Monday, October 24, 2011

It starts so young!

Ok, so I was in Walmart the other day shopping for household items.  As a ritual...I made my way to the doll section just to look around.  I overheard this little girl discussing doll items with her mom.  She couldn't have been older than 10yrs old.  Anyway, she was going on and on about some of the play-sets she wanted which one of them included the Desire, Nikki, Christie or whatever Mattel is naming this doll.  She continued talking about wanting everything in the play-set but she didn't want the "dark" doll.  Then she said..."I guess I can play with it I just won't play with the doll."  I was SHOCKED!  My first thought was...WOW...in almost 2012...they still make kids like that?  Then I wondered if that attitude spills over to what kind of friends she chooses?  Now, this may come across as mean but I'm an upfront person, so I'm gonna say it.  On a daily basis, I pray for more language for my daughter but on this day and at that moment, I was wishing the little girl would just shut up.  Words are precious for some so when I hear some of the things that come out of some of these neurotypical children, it just saddens me.  Don't misunderstand, I realize she's a child and it's not her fault but the fault of those around her but to me, this was not ok.

Now, I'm from Chicago, Ill and it's been noted as one of the most segregated cities around so if I were on the North Side somewhere shopping (in Chicago) and heard that remark, I wouldn't be surprised.  However, I live in San Diego, CA which is one of the biggest melting pots in the US.  So, to hear her say that...especially in a VERY neutral area, was just a shame.  I think her mom noticed the look on my face because she tried to hurry the little girl out of the aisle.  I felt sad because I think of all the little black girls out there who have only a handful of AA dolls to choose from which are constantly subjected to change by the manufacturer while other little girls like her have lots of choices.  An example, in my area they stopped selling S.I.S. dolls six months ago.  So, now all I see at TRU, Walmart and Target are the Fashionistas and LIV dolls (I'm not a fan of Bratz and the Monster High dolls).  My daughter has several different dolls, Caucasian and AA and she plays with all of them at 3yrs old!

Wow, this is a shame.  Parents have GOT to do better!  Instead of worrying about a tattooed Barbie that wasn't even marketed for children, worry about habits your child may be forming NOW that will affect them in their adult life!  Please expose your child to all cultures...ESPECIALLY with their play!

Ok, I'm done. ;)

9 comments:

  1. I recently had a very young lady comment on one of my videos that she "hated the color black". I pretended like I didn't know what she meant. I responded "how can you not like the color black?" I went on to list all of the things that look good in the color black like the perfect little black dress, the convertible sports car, etc. etc. I said "it's a color. What did it ever do to you to cause you not to like it." Needless to say, she wasn't happy with me.

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  2. This post is superbly written Tracy. I don’t know why some children are still turning out this way and it breaks my heart. I love all cultures and races. I am a Caucasian/Native American mix. Much to my disappointment, I look more Caucasian than Native American. When I was a little girl the norm was to get Barbie, but I never wanted the blonde. I wanted the harder to find exotic and beautiful girls. And my mom encouraged me to see the beauty in these lovely dolls. To this day I still collect exotic dolls, or those who carry the most spunk and personality. I see beauty in all the shapes, sizes, and colors we come in, because inside we are all human. Ethnicity is our birth and a gift, but one’s soul is the key to all we hold. I love that we all look so different and still feel so much the same. If I am ever a mother my daughter will not be raised to discriminate. Not even with her dolls.

    And, I completely agree with you on the tattooed Barbie, in regards to what parents should really be concerned about.

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  3. Vanessa- That is ingenious the way you handled that. I don't know if I could have been as polite.

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  4. That really saddens me Tracy. Did the mom say anything to her child? Well I guess it came from somewhere! Though I wonder if the child is African American or Caucasian. We have so much internal prejudice, I wouldn't be surprised either way.

    That's so funny Cat, I thought you were African American. The dolls you select for your doll drama says a lot about you!

    I constantly worry about how to handle this sort of thing in the future. The world just doesn't think the way I do mostly. Tackling this ignorance will always be a challenge.

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  5. @ Vanessa - I completely agree with Cat, you handled that perfectly! I saw a comment on your video of Rod & Danielle telling the kids, where a kid said that "Rod was so ugly." I know we're talking about 1/6 characters but that also breaks my heart when kids learn early that someone should be considered ugly.

    @ Cat - Thank you! What a wonderful woman your mother is! I tell you, one of the best decisions my mother made was moving us to California. I love Chicago and it's culture but at the time, the elementary school I attended was not diverse. I think I can count on two fingers how many Caucasian children I saw back then. When we moved here, I had friends of all races and it just took being exposed to them. I remember having both white and black Barbies too. I was even making interracial couples way back. :)

    @ Dani - You are so right, the prejudice among blacks is really sad. This little girl was Caucasian but I so know what you're talking about. To this day, I've gotten attitude for the majority of my life because of the way I speak and the music I listen too. I'm either thought of as stuck up or some other ridiculous thing. I worry about this too. And with a social disorder, I feel my daughter will be even more of a target. Parents just need to do better and become more involved with their kids. At this little girls age is a great place to start. Her mom should be asking her right now, about her views on other people and cultures by because as cute as she was on the outside, there's nothing cute about being ugly on the inside.

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  6. Dani- LOL :) I never sit back and think on my race too much. I am proud of my Native American background but ultimately I tend to feel like a soul in a body. I always thought Sienna and Nahla had such strong and interesting personalities, and I love seeing such a diverse set of dolls in the story lines I create.

    Speaking of which...Tracy, I am so jealous of your Hard Rock Barbie. I can't stop looking for her recently. After seeing her in your stories I just fell in love with her! lol She is so stunning.

    And my mom did do me a huge favor. I grew up in Southern Ohio, near Kentucky where you can run into a lot of prejudice. Sadly, it came from both sides. It's an odd area. But I had all sorts of culturally different friends growing up and I always felt blessed to have that. You and I would have had a blast playing Barbies together. :)

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  7. @ Cat - LOL...I just love that doll. I got lucky when I found her on TheDollPage because I've been stalking her for a year and have never seen her sell for under $100 and some change. I would have gladly paid that maybe a year and a half ago but not now. I had to think about the fact that I'd be paying that much for a doll head because I'm not the type of collector to keep my dolls boxed or shelved. The only thing that bugs me about her is the glitter shadow under the brow...but she costs too much and is to HTF for me to mess with it so, I live with the glitter. :)

    Ohio? OMG...we're definitely from very cold states, LOL. I agree, we would have had a great time with dolls. :)

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  8. Wow...very sad...and we are in 2011. SMH!

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  9. I am the white mother of a mixed race daughter. I tend to take things right over the top when I hear stuff like this. And people tell me i am too hard on other people's children but this isn't the first story I've heard along these lines. If my finances had been in the right spot I would have said, "I couldn't help but overhearing you. I wanted to buy the same set but I didn't want this horrendous looking one. (point to blonde) and this one makes me want to barf. So hey, maybe we could put our money together and I could get this one (point to one she dislikes) because whenever my daughter sees this one (blonde one) she starts crying"

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