Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone. But for people who don’t pray to the god of Walmart (or as I call it, the Great Wal of China), you’ll be doing your Christmas shopping within the next few weeks. Or if you’re like me, on Dec. 24.
And every year, that same dumb skinny blonde is always the most-talked about thing. No, I don’t mean David Spade; I mean Barbie.
I’m all for feminism and equal rights for both genders. I’m glad women get to vote, so they can be pandered to by corporate-run politicians and have absolutely no say in how our elected officials govern as much as men are. That’s an awesome thing.
But people who think the toys we play with as children actually affect our lives as adults are delusional.
The American Association of University Women, which has been deluding women since 1881, put out its second annual “Holiday Gift Guide for Girls” in early November. Sorry, did I say deluding? I meant empowering. Empowering women. Damn misogynistic autocorrect. That’s like the time I typed that Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State, and it autocorrected it to Administrative Assistant of State.
The AAUW offers 16 toy ideas that it says are not “highly gendered” and don’t promote “stereotyped and objectified images of girls.” It should be called, the “Holiday Gift Guide for Girls Who Will Soon Hate Their Parents More Than Usual.”
The one that stuck out to me was the Computer Engineer Barbie. And they even comment on how their regular readers are probably shocked to see it on the list. All Mattel did was make a typical Barbie and then add the following accessories: a pink laptop, a pink cellphone and a Bluetooth in her in her ear (a Pinktooth would have been better). Then they just magically call her a computer engineer. The real-life accessories they forgot to include were a pink slip, because her job has been outsourced to India, and about seven house cats.
The AAUW says it’s perfect for girls ages 0-3. Yeah, because that’s when I start to play with toys that really have an effect on my future career goals. If only my parents had given me the My Buddy District Attorney, I’d have gone to law school like they wanted.
Everyone needs to stop thinking that Barbie dolls ruin girls’ lives, or matter at all. People think Barbie is responsible for promoting an unrealistic idea of body image for young women. I think that would happen with or without Barbie. That’s a larger issue that Barbie has nothing to do with. It’s absurd to think she does. Girls’ own mothers telling them to focus on losing weight so they can find a husband is worse. That’s bad parenting.
Listen, I played with toys growing up, too, but I didn’t spend the rest of my life feeling inadequate about my lack of mutant ninja skills.
Two of my favorite things as a kid were my toy gun and Big League Chew. And guess what? I didn’t grow up to be a redneck. And I’m from Arizona, so it could have happened. Toy guns were constantly my favorite thing. But as I matured, the real ones didn’t appeal to me. And real chewing tobacco doesn’t appeal to me either.
I played with G.I. Joes, and I never for a second considered joining the military.
I loved my Pound Puppy, but I don’t want to own a dog.
I mastered Legos, but it still takes me five hours to build a small nightstand from IKEA.
I was enthralled by any Magic 8 Ball, but I don’t have a desire to go to a fortune teller.
I highly enjoyed Fisher-Price Little People, but I don’t have any friends who are dwarfs.
I owned many Koosh balls, but I’m not a pothead.
Loved my Etch A Sketch, but I didn’t grow up to waffle on my political beliefs.
I had slap bracelets, but I’ve never beat a significant other.
Not everyone who played with a Tickle Me Elmo grew up to be pedophiles (just, sadly, Elmo himself).
Our toys are not as powerful as we would be lead to believe by some. They’re just toys.
The things that kids get from their parents that last are abuse, divorce, and, of course, insecurity.
And who the fuck even thinks Barbie is even hot? She’s ugly. I never looked at a Barbie doll and thought, “Man, I want to bang something like that.” No, she’s ghoulish. The hottest things about Barbie are her Mailbu Dreamhouse and Corvette convertible.
The ironic thing is that the toys girls play with as adults make me feel inadequate. I’d rather compete with a dick-less Ken doll than a 15-inch cock that never goes soft and vibrates.
Let’s stop pretending the toys children play with are so future-shaping. Let’s stop making her a scapegoat for poor parenting.
George Carlin made a good observation in 1988: “It’s a great country, but it’s a strange culture … They’re thinking about banning toy guns, and they’re gonna keep the fucking real ones!”