Just today I learned that a brand new Barbie doll is coming out. In fact, several new ones are scheduled to appear. I never knew that Barbie actually had a last name, and Ken does also. Anyway, these new dolls will reflect diversity. Which means they will no longer have the standard blond hair, blue eyes and perfect little bodies.
When I looked at the television and saw how many new dolls they came up with, it was pretty impressive. Not only hair in all colors, but also skin and body shapes. I am certain I saw a Big-Butt Barbie in the group, but they may have called it Curvy Barbie. There was no mention of the Ken doll, but I think they only revise him if the parents of BOYS complain that he is just too generic. No mention yet of Ken having his own kitchen, or taking care of the kids while Barbie works.
When sister and I were growing up, a doll was a doll was a doll. No one cared if Raggedy Ann and Andy were brother and sister, or married, or if their body parts actually reflected a good or bad image. Old Mr. Potato Head, another great, along with Humpty Dumpty. Odd, for sure, but fun to play with just the same. Nowadays, Mr. Potato Head isn't even a REAL potato!
Back in the day, boys played with toy guns, army men and sports equipment. Girls had their dolls and played jump-rope and hopscotch. It was pretty inexpensive to be a kid then. And so incredibly carefree.
I am certainly NOT saying that the roles of men and women have changed for the worse. I don't believe that to be true at all. In fact, I feel that if one parent can stay at home when the kids are little, it could be either parent. Sometimes it may be less expensive for dad to stay home while mom works, to eliminate the cost of day care. Or even one of the two dads or two moms! I don't judge.
So what has happened to our culture that makes everyone so concerned about image? My self-esteem as a child came from my parents. They always encouraged me in whatever I wanted to do. I was actually quite a mess, but they never let me feel that way. I wonder if perhaps mom and dad are so busy keeping the kids busy, they just don't interact with them like in the old days.
I am certainly aware of the many changes since my own childhood - some good and some bad. Now, it is OK for grownups to read and collect comic books. They just call them "Nerds" and that makes it OK. Men as well as children can enjoy watching wresting, and no one cares. Women get their lips fattened, fannies enlarged, and sometimes so many facelifts their eyes are almost on top of their heads! Again, who cares? Nerdy people sometimes wear suspenders and bow ties. Good for them.
I think we have taken political correctness far beyond what anyone anticipated. Everything is now an issue. People have forgotten how to "pick their battles" and every single thing needs to be on the six o'clock news.
Most recently, I saw where people were complaining that the upcoming Academy Awards show was not diversified enough.
Now does that mean there are not enough African Americans? Not enough Asians, tall people, short people, or what? Should the academy be nominating actors based on their ethnic background now? Just so the numbers are even? Have people been watching too many commercials with the new Barbies?
I believe that the American culture has exploded with diversity. We are more accepting of all people than ever before. And it continues to get better. How many years ago was it that tattoos were taboo? Only bikers and sailors were expected to do that to themselves. Now it is commonplace for Suzy Homemaker to have a flower, butterfly or even her children's names tattooed on her body. (Just in case she forgets their names, I am sure.)
So, I ask you, do you want to spend your time complaining about everything you think is still wrong with the world? Or would it be wiser to try and change those things that are most important to you?
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