I have been reading a variety of magazines, blogs, books, etc about raising girls pretty much since I found out I was having one. I don't know if it is harder to raise a girl than a boy - I honestly suspect there are just as many issues either way but I am finding as the parent of a daughter there seems to be so many ' fine lines' or even just completely blurred ones.
One of my concerns is that the madam grow up with body image in tact. As a teenager and a twenty something I spent many a dollar and a lot of my time popping numerous magic pills that promised to make me teeny tiny, I would for go food for alcohol as I got older as that is just what you did to maintain some sense of tummy flatness in order to have a party hard lifestyle.
Now that I am thirty (bloody hell how did that happen) I am almost ( and yes I say almost) comfortable with me. I exercise for health, I eat for sustenance, yeas I may still have a little to much wine and pull my top down a little to often to cover the wobbly bits but I am getting there. I don't want it to take my daughter this long or for her to think she is more or less worthy of a happy life because of the way she looks.
Okay the two things that brought this rant on are......Dora is getting a make over. Dora the Explorer is a saviour for me. As children are exposed to popular culture through a variety of mediums the Madam has embraced Dora. She is a lovely, healthy, Spanish adventure girl who wears no nonsense clothes and has a monkey as a best friend. She looks like this
She is confident, fearless, articulate and loving. She is a saviour for those times where well meaning friends and family wish to give the madam movies or gifts - 'Oh she loves Dora' has been a catch cry to solve potential disastrous situations. You know the ones where your kids get a present that in you feel doesn't quite fit the bill and then you try to make it 'disappear' and of course it is the one thing they totally freak over.
Anyway according to news this is what Dora will look like fairly soon:
Call me cynical but is there not already Bratz and Barbie to fulfill this criteria? Why does Dora need a make over? What accessories will come with the new Dora? This is what I found:
According to news reports:
The creators of Dora the Explorer, a favorite character among preschoolers that teaches kids English and Spanish, say they are just making her move with the times.
"For nearly ten years, Dora the Explorer has had such a strong following among preschoolers, catapulting it into the number one preschool show on commercial television," said Mattel's vice president of marketing.
"Girls really identify with Dora and we knew that girls would love to have their friend Dora grow up with them, and experience the new things that they were going through themselves.
"The brand captures girls' existing love of Dora and marries it with the fashion doll play and online experiences older girls enjoy."
Sorry not really doing it for me - give me the Dora we have any day. The Dora that comes with a back pack and a map, the one that encourages my two year old,to get outside and look at the world around her, the one that doesn't make her fuss about what she is wearing.
While I am on my soapbox why are large chain stores selling bras and make up for three year olds. We spend many a taxpayers and a parents dollar in an effort to study the effects of the early sexualisation of of children - predominately girls. Yes I know there is the argument of ' if you don't want it don't buy it' - but really do these items need to be available? Yes many children will dress up in mums clothes, use mums make up - but I believe that there is a huge difference between playing dress up and a preschooler actually having their own make up and/or bra collection. Do our girls really need to go through all of this before they can right their own name?
(Images from Mattel and Nickolodean)