Week one of Banned Barbies.
Last week I took a large black garbage bag and "cleaned up" the kids room. While they were running up and down the stairs delivering various things to the laundry room and kitchen I was hoarding away the Barbies in the inconspicuous black bag of banned toys.
I have to admit it was liberating tossing those perfect figures (we donated them) into the bag and I did feel a little naughty when the kids would come back up and I'd have to close the bag up quickly so as to not be found out for my crimes. Though in the end the ends justified the means. It's been a full week and neither of my daughters (ages 3 and 5) have noticed their bins lacking.
We are reading a book called "Beyond the Rainbow Bridge" which is chock full of wonderful words of wisdom centered around raising children ages birth to 7 (which we have almost 5 in that age group). In the very first part of the book it says that "What is normal is not always Healthy" or something worded slightly different. It made me realize that just because there is a hot pink aisle in every Target or Walmart and everyone and their cousin has a box full of these toys, doesn't mean that it's right for MY child or MY home. Stepping away from the Main Stream can be difficult and tricky but I think in this case the results are priceless.
They have in fact, started playing with OTHER toys they had abandoned for Barbie play. Which are more innocent than those scantily clad, impossible to replicate in real life, women. Because lets face it, Barbies are notoriously gallivanting around the house NUDE, possibly in panties depending on the mold but otherwise completely bare. As I've found during play dates, Barbies tend to follow a more nudist lifestyle in other homes as well. A fact that just doesn't sit well with me or her daddy.
Here's why. My 5 year old daughter is amazing, she strong, sensitive and beautiful. When she's not paired with a Barbie she has a wonderful self image. But as soon as Barbie and her posse come around she starts saying things about her body and how she wants to look when she grows up i.e. "I want to get big boobies when I grow up". For a 5 year old (and anyone not old enough to buy their own breasts), in our home this is not acceptable.
Why on Earth should a 5 year old girl be worried about her future appearance? Why should anyone pre-pubescent for that matter? It was a problem with an easy solution...Barbie had to go.
Her eviction came with little fan fare, as the kids had NO idea she was on her way out. Now, a week later we've had 2 requests to play Barbie with which the girls were very easily directed to other forms of play or other responsibilities they hadn't completed. Their main play with Barbies was the dynamic of mother and child which has been easily filled with other toys such as, playmobil, Loving Family doll house people and believe it or not, match box cars (the larger Loving Family mini van acted as mother to the much smaller match boxes). The girls are content and haven't even noticed one missing Barbie clan member. I'm feeling mighty grand that we don't have these images of unfulfillable destinies cluttering our wee ones minds. Now comes the hard part, getting the relatives to stop buying them.