We are being misled to think Barbie is empowered because she's wearing shrubs, a suit, overall, uniform or geeky T-Shirt. But Barbie can't actively use her body to walk, jump, or, in fact, work. She was made to be an object we look at and kit out. What she wears when she's boarding a jet is more important than how fast she can fly it.
What I am reading more and more is that we basically have to walk on egg shells with our children for fear that we are going to forever damage their self image. I prefer to think that by telling Toby and soon his sister that they are all of the above things that they will believe me, they will know that they are loved and they will feel confident.
If you're a parent of enquiring minds you've had to face the terrorism question. If you're lucky it was only, What is a terrorist?. If you're less lucky you had to satisfy, What is ISIS? and if you're downright unlucky, your offspring demanded an explanation for, Why does someone kill for ISIS? Honestly, I'd rather have the S.E.X talk than this one.
Before I became a mum, I thought I knew what fear was. I believed I had felt it and experienced its debilitating force. I now know I was wrong. I would give anything to go back to the time when my biggest fear was sleeping through my alarm and arriving late for work. Or forgetting to pay my landlord his rent on time.
Watching your son grow up is a great joy. Watching your son prepare to leave home is a journey of tiny painful steps. He used to call me when he left school and he would chat on the phone until he arrived home and could tell me all about his day in person. Now I'm not always sure if he is in the house.
Using children as a marketing tool with pester power and peer pressure to get parents spending is a sly trick played on us by the marketing departments of big corporates like Disney. Persuading consumers to buy a pink and a blue version of everything to comply with the gender rule results in those companies doubling their profits!
I try and make it one of many expressions of herself. I say it's important to remember they are only masks and you can always take them off. And I tell her, it's far more important to know who she is beneath them because the only true friends you make are those with whom you don't have to wear any mask... at all.