Thursday, December 14, 2006

Barbie went too far

Last night we took the kids to a large toy store. It was to prepare for their New Orleans grandparents annual trek to this store to buy them gifts. It is a thing my father-in-law loves to do. He's a guy with little joy in his life and if this gives him some, so be it.

I however, hate these huge stores. And the Barbie section didn't help.

I have nothing against Barbie. In fact, I desperately wanted a Barbie doll for years as a kid but my mother stood her feminist-ground and refused to get me one. So did Santa Claus. Apparently after yet another Christmas with no Barbie under the tree, my forlorn face made mom call my aunt for all of an older cousin's beat-up Barbie dolls. I'll never forget that box full of half-dressed, ratty haired Barbies. I was in heaven.

So I was wandering the store with my two-year-old daughter. She was more interested in the objects (a kitchen, a phone, a CD player which she knows "makes music") then the characters plastered on them. Then I saw it. Or rather her.

Barbie was wearing a cropped top, micro-mini skirt, CFM boots and holding a funky bag. Not a big deal since she is competing with Bratz these days.

However, the tiny shirt had Elmo's face. The itty-bitty skirt was topped with an Elmo belt buckle. The boots had Elmo socks sticking out. The bag had Elmo's face as well. And Mz. Thing had her very own mini Elmo that did something. I'm not sure what it did (dance, sing, poop) because I wanted to get away from it as fast as possible before she saw it.

It would be one thing if she were Preschool Teacher Barbie and had Elmo helping her. Or even Sesame Street Barbie with a bunch of characters. Or even pair her with Elmo but have Barbie wear a track suit.

With everything going on about girls body image, how could Sesame Street knowingly let a beloved character's face adorn a doll dressed as a slut.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fully Agree!
Body display/ body selling/ sensual teasing/ /are fun and good things when BOTH parties to the interaction understand what is at stake for the long run. Slut Barbie has no concept of what goes on about her in the male mind. We all learn from our seniors by expample this is not the example I want of MY daughter or