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November 02, 2009

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I'd no female siblings. Barbie was needed for pretending the role of husband and girlfriend. I've had them for over thirty years. Never did I want to be female nor dress in their clothes. I'd also loved hard work. I saved up and bought them myself. Barbie is only fantasy and not reality. How can you compare the beauty of a lifeless plastic toy to a living human? It is ignorant. I judge real females on words and deeds. They choose those things. Looks are superficial. Barbie can be a very beautiful toy only. I love my model ships and planes but cannot swim or fly in a real plane. My favorite male toy was the Navy Seal GI Joe though I never could be one in real life.

I had no worries about Barbie. Grew up loving her and Ken on their horse ranch (Barbie was always Ken's equal!)

When my girls started requesting them I indulged. Short lived stage of the game and not something I worried about or think influenced them in any way.

But then again, this was the 6 year old who wanted to grow up to be A PRINCESS!

(yeah, that is me! Casual as can be in my uniform of jeans and a t!)

I loved Barbie as she was not a baby doll, she gave me a chance to be grown up when I wasn't. Did I seek to emulate her unrealistic body size at any point? Naw, I felt sorry for her as her toes were so deformed and all she could wear were heels!

I think Barbie was /is pretty harmless. Those skanky Bratz dolls are another story!

aww she looks adorable

You know, I never spent a day of my life in a car seat - I turned out ok, too.

Doubt any parent with half a brain would try to make that argument today.

At least I hope not.

Such a smart observation about boys. It's true - I'd hate them to think that the world of women = the world of Bratz dolls.

Meanwhile, so THAT'S what Quinlan was. I was thinking Dolly Parton in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

You go. I think it is great that you actually think far enough ahead to know that boys are being affected by this also.

And that costume is AMAZING.

A GREAT read on the subject is a book called "Too sexy too soon". It addresses just this, what is it saying to the boys, as well as a lot of focus about girls. It was one of those books that made me feel glad that I'm fighting off these choices in my home too. It also addressed the problem with Disney princesses that I felt but was unable to articulate. Girls have ALWAYS wanted to dress like princesses, and play dress up, but in the past they were putting on their moms high heels and old dresses, their role models were in their home or in their imagination, not on TV with a specified "way to do it". That is a slippery slope to other issues, ones that we just didn't have when Barbies were the most provocative thing we saw! We turned out okay because Barbie was the worst of it. We have our first Barbies, my 5 year old received 2 for her bday, even one from a girl who asked and I said we'd prefer no Barbies. If they were Bratz, I would have thrown them away - but I decided to let her play with them, and hide them away once they started to collect dust like the bday gifts of days past. I agree, I will never purchase these for my daughter, especially at this age. That's another thing, did we play with them at FIVE? and with a TWO year old little sis, that's just much too young. I think I got my first ones at 8-9? So you have to think of protecting the little sibs, boys and girls...

Good post, good outlook!

I don't care that we turned out fine. I absolutely hate Barbie and the weakness of the Princess. My daughter was a NY Giant for Halloween and people were shocked to find out that she was a girl. They assumed that Dad picked the costume- but he didn't. I did. I want my daughter to know that she does not have to fit in some anorexic box and that she can kick butt, be beautiful, smart, and that does not mean she is a lesbian. And I think boys need to know that not all girls are the Ez-Bake Oven, Prada shoe wearing, 2 bites every other day, rescue me now kind! So keep writing and bitching about it. I know I will.

As the mother of boys and wife of a man who tells them "they're acting like little girls" every time they so much as wimper, much less cry, I worry a lot about how they will perceive women when they grow up. Being Mexican, I see how even today girls are taught from the moment they are born that they will grow up to be mothers, housekeepers,cooks and waitresses to their husbands and all boys are potential boyfriends. Boys are taught that all girls are potential girlfriends and they will one day grow up to be married and work hard to support their children.

I am thankful every day for my humble, meek grandmother who taught her sons how to cook and clean and convinced her stubborn husband to let them move to the city to go to school. And I'm so grateful that one of those sons is my father, who didn't give in to pressure from his sisters and let us play soccer and grow up thinking there was more to life than being someone's princess...that it is okay to be the Queen and speak our minds and have a say in the decisions that affect our lives.

And I worry every day about what I am teaching my boys and how that is different from what my husband is teaching them...

Okay, your daughter is adorable. The hall wainscoting is to die for. And Barbie is NOT my favorite thing for the reasons you cite.

I do worry about my son. He said the other day to me that I'm a girl and I can't do X (I don't remember what it was). I was dumbfounded for a minute then asked about how he decided that. He said because daddy always does it (oh, now I remember, x was mowing the lawn). I said, yes, daddy always does it because mommy has an illness that makes it bad for her to mow the grass, not because girls can't do that. Not sure he understood the distinction. We'll see.

He's four. We're trying to make as many tasks as physically possible gender neutral so he understands that girls and boys do everything they can do.

I think it's the cutest thing I saw this year.

Secretia

By the way - Quinlan could not possibly be cuter!!

I am so with you! Other than the obvious body image, false perception, etc...does anyone else see that Barbie seems to be getting more and more slutty? Barbie is one of my favorite rants. I even took a pic to prove my point. http://mommyspills.blogspot.com/2009/10/sluts.html

Speaking of franchises, when do the Mominatrix dolls come out?

I hear you, Kristen. Emily is three and gravitates to all things Barbie and Disney Princesses. I haven't put up too much of a fight (yet) because she also likes to draw and color and play Lego with her brothers. She's not all princess, all the time.

I haven't entirely figured out my stance on it, but I feel it's mostly in line with yours.

At least the Bratz have some diversity to them

My anti-Barbie blood boils right along with yours! Further down the pike (kids now 7,11,13 & 18) I can say there have been bigger, badder battles (with the same issues at play). Bottom line - I keep trying to shift the focus to help them away from the shiny objects and to the pithier side of life. Sometimes I win, and sometimes I am at American Apparel buying sparkle spandex. On balance, I think I will win the war but not every battle. Good luck!

What a fitting blog post! Yesterday, at my baby shower, I opened a present from my mother-in-law to discover a Barbie! Note: my daughter is still in utero. I'm not sure what Barbie this is (I think Slut Tan Barbie?), but I was rather taken aback by it. While I really enjoyed Barbie as a child (Barbie engaged in all sorts of sex adventures), its certainly isn't something I will encourage for my own daughter, though I will allow it.

Can I just say I'm envious of your wainscoting? Oh, and can I borrow that wig?

I know exactly what you mean. I have three sons, no daughters, and it does worry me that they'll grow up thinking that girls have enormous hair and are obsessed with pink. Their mother has pathetic hair and looks awful in anything rose coloured, but this might make it seem even more desirable. And as for Barbies. Well, I didn't think much about them until I came across a group of girls' in my son's kindergarten recently singing, 'Doncha wish your Barbie was hot like me'. These girls are four years old. Four. Talk about lock up your daughters...

Oh. PS.
My kid was a shark and at least one neighbor called her 'Buddy' and 'Little Man.'

*sigh*

Oh, THE WIG. It beats the ass off the Big Pink Bow and I didn't think that was POSSIBLE.

The thing with Barbies--I think that kids have them in a context, like a lot of things that parents can be ambivalent about. Q has a solid foundation and an awesome role model. She's turning out more than okay.

:)

That's a good perspective about it- I haven't even thought about this yet as Ivy is just one, but I know it's coming fast. And the first thing I thought was Marie Antoinette! Love it.

Steph

@mannequin -

YES! I love her wig. The one that was supposed to go with the costume was a little questionable.

Oh c'mon...that big bouffant is killer! I'd wear it, wouldn't you?

Yep, it's maddening. Princesses and fairies invaded our house, even though we didn't invite them or buy them. Now my kid comes home, tosses her clothes, and dives headfirst into being Belle or Snow White. The sissy princesses.

Having children really nailed down nature vs. nurture for me. These little monsters may have come from my body, but after that, they started making up their own minds.

Marie Antoinette is exactly who I thought of when I saw the photo.

After the Barbies will be the Brats or whatever is taking their place. And after that will be something else. Those discussions will continue, don't let them wear you down because you are on the right track.

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