Thursday, October 23, 2008


Yesterday, GIRL and I went into a local drugstore looking for a witch's hat. She has decided that she will be a witch for Halloween. But, a "friendly witch." After sorting through the piles of spooky paraphernalia, we found a great witch's hat with long scraggly grey hair. It was perfect and I can cut the wig out. As we were making our way to the cashier, GIRL spotted a display of dolls. She reached out and plucked one of the dolls down. She stared at it. Mesmerized. She looked up at me with a huge smile...

I want her!

You do?

Mmmm. Mmm. *SIGH* She's beautiful......

Why do you think she is beautiful, GIRL?

Her lipstick!

I am ashamed to say, my first impulse was to shriek: NO WAY ARE YOU BRINGING HOME THAT TRASHY LOOKING DOLL! I managed to restrain myself. I was overreacting. Or was I? It wasn't one of those dolls. The ones heavily made up and wearing minimal clothing, but it was a bit similar and it scared me. I don't want my daughter to think this is how young women should look.

Are you sure, GIRL?

Yes, mommy. I'm really, really sure.

GIRL, how about if we find one that doesn't have as much make-up on? I don't feel comfortable with you buying this particular one. about this one?


Okay, can pick the first one.

Thank you, Mommy. She is so pretty. I love her red lipstick.

GIRL, I am going to buy you this doll because you've really been working hard in your swimming lessons and following the rules at home. You've been doing a wonderful job. I'm very proud of you. But, I also want you to know that every time you see something you like, we are not going to buy it.

Okay, Mama.


BOY, look at the doll I got!!

WOW, GIRL...she's pretty!

Good GOD, this stuff panders to the impressionable, young male mind!!


There will be a time when I'll have to have that talk with GIRL about all of this. But, she's 4. And she thinks the doll is beautiful because she has red lipstick. That is all. It is very simple in her mind. For me, a bit more complicated. But, the baggage is mine and I'll have to sort through it before we have that talk...

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  1. That's not the doll, is it, because she's not all that trashy. I saw a washer/dryer play set for girls (all pink) the other day, and was all !X#! That is just wrong.

  2. I feel your ambivalence. Its hard to approach the politics of makeup (and gender) with our kids.

  3. Ugh, this is a hard conversation to have with your daughter - because she is 4, it's "just a doll" and the more you protest, the more kids want stuff...

    We've tried to be nonchalant and matter-of-fact with our "Sorry, but we don't love this portrayal of girls; we can discuss it more later." But still - you're so right about baggage. Ugh.

  4. I feel your ambivalence. Its hard to approach the politics of makeup (and gender) with our kids.

  5. What is our world coming to? Next it will be Hooker Barbie and her partner Slutty Skipper. And they'll do threesomes.

  6. Okay, I'm in the minority here but "what's wrong with some red lipstick?" Personally, I don't like it, don't wear it, but I get the fascination with it. Particularly for a 4 year old girl. Remember how we loved to watch mom put on makeup and wear perfume? No need to worry, it's normal girly stuff. Think of yourself at that age and then let it go. You'll have to deal with real worries soon enough. Should I duck?

  7. Nothing wrong with the red lipstick. I agree. That's fun stuff. It's the whole presentation. All the makeup, skin tight clothes, all marketed to little girls.

    Yes, this doll is the one. And she's pretty cute. That's why I chose to chill on this one... Now If you had seen the OTHER one.

  8. I understand where you're coming from.

    I was shocked by the ads for the GAP last Christmas - they had children - small children - wearing make-up, clothes and posing like adults.

    I don't want my daughter to grow up too fast. She can only be a little girl for a few years - she has a lifetime to be an adult. With red lipstick!

  9. MQ knows that "those other dolls" of which you speak are banned from our home, but the barbies are starting to get just as bad!

  10. So with you here. And because my Girly is the only girl in my hubby's whole family, they want to buy her all sorts of inappropriate 'girl' things, simply because they are for girls. The editing gets harder and harder.
    take care,

  11. I was appauled, while at my in-laws house, that my MIL gave my daughter one of "those dolls" Catey is not quite 3......those dolls are horrible, and I will not spend my hard earned money on them. to innocently "lose" the one who tragically made her way to California from Ohio into my household......Oh I have plans for that dolly!!

  12. curious, do you wear red lipsticks? if you do, then she is just fond of it because it has 'something' that you have....*wink* bottomline she loves you! *laugh*

    (but YOU are definitely VERY different from that Doll!)

  13. It's a tough one. Lexi has plucked names off a Christmas tree before and nearly every time the child in need has asked for a Bratz doll.

    I really don't like those dolls or that campaign, but this is the one thing the kid wants, so I do it, searching for the least skanky one in the batch.

    No small feat.

    Stephanie and I made a pledge last week that won't be endorsing the sophisticated tween costumes either. Not yet.

    There's just so little time for them to be baggage free.

    You're a great mother.

  14. Bratz dolls make me want to eat my own eye and I am not even a mom

  15. I think is one reason some of us were willing to invest so much money in American Girl dolls--they might be pricey, but they definitely aren't trashy.

  16. I'm with you. Being a girl is ROUGH, and it starts early.

  17. Personally, I'm diggin' the doll's shoes!

  18. I feel faint. So far the Queen is only interested in baby dolls, but I know the day is coming.


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