Monday, January 17, 2011

Seriously?

Because the train is my main mode of commuting transportation, I try to keep a variety of entertainment in my work bag. Netbook, magazines, books, Sudoku. Which is why I lug a fairly large bag to and from work each day. One night last week, the battery in my netbook died (I always forget to charge that thing) so I pulled out a freebie copy of Parents magazine.

I read this interview/article with a journalist/author whose latest book is Cinderella Ate My Daughter. Um, seriously? (Seriously is one of my favorite words by the way.) So here's a blurb I pulled off of Amazon.com:

According to the American Psychological Association, the emphasis on beauty and play-sexiness at ever-younger ages is increasing girls’ vulnerability to the pitfalls that most concern parents: eating disorders, negative body image, depression, risky sexual behavior. Yet here we are with nearly half of six-year-old girls regularly using lipstick or lip gloss. The percentage of eight- to twelve-year-old girls wearing eyeliner or mascara has doubled in the last TWO years (I ask you: shouldn’t the percentage of eight-year-olds wearing eyeliner be zero?). Meanwhile, the marketing of pink, pretty, and “sassy” has become a gigantic business: the Disney Princesses alone are pulling in four BILLION dollars in revenue annually.

Okay, I'm sorry but where are the parents of the six year olds wearing lipstick! Come on!! Doesn't this all come down to parenting? Are we really going to blame poor parenting on Disney? Do people not realize that girls have always been this way? Our world has changed. Thirty-five years ago, we didn't have VCRs or DVD players or cable television or the internet. And guess what? I had a long dress that was a hand-me-down from someone and I loved wearing it. I was a princess in that dress. I also loved wearing ballerina clothes.

And you know what? I think I turned out just fine.

I admit that Disney has done an excellent job of marketing the whole princess thing but parents need to take some responsibility when it comes to their children. They need to parent. Isn't that the main complaint now? That parents aren't parenting. Princesses and fairy tales have been around for a long time, folks.

Now that my kids are in school, we have discussions about accepting people for who they are. Cripes, Anna has spina bifida. Don't you think we could end up in a situation where other kids are mean to her? I have already started teaching my children that we are nice to everyone. I can only hope that others are doing the same.

The world is theirs. My girls can be whatever they want to be. And for right now, if they want to be a princess or a ballerina, well, that's okay.

jan17a

So for all of you out there celebrating princesses and ballerinas, these adorable dresses and leg warmers are available at Old Navy. I had a coupon.

Don't even get me started on the article entitled "Gaga for Gadgets." Here was my favorite line from that one: "Having mastered the iPhone apps her parents downloaded for her by the time she was 1, she was ready to tap and swipe the day her dad, Jeremy, brought home an iPad." That article forgot to include an eye roll. Is there an app for that?



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11 comments:

Lily said...

i completely agree! By the way, their hair looks like it's growing!

The Beers Family said...

You crack me up - I completely agree!

Momma Chantal said...

I think that the princesses are harmless, but I do worry about the other dolls out there wearing belly shirts and with lower back tattoos. I was HORRIFIED when I went to Toys R Us for the first time to pick something up for my kids for Christmas. The things that parents were buying and the things on the shelves were so, for lack of a better word, trashy!

I think when little girls are playing with make up and dressing up they are mimicking mommy as much as they are being a princess. That is just doing what they see us do every day, and when we are doing it it isn't to be "sexy" (well, not all the time). ;)

Kris said...

Amen sistAH!! lol It started with the lady who put the hot cup of coffee between her legs while she was driving and blamed McDonalds for not telling her that was a bad idea. "Not Her Fault" Now nobody is responsible for anything if they can find someone or something to blame. Seriously ;)
This turned out to be a shttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwghabw4N80poof .. but it still cracks me up~

Kris said...

Not sure how I did that but here is the link again ..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwghabw4N80

KPM said...

Definitely true. Though, I admit I'm guilty of anti-princess rants. (I coincidentally just blogged about that today, actually.) But I know that I have more influence than Disney ever will! (Or I certainly HOPE that's true! :-)

Cindy said...

I 100% agree. My 6 y/o dresses up in costumes - it's her favorite thing to do lately. She's been getting into my makeup stash forever and it's made some pretty great pictures. I bought a kid makeup kit for her to save my poor lipsticks and eyeshadows. BUT she is never allowed to wear makeup outside the house because it's inappropriate. She plays princess and ballerina and her 2 y/o sisters do too. Sometimes they are the damsels in distress, sometimes they are the heroines. It's the same thing that little girls have been playing FOREVER. It's the parents job to parent. Don't buy them the inappropriate toys, don't let them go out with makeup on. Do your job to let kids be kids. But everyone is responsible for teaching their children their values and beliefs. Do your job parents and don't blame others for your bad judgement.
Oh, and "seriously" is one of my favorite words too :) It may be a New England thing.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you - it's so ridiculous what I read sometimes! By the way - I absolutely love the tights and dresses - I'll have to check out Old Navy - I love them!

Kathleen

Anonymous said...

I completely agree! I loved pink, dress up, etc., and I still don't wear eyeliner. I'm 32:) Along the same lines, I still liked sports, and didn't turn into a priss. Let girls be girls! Don't blame Disney.
Your girls are adorable, by the way.

freckletree. said...

It's been a long time since I've visited but it's great to see the girls growing up and as beautiful as ever!

I'm actually dealing with this with my two-year-old twins. I was the parent that said my daughters would not become immersed in princess-girly-pink-"pretty". Last night I spent $100 on Pink Princess crap for their birthday tomorrow. And they will love it. And I have to just deal with that. Because they are acting and singing and dancing and that is art. It's enhancing their creativity and they are excited about it. And that's a positive, wonderful thing.

Please god don't let them turn out to be whores.

Tina Michelle said...

Very well written and I totally love the word seriously too!