The little girl puts on a little halter top, with flowers for "nursing" the baby. The baby cries, and makes sucking noises when held up to the flowers.
So, the concept is weird. The flowers are a little creepy, and any sentence containing "halter top" and "little girl" makes me cringe. BUT the feedback I heard on the radio this morning REALLY made me cringe. I heard men & women give reaction about this doll, saying it is "sexualizing children," or that it's encouraging them to grow up too fast. One individual even stated that it would encourage teen pregnancy. These comments made me angry. The woman that was actually being interviewed expressed exactly how I felt in many ways, but the topic and the reactions shared made me feel tense, and agitated, and I just feel like there's more to be said on the topic. So, this is where I'm going to say it!
Why is it that dolls, like bratz & barbie are promoted to young girls? When I look at those dolls I see make up, sleezy clothing, vanity, and sexuality. Their lips, their poses, their clothes are all communicating a message to girls; not a message that would promote what I believe a woman should be. Barbie's motto, as far as I can remember, and google has semi-confirmed it is "Be Who You Want to Be." The emphasis seems to be on being an independent, strong woman. A woman who can take care of herself, and get what she wants.
My experience in working with youth has taught me the huge impact that attachment, positive regard, and most importantly LOVE, can have on a person. Children that have solid relationships with their parents don't go looking outside that to feel validated. Teen pregnancies come along when girls go in search of acceptance and validation because they don't feel the unconditional love of someone that they respect and love. Barbie saying "be who you want to be" does not teach girls to seek out their best selves. It teaches girls to demand things of others: attention, acceptance, recognition... when in reality, loving relationships (ie: parents that also model healthy relationships) teach girls to accept themselves first and to become who they want to be from that.
I started writing this around 10:30 this morning, and now I'm back at it, past midnight. I've read over a few talks, which I think describe womanhood in a beautiful way.
I think that in our pursuit to be recognized, to be noticed, and to be acknowledged, we, as women, have forgotten the true significance of our very natures. We are capable of so much. We have a beautiful and honorable opportunity, as women, to be the back bone of our families, to raise children, to nurture, to love, to teach. Why is it, that we seek for recognition outside of this amazing calling? Why do we degrade ourselves further, by exposing our bodies, and defiling our purity? Again- is it all to for recognition? To be noticed? To be acknowledged?
When my little boy looks at me, and grins- like there's nothing else in the world that matters more than me- there is no recognition, no award, no promotion, nothing, that could motivate me further. I know that there is no other task, no other career, no other pursuit in which I can make an impact, like I can by embracing my own perception of femininity, and striving to be the best (most loving-nurturing-patient-kind-humorous-gentle-active-nourishing-knowledge imparting) mama I can be.
So, I know, I know- What a rant stemming from the breast feeding doll, but I suppose, for me, it all comes down to this: If I have a choice (for my future daughters, or my nieces, or for the girls of the world in general) between barbies and brats, that ooze sexuality with a mask of "independence," OR a doll designed to imitate a nursing baby, then I choose the nursing baby! And I choose it because I want girls to know that they can be whatever they want to be, and that the best thing they can be, is themselves! By embracing their nature, as a woman- they can make an eternity of a difference.
Margaret N. Nadauld said the following, about women, and I really love it:
Women of God can never be like women of the world.
The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender.
There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind.
There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined.
We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith.
We have enough greed; we need more goodness.
We have enough vanity; we need more virtue.
We have enough popularity; we need more purity.
I really love being a mother, and I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father has entrusted Roland Marlow into my care. I love him so much, and I look forward to meet any other sweet spirits the Lord sees fit to bless me with. I hope that I can be all that they need in a Mother.