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Thursday
Dec152011

BARBIE, NO!: ONE DAD'S CHRISTMAS TIME QUEST TO END THE GENDER STEREOTYPING OF LITTLE GIRLS

"Paris Hilton: Human Barbie Doll?"

It should go without saying that shopping for Christmas gifts with a toddler in tow is never a good idea. But only a glutton for punishment would take a toddler along to buy toys. And only a real fool would walk his little girl (and his wife) right in to his own personal hell (the Doll section) and expect to walk out unscathed. Because when it comes to the battle of wills between dad and daughter over the right time to buy her her first Barbie Doll, there is only one loser. And, that would be me.

Don't get me wrong. I'd give my daughter the world if I could, but it's not like she's suffering from a lack of stimulation. There are more toys in my living room than I care to count, and there are more unopened toys from her last birthday party than I care to open. And, I realize I have no control over the wants of my little girl. She's no different than any other little "girly" girl- she likes rings, and bracelets, and necklaces; she loves pinks and purples and peaches; and she loves anything to do with dressing up. The issue is, I often wonder if this was her choice or if certain other family members (my wife, all her sisters, my mother, my wife's mother) helped to guide her in a certain direction towards a kind of gender typing that any dad- one who prayed for a Tomboy-  would be helpless against. One day you're dressing your little girl in Star Wars t-shirts and black cargo pants, and the next she's wearing a party dress and pink pearls- or worse, she wants a doll that she can dress like that.

I knew it was a mistake to walk by the Barbie section. I smelled the set-up from the moment we walked in the store. My wife, in her infinite wisdom, thought if she could just get me and my daughter in the store, down the right aisle, and in the right mood that there would be no way that I would say no to such an innocent request from the apple of Daddy's eye. What "request" you ask (as if you really need to ask it)? The subtle "I WANT A BARBIE!!!" of course.  Well, Daddy wasn't having it. This dad is fighting tooth and nail to keep the dream alive (a daughter that will choose hockey over ballet). And if he had any pull at all, this was the time to put his foot down.

 

 


Baby: "Daddy... Barbie!"
Daddy: "No, Sweetie. Daddy doesn't believe in the kind of gender stereotyping that leads small girls to develop image issues later in life."
Mommy: "Aw, c'mon Sweetie. It's just a Barbie."
Daddy: "Well, then, it's just a G.I. Joe. Why don't we walk her by the "boys" toy section and see if maybe she wants to choose something from there?"
Mommy: "She's a girl?"
Daddy: "And girls don't go to war?"
Mommy: "Good point...But she's "our" girl and SHE wants a Barbie."
Baby: "BARBIE!!!!!!!!"
Daddy: "Let me explain this to both of you in a way you might both understand..."
Mommy: "Oh, no. Not in song again..."
Daddy: "1, 2, 3, 4.... 
Image From "Yes Man," 2008

 

 BARBIE, NO!!!
"I know you want things, I guess that's fair
You want a Barbie, to comb her hair
 I see your tears, don't even start
 Don't even think of putting Barbie in the cart
 Barbie's evil, your Dad's not playing
 So keep on whining, 'cuz we're not stayin'
  I know your mother thought I'd be defied
  But her quest to girlify you's been denied
 And Daddy's like...
Barbie, Barbie, Barbie nooo!
Like Barbie, Barbie, Barbie, ooooh!
Barbie, Barbie, Barbie nooo!
Or your Daddy's gonna lose his mind (mind)
Barbie, Barbie, Barbie nooo!
Like Barbie, Barbie, Barbie, ooooh!
Barbie, Barbie, Barbie nooo!
Or your Daddy's gonna lose his mind (mind)
I wish you knew, it doesn't give me pleasure
But I just can't give in, or you'll be lost forever
'cuz this just ain't cool, and I'm not appeasing you
Won't give you everything just because you're screaming
You might be my weakness, but I won't agree
You won't break me with your temper or your loud screams
I hate that sound, sound, sound, sound...
But your Dad's the boss and he won't be pushed around
And Daddy's like...
Barbie, Barbie, Barbie nooo!
Like Barbie, Barbie, Barbie, ooooh!
Barbie, Barbie, Barbie nooo!
Or your Daddy's gonna lose his mind (mind)
Barbie, Barbie, Barbie nooo!
Like Barbie, Barbie, Barbie, ooooh!
Barbie, Barbie, Barbie nooo!
Or your Daddy's gonna lose his mind (mind)
When you're thirteen, and you're full of self love
You'll remember what I'm doing, and what I'm doing's out of love
You think your Daddy's crazy, but this doll sucks
It's not a question of the money 'cuz she's only 12 bucks
Don't make my head pound, just use your feet and let's move it to the street
and cool it on the shrill sounds, as your screaming's not a' workin'
I know your heart's breaking 'cuz Barbie's so "Amazing"
But you can stop your faking, as Daddy keeps on sayin'...

 

Barbie, Barbie, Barbie nooo!
Like Barbie, Barbie, Barbie, ooooh!
Barbie, Barbie, Barbie nooo!
Or your Daddy's gonna lose his mind (mind)
Barbie, Barbie, Barbie nooo!
Like Barbie, Barbie, Barbie, ooooh!
Barbie, Barbie, Barbie nooo!
Or your Daddy's gonna lose his mind (mind)
[Puts Barbie Back on the Shelf, and pushes the cart away]
All gone (Yeah Yeah Yeah, Yeah Yeah Yeah)
She's all gone (Yeah Yeah Yeah, Yeah Yeah Yeah)
She's all gone (Yeah Yeah Yeah, Yeah Yeah Yeah)
All gone (gone, gone, gone...)
  All gone


And on that note, my wife takes the Barbie off the shelf, hands it to my daughter, and says:

 

"Here baby. Don't listen to Daddy. He doesn't know what it's like to be a little girl."

Sigh. 

I may not know what's it's like to be a little girl, but I know what it's like to be a little boy who grows up "reading" magazines featuring little girls (18+) raised on the impossible ideals of dolls with ridiculous measurements and antiquated aspirations. But what do dads know? We're just eye candy.

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
FROM
FODDER 4 FATHERS

 

 

 

"BARBIE GIRL" AQUA, 1997 Universal Records

 

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Disclaimer: No toddlers were traumatized during the making of this post- just Daddies. Some dramatic license was taken, as it cannot be proven that my wife has ever set me up to buy my daughter a Barbie Doll- it's just a theory held by the writer. However, we would like to take this opportunity to thank said wife for her contribution to the lyrics created for this post and her continued support of this blog. No man is an island.

 

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