Monday, November 19, 2007

I Want To Be A Clone.

My daughter was over at a friend's house today. Charlotte is six, and so is Rosie. When I came to pick her up, Charlotte excitedly showed me that Rosie had a new poster in her room - her dad had bought it for her. For his six year old girl.




So I get that there are probably some people out there who think there is nothing objectionable about this. I, myself, admire NF's sassiness. She's Canadian, too, from my own city (Go Nelly!). But for a six year old? Couldn't the assault on her innocence wait a while? Shouldn't she still be playing with dolls and watching Super Grover?


Images are powerful. And our society bombards us with images that whole corporations full of people have studied, researched, tested, and developed for one purpose: to COMPEL US TO BUY THINGS. Is it in the best interests of a multi-billion dollar industry to encourage women to be happy and content with themselves as they are? Do they want us to be the kind of women who say "No thanks, I walk a fair bit: I don't need to buy a membership to your gym"? Or, "My breasts are just fine as they are, thanks - they don't need to be lifted and tucked and tightened and fluffed up. Keep your scalpel/cruel underwires/expensive creams to yourself."


I'll admit something. When I look into my daughters' future, (and obviously that future is not as far away as I had hoped it would be) I feel fear. I don't know how much I can do to help them - I try, but in my heart I know they will hear and obey all those messages from the purveyors of the Beauty Myth. They will be like every other girl: with an inward hatred of their bodies, in part or in whole. They will agonize and struggle, feel inadequate - or overadequate - and cry bitter tears about their upper arms. They will make distasteful faces into the mirror. They will heave gigantic sighs and say to their girlfriends, "I wish I had your thighs."


Ask me how I know.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaH4y6ZjSfE

15 comments:

chris said...

Good for you!!! As someone who get's to be around 6 year olds all day, I applaude your attitude and I wish more parents could look at things that way. Believe me when I tell you, and I'm sure I don't have to tell you - kids are exposed to too much "adult" influences than is healthy.

Michelle said...

I'm very concerned as well. I remember reading articles talking about how difficult it was for even elementary school girls to find a Halloween costume that wasn't 'sexy'...and then in WalMart the other day I say a Barbie-type doll with the label (I kid you not) "Juicy Bling". And don't even get me started on the freaks trying to sell push-up bras and thong underwear to the age 7 to 10 (or younger) crowd.

Stace' said...

Land's End, here we come!!!

kate said...

A friend was telling me she was in WM*rt, and saw a Tshirt for (young) boys that said "I don't talk to losers". Our kids are surrounded by "how to be cool" messages, and it is so important to counteract those messages daily if you don't agree with them.

Those D*ve commercials bother me though -- they are the beauty industry and they only did it to find a new angle to sell you their beauty products, you know? Call me a cynic!

Shan said...

No, it's true. They are part of the industry. But I've always been a "message before medium" person: their perspective doesn't make their message any less true.

Jo said...

Oh my - there is no way that would be in Willow's room. My husband takes a hard stance with all the barbies, bratz, and other 'hot chick' little girl dolls.

Christy said...

I hear ya Shannon! That would not be in my daughters room either!

Heatherly said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fu6EjIkCWk

song to combat the media crap :-)
SIMs version

Ames said...

Ox and I were just having a similar conversation on Saturday as we sat in the mall food court and watched all the "fashionable" young people. One girl about seven or eight years old caught my eye. She had on a very short black dress with leopard skin type print on it and black, heeled boots. It just makes me wonder what in the world will she wearing at sixteen. And, why do the parents buy this stuff? I am not interested in exploiting my child's body now or when she is a teenager.

In addition, I am trying to focus on healthy bodies rather than skinny /voluptuous/sexy with our daughters. I hope it takes.

lizbon said...

Damn straight. I wonder about my nieces, too. But then I think about my own self, and how I managed to climb out of that hole (not without a lot of effort and a pick-axe I grew from my own bones) as a young adult, and be mostly unbothered by that crap afterward.

I say mostly because it all gets stirred up again when you begin dating again in NYC.

But what I meant to say is that I did all that without a mom who was fighting tooth and nail against those messages (nothing against my mom; she had other stuff to deal with, and at least she didn't let us have Barbie dolls). So I think your girls will be okay, really. They'll still have to live in this world, but they'll manage it. And maybe change it.

Gwen said...

Very nice, Lizbon. Was going to write a pessimistic and doomsday tirade against the media, but felt reassured by your comment.

Although the pick-axe bit disturbs me.

Anyway... was going to say, I like the dark wintry feel to the new template! ho ho ho!

Gwen said...

ps - I know enough to stay afloat, but not enough to rock the boat.

knititch said...

when i was young (i am 46) some were not even allowed to have a barbie doll. i have just stopped working in a school and i really hated the way the children were exposed to sex and dolce gabbana and so on and so forth. i wonder what will be new for them when the get older. i like little children wearing braids and wooly mittens and being children (hoho). yes it was the endless steppe btw. i am sure. made big impression on me when i was just an innocent girl.
and i hope you like my commonwealth choice of celebrities. i am curious what you come up with.

amanda said...

You should have seen my 8 yr old niece's halloween costume. Bare middle and all.

The cabling in your previous posts is beautiful. I just started Starsky using the same Classic AL - it's great yarn.

Annalea said...

I agree . . . except about the part where you say your girls are going to grow up just like the rest of them.

Yes, they'll be girls. They've got generations of genetic memory to overcome, and they'll be bombarded to an extent.

But they have a mum who is strong, raising them herself (props for keeping them home from the institution), and who will make a tremendous impact on their lives.

Things will turn out better than you think, despite your fears. ;o) Just ask me how I know . . .