Body by BarbieDecember 20, 2010 at 5:00 am | Posted in Lollipop | 29 Comments
Tags: Barbie, Body Image, Challenges, Girls, Growing Up, Motherhood, Parenting, Perspectives, Self-Awareness, Self-Esteem
Lollipop’s Christmas list has revolved around one word this year. Barbie.
Every time I hear it, I cringe. Barbie. [Cringe.] Barbie. [Cringe.] (See?)
The ironic part is, I played with Barbies. Probably much longer than most girls. I loved them. My Barbies and their wardrobes are still in my parents’ attic somewhere. Peaches and Cream Barbie. Barbie and the Rockers. The Heart Family. Crystal Barbie. Ah, the memories.
So when I’m not asking Lollipop what else she wants for Christmas, I’m asking myself this: Why is it different now?
But it’s more than that. It’s taken me a long time to make peace with my own body. To have that piece of pie when I wanted it. To understand that eating the entire pie was about so much more than, well, pie. To accept that I don’t look like Barbie, I never will, and that’s okay. It’s more than okay — it’s genetics at its best.
Did Barbie make my struggle tougher? Who knows? It could just as easily have been my subscription to Seventeen, the perky cheerleaders who were revered at my high school, or the sorority sisters I watched binge and purge. Or none of these things.
It could have been me. Just me.
I don’t want this for Lollipop. But I wonder if she can avoid it, if any girl can. I worry about her fledgling self-esteem. And how I can help her understand that who she is, exactly as she is, is beautiful.
I don’t think Malibu Barbie will help. So I guess I’m looking for Frumpy Barbie. Or at least Fully Clothed Barbie. Can Santa deliver one of those?
How do you feel about Barbie? How do you encourage a positive body image in your children, especially your daughters? And what’s the cringe-worthy item on your child’s Christmas list?