Perusing the Internet I came upon an article Saving Our Daughters From An Army Of Princesses with a book excerpt by journalist and mom, Peggy Orenstein. This led me to tweet about it which in turn elicited a rather brilliant pitch by Melissa Wardy (@PigtailPals) who owns www.pigtailpals.com and states on the website that “she doesn’t want to confine her little girl to the pink and purple world being marketed to her.” As many of you know, I do not have a little girl so why do I care about all this? For now I don’t care, really. It is one of those things in life that you say “I’ll deal with it when and if I must.” I figure I already have enough worry about with a son and all the possible mischief and mayhem that he will wreak and encounter. I could not help reading the article, though, and thinking what would I do?
You see, I hate pink. I hate it intensely. As an accent maybe, but the full on pink triggers a knee buckling migraine in my head. When my wife was pregnant and we did not know yet if we were having a boy or girl friends and family had their fingers crossed it was a girl so they could antagonize me with pink everything. I swore it would all end up in a bonfire. At the same time I realized that if I had a girl I would present her with a contradictory mixed bag of Neanderthal fathering and über-Liberal parenting. I would want a brilliant, confident and independent thinker with top grades and the youngest person to do something that was never done before and that would save lives and children and ultimately the world from doom. At the same I would have one rule that was to be enforced at all costs: no boys, ever.
My question is: Does letting a daughter play with Barbie stunt her growth as a person? I doubt it. I see so many women around me who grew up playing with dolls who are just as confident and empowered as their brothers who played with cars (not that I am implying that only playing with dolls or cars will make you confident). But what do I know? I am neither a girl nor the father of one.
I wonder, hypothetically, though, how I would cope with all the “girlyness”. I am all for playing knights and princesses and sitting down with teddy bear for tea, but am I going to have to stave off the insanity of the next Barbie fad or worse a riot inducing Cabbage Patch Kid launch? Then again it wouldn’t be the first time I stood in line for something and this time it would be for my kid. I’ll probably end up buying Barbie after hours of pleading and puppy dog eyes. I assume there is a camo-chic Barbie, right?