The Girl Without A Daddy

Barbies.

Giovanna referred to the main character in Enchanted as “the girl without a daddy” (and by a daddy she means a man) because she gets separated from her prince in the beginning and spends the whole movie waiting for him to rescue her (if you haven’t seen it–the evil witch has kicked her out of fairy tale land and dropped her into NYC).

I know it’s my responsibility as a parent to teach her female empowerment but I still wish Hollywood would think outside of the box a little (or a lot) more.

Also, for the record, I liked this movie.

Like myself as a little girl, like many little girls, my daughter loves barbies. She even likes to shop online for barbies.

Mama, can we look at barbies on the computer? Please?

Considering how much time I spend on the computer, it’s only fair that she gets to enjoy it once in a while as well. We landed on the official Barbie website and they had short videos to watch, so I pressed play.

In the video, Barbie and her sister Chelsea decide to redecorate. But things get out of hand, they lose control and they “overdecorate.” The girls don’t know what to do until Ken shows up for a date with Barbie, pulls out his tools and fixes everything.

Because women are silly materialistic creatures with shopping addictions and men have the power to save us.

We have avoided Barbie.com since then. It’s not like I’m trying to climb onto my feminist soapbox and denounce mainstream girl culture. I let my daughter watch princess movies and wear plastic high-heeled shoes, because she loves these things. But I also don’t want her indoctrinated with the belief that we need to be rescued, that she’s not strong enough to save herself.

The truth is that we can only save ourselves, anyways.

I’m not going to stop her from watching her favorite movies, not when I see the joy it brings her. But I wish for more shows sending empowering messages, like Bo On The Go, which gives us the context to talk about “girl power!” And I wish for more books featuring children of color, like Dora the Explorer, starring a little Mexican girl who teaches girls and boys alike to be adventurous and curious.

The Girl Without A Daddy finds one in the end. And not the one who was trying to rescue her. She paves her own path in NYC, and she decides to stay in this strange world because she has fallen in love. À la The Little Mermaid. Meanwhile, her new man’s ex-girlfriend takes her place in fairy tale land to marry the prince. And while I wish the girls hadn’t both had to uproot their worlds for boys, I guess everyone likes a happy ending. Especially girls.

I keep asking myself, at what point do you stop worrying and start smiling? What is okay and what is not?

The answer came to me this morning in this article about parenting: Because No One Ever Said Parenting Really Ought To Be Harder. I recommend anyone who has a kid or might someday have a kid to read it. It’s that good. And then repeat after me.

The kids are going to be fine. 

 

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