We've been watching Barbie Thumbelina all week at the house, a birthday gift specifically requested by my 5 year old. I'll sum up the message of the movie for you so you can save some time: Adults are greedy, materialistic, selfish people who are destroying our environment for monetary gain without any thought for the creatures that live in it. Also, they absolutely will not listen to the pleadings of their children to change their ways, so naturally the only recourse that children have is to stand up publicly in an act of outright defiance; only then will the adults realize how very wrong they are, meekly change their ways, and start saving our planet along with the children.
So, you know, just like real life.
I don't know what the deal is with all the Barbie propaganda. I don't necessarily have a problem with the message of environmentalism; I'm a moderately green person. I strongly believe that my children's generation needs to be taught differently than my generation on the issue of the environment, and I am trying my best to do so, with my children and with my Girl Scout troop. I just find it annoying that the same character who promotes "fashion" and "shopping" and "dressing like a street-walker" to young girls would take such an uppity moral tone. That's all.
Obviously I don't have enough of a problem with Barbie to ban her presence in my home. She is welcome as long as she behaves herself. I am grateful to her for knocking those nasty Bratz dolls out of business, so she can stay and play. I do insist that she own respectable clothing; capris and doctor coats and ball gowns and such, although every time I run into her she is laying in the floor completely naked, the little tramp.
But since Barbie has taken it upon herself to give moral instruction to my children, I've been giving a little thought to some lessons she could teach that would be a little more useful in real life.
1. Sometimes you try your best, and you still don't win, and it's completely fair.
(I was at a school assembly recently where awards were given out for the Science Fair: 57 First Place ribbons! Oh, everyone was so great, we just couldn't decide! How wonderful! My friend and I were just giving each other incredulous looks....this is a whole different post, however...)
2. Sometimes those in authority are wrong, and taking a stand about it doesn't change their mind, and you just have to suck it up and deal with the injustice.
3. Sometimes you just don't get what you want.
4. Being a 'diva' or a 'princess' is not going to work to your advantage in the real world. See also: 'Fashion' and 'shopping' cost money, and you have to work for that, Princess.
I would absolutely buy these movies. I need Barbie to help me teach these lessons to my kids. It really is hard to do.
(P.S. I have an Aaron Update from the last post: He was sent home from the hospital today! This is a HUGE answer to prayer, as it could have been much much worse. He continues to be in a lot of pain, and has a long recovery ahead of him.)
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