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Archive for January 25th, 2008

Recently Spawn had an opportunity to choose a birthday gift for a female classmate, and as I like to do, I made the kid pick the gift out rather than me assuming what I should get.  These kids today and their cartoon idols and movie toys… I am lost in the toy department anymore. 

Choosing a gift for another person is something that you really need to do yourself, rather than rely on someone else’s judgement.  This holds true even if you’re seven.  Ostensibly, you know what your friends like. 

So while I’m standing there in the toy aisle in Walmart, slowly losing my mind while Spawn is making a decision, I started looking at the Barbies. 

Now, I loves me some Barbie.  I was pretty deep into Barbie in the 70’s, when she had those huge boobies and that long, straight, blonde surfer-girl hair and tan.  And my Barbies had the clothes.  My grandmother made Barbie clothes for me and let me tell you, my dolls were pretty dolled up.  I am probably the only kid whose Barbie had a real mink coat.  Yes, my grandmother cut up her mink stole (let’s be honest, the moths had gotten into it anyway) and made me a mink coat and hat for my Barbie doll. 

Yes, I was a spoiled little kid.  What of it? 

Anyway, I got to looking at the dolls they had in the Barbie section, and one generic Ken-style doll caught my attention.  A groom doll.  Really?  Hmm.  I picked it up and read the box, and you know, as an advertising copywriter I understand why it said what it said, but on a deeper level I really got kind of disgusted.  I don’t remember the exact wording (borrowing here from the link above) but “When the beautiful Barbie Bride doll walks down the aisle, this handsome Groom doll will be waiting at the altar. He is wearing a stylish, elegantly detailed tuxedo, white shirt, and bow tie.”  The name on the box said something like “Dream Groom”. 

The tired and withered feminist in my heart rose up with a cough and sputtered to an impotent rage.  This is what we teach our girls?  That the goal is to have a dream groom and a dream wedding? 

Come to think of it, that’s the reason I’m in the fix I’m in.   

I’ve been thinking about my foolish youth as of late, and how back when I was in my late teens and early 20’s my big fixation was to have a man.  Had a man, I was happy.  Didn’t have a man, I was miserable.  I see the error of my ways now, of course.  Because after 20 years of having a man (and the same one the whole time, at that), I understand that having a man isn’t the be-all end-all my stupid young brain thought it was. 

My man, he’s a pain in my ass. 

Anyway, I got to thinking about the whole bill of goods that Barbie is selling these days.  Other than being a veterinarian, what else does Barbie aspire to?  A model, a rock star, a princess, a bride, a princess bride.  99.9% of which have nothing to do with brains and everything to do with looks.  And we give these dolls to our girls as something to emulate? 

I’m telling you, being a smart woman lasts a lot longer than being a pretty one.  Because, you know, gravity sucks.  Age will drag you down and take your boobs with it. 

The world is a lot wider these days than it was when I was a little girl.  And a man is not a plan.  Isn’t it time that the girls of Spawn’s generation get fed with something other than “pretty girl” pablum? 

— Mox

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