. But I just can’t get over how improper this Barbie is.
Growing up I had 22 Barbies and only one Ken. Ken, I would think, was either one busy man or obviously crazy with all the PMS hormones. My Gramms started buying me Barbies when I was five-years-old, but I wanted JI Joes, Transformers and trains.
I hated Barbie, in her perfect hair that was blonde, unlike mine, her skinny long legs, unlike mine, her breasts perky and perfect, unlike mine. That crazy snap her knees made when you bent them. I hated her, because there was nothing in her that I can relate too.
It was great Barbie could be anything she wanted to be, a vet, a doctor, a lawyer. She could drive a pink Porsche, and ride on the white horse into the night. But I only saw ‘house wife Barbie’ or ‘Mommy/pregnant Barbie’ when I turned 21.
I grew to hate Barbie and her mounds of blue eye make-up that I was not allowed to wear. However, I did like Skipper, now she was more like me. She was not too tall, and she did not fit well in Barbie clothing. She was really nothing much like the Blonde Bombshell, yet I never own a Skipper.
Then Jem came along with her shiny earrings and Barbie got her hair snipped, her limbs pulled off and her head thumb tacked to my ceiling. Later after my mother found Barbie’s limbs in the oven she was scared that I went postal.
I was not a problem child, Barbie was just the problem doll. I have yet to run into a toy that gets me so worked up. When I looked after children and they wanted to play Barbies, I redecorated the house, toyed around with Ken and that was that. I left them to play.
So today I think I will allow my feeling to be heard and try not to push my feelings onto my daughter. I hate Barbie, but K2 is now asking for another stupid doll. She role plays with her, and brushes her hair. She plays really nice, but I still hate Barbie.
I am tied with not pushing my feelings onto my daughter, and my daughter thinking that is the way she is supposed to look. You can never find Brunette Barbie with blue eyes like her in our store for less than $30. What ever happened to playing with cars?
It’s not the first time during parenthood that I had to step back from my personal thoughts and feelings. Barbie is not telling anyone to be like her, she is just a lump of plastic. It’s up to me to create a good self-image, and if K2 does not have that, I can’t blame the plastic.
So I think I might end up buying her the Barbie, not only because I am giving in (I admit), but because I can’t blame TV, Friends, or toys for the lack of anything in my daughters emotional life. I fear for 25 years I have given the long-legged-plastic-bimbo way too much power then she deserves.