Opinion · Parenting · Rant

Aim for the…stores?

Academic Barbie?

I wanted to share with you some song lyrics from a Barbie book that was given to my little girl.

It’s called “Barbie Dress Up Songs” and it’s one of those books with buttons at the side so that when you press the button with a corresponding picture to the page that you are on, a tune (albeit a hideous, 8-bit monstrosity of a tune) plays, and you can sing along.

It goes as such:

A shop, a stylish boutique, on a sunny street.

And it was deeply laden with pretty things for me.

There were dresses in the window and hats on display.

The slippers were made of satin and the boots made of suede.

Now, I don’t mean to come over all Germaine Greer,  but are we not trying, these days, to get our girls to aim a bit higher? Can women ever really expect to be taken seriously when we allow ourselves to be characterised in this way, and from such a young age?

There are other songs in this book too.  They’re all fairly rubbish and flouncy, but the final one is the one which really gets my goat. It’s the fucking Wedding March. And the lyrics go:

Here comes the bride.

All dressed in white.

With ribbons and cake.

On her wedding day.


So here’s what I propose. How about Mattel publish an ‘Alternative Barbie’ book. One where Barbie goes to Universtiy, gets a PhD in Chemistry and spends her saturday afternoons researching cures for cancer, instead of, like, you know, shopping and giggling?

Or maybe Barbie doesn’t marry Ken, and just lives a fulfilled life, by herself, instead of seeking the validation of MAN. Or maybe, just maybe, Barbie will marry KenDRA, not Ken!

I’m not trying to say that Barbie is the root of all evil, and I’m not doing the usual rant about Barbie’s vital statistics giving us all a warped body image (although for those who want to know, if she were real, it’s estimated that she’d be 6′ tall, weigh 7st, have a 19″ waist, 33″ hips, and a 39″ bust! That’s not warped, that’s SCARY!) All I’m saying is, I just want my daughter to aim a little higher than Barbie has.

If she decides she wants to spend her life going shopping and to sleepovers, I’ll stand by her. If she decides that she wants to get married, have 2.4 kids, settle down and dedicate her life to her family, I’ll stand by her. Just as long as she does that becasue she WANTS to, and not because society, and Barbie, told her that she couldn’t aim higher.

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