Foreword : Please note that this post is not actually about Barbies or their un/worthiness as play toys. It is the nature of the parent/child interaction that is written about here. Mostly.
There happened to be a pair of Barbie panties in the new bunch of size 6 panties I got out yesterday.
This morning, my girls swooned over the Barbie panties.
I was less than pleased at this show of weakness in the face of relentless advertising.
(And this is the point in the discussion where my mom will chime in that I -and my sister – had Barbies as a children and loved them and still managed to turn out well and with a healthy and realistic body image. And this is the point where I agree with her and fondly remember many happy hours of make-believe.)
Lia sensed my (frank) disapproval of the Barbie panties. Maybe she was clued in when I said that we were going to give them away.
She asked (rather astutely, I thought) why I don’t like Barbies.
And I said, “Do you really want to know?”
And she did. So I told it to her straight, in a bulleted and annotated fashion, using lots of big words. And my position lecture on Barbies went *something* like this. And yes, I actually said, “number one…”.
#1. I don’t like Barbies because of the advertising. There is Barbie stuff everywhere and all the Barbie company wants you to do is to want more Barbie stuff. I don’t appreciate such superficial influence and think we should resist it at first impulse until we can clearly think about the products.
#2. I don’t like Barbies because Barbies are not accurate representations of women. Have you ever seen a woman that looks like a Barbie? No. I don’t want you to think that you should look like a Barbie because Barbies do not look like real people. And I repeated, “they are not accurate representations of real women”.
#3. I don’t like to have Barbie stuff because when there is Barbie stuff around, that is all that you see. You miss all the other beautiful and fun things in the world because you are so enamored with the Barbie stuff.
#4. There is one pair of Barbie panties and two girls.
I don’t remember the other two, but there were definitely six points to my morning lecture. I had been given leave to stand on my soapbox and preach and I did it creditably.
And Lia sat on the bed and listened attentively.
I was encouraged.
I had not planned to reveal my true sentiments over the ironing board on a Sabbath morning, but parenting requires one to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you…”. Ha.
So Lia responds.
And then it struck me as incredibly funny. In a sort of hysterical sort of way.