It’s moving day. A beat-up, faded, purple convertible is parked out by the pool, the backseat is overflowing with shoes, handbags, and tiaras. Beside the house there’s a Rubbermaid stuffed with furniture, and inside the mansion, in the downstairs kitchen, three well loved horses stand in unison. Ken and Barbie are parked out front in a hot pink jeep, while their not so favored friends, (most also named Barbie), prepare to make the trip in a paper grocery bag.
This eviction process started like most of the others, “Mom, do you think we could move the Barbie house out of my room? I’m not really ready to get rid of it, but I’d like to have the space. Maybe we could move them to the guest room?”
And so it begins; they’re not being kicked out completely, just moved to a not so desirable neighborhood.
I’m really not broken up about this transition, because Dani has never really played with her Barbie’s that much. It is not, however, that I have an issue with Barbie dolls.
And yes, I’ve heard, at least once, “Oh? You’re going to let her play with Barbies!? Don’t you think that will give her unrealistic body type expectations???”
Ummmm…No. I had Barbie’s, I never thought I’d be one.
Frankly, as it turns out, a more realistic body type expectation for me was my Weeble Wooble, but at least I’ve always been able to go down the slide at the playground without toppling over, so there’s that.
Also? In the almost twelve years since she was born, D has been around a fair number of actual people. She has personally known many, many real humans who are not six feet tall with feet so tiny that they can’t stand up. I don’t think she expects to grow up and be like Barbie any more than she expects to grow up and feed her family out of her Easy Bake Oven.
I loved my Barbie’s when I was her age, I didn’t grow up with any preconceived notion of physical perfection, I just loved her clothes. I am one of only a couple girls among a whole lot of boy cousins, I spent most of my childhood wearing hand me down Wrangler jeans and football t-shirts. I was completely enamored with Barbie clothes, I knew that grown ups didn’t really run errands in evening gowns, but you can bet that my Barbie did.
So can we chill out on worrying about how every toy is going to effect our children as adults? I’m going to assume that most of us spend enough time with our kids in real-life-land that they understand that toys are toys. My kids also had a little bear that played music when you pulled it’s tail. And yet, of all the concerns I have, them pulling the tail of a bear and being mauled while expecting to hear an acoustic version of Mary Had A Little Lamb, is not even remotely on my radar.
Turns out, D did decide to sell her Barbie house, now she is saving for more Legos. (Yep, totally NOT how you build a real house).