I went to the WalMart Supercenter recently with my just-turned 7 yr. old so she could spend the birthday money she was given by her grandparents. Of course, she headed straight for the baby doll aisle. While she was trying to decide if she could afford to buy extra diapers if she picked a certain baby, I was noticing that the baby doll aisle ain't what she yoosta be. Has anyone else noticed that the amount of space dedicated to baby dolls is shrinking, while the space given to Barbie and her kind is expanding?
The baby dolls were relegated to the far end of the aisle, with a scant few accessories to choose from. There was only one stroller and a couple of packages of diapers. There was an empty space where I had seen high chairs and play pens before.
The Barbies and Bratz took up 75% of the entire aisle, so I couldn't help noticing what was being displayed. I saw "Cheerleader Barbie" with her teeny tiny skirt and bare midriff, but what just about made my eyes bulge out was another doll (didn't catch the brand) named "Juicy Bling." Is it just me, or does that sound like it could be the title of an adult film?
"Juicy Bling" had a tinier and lower slung skirt than Barbie's and her top consisted of 2 strategically placed triangles tied around her neck and back. On her feet were strappy platform shoes. She had oversized sultry eyes and oversized glossy lips and lots of makeup. On the package was the exhortation, "Glam it up!" and the statement, "For ages 6 and up." Right. We'd all hate for our 5 year olds to be exposed to such an inappropriate toy, you know, for 5 year olds.
I was flabbergasted... dumbfounded... gobsmacked. Who on earth is buying these things? Are little girls actually playing with this kind of toy? At first I was mad that such trash was being displayed just inches from where my full of innocence, wiggly toothed, sunny faced daughter was looking at sweet baby dolls. Then, as I thought more about the girls who play with those things, I couldn't shake the feeling that innocence, which was once an indicator of childhood, is fading into antiquity.
Why are these things being marketed to innocent little girls? Surely, it is profitable and they are actually being sold, judging from the assortment of choices. Do the people who buy these for their daughters not wonder at what cost their pretend play comes? Shouldn't being a 6 year old girl consist of stuffed animals, baby dolls, and tea parties with some tree climbing thrown in for good measure? I was sad for the innocent little girls who don't get very long to actually be innocent, and I was resentful for having to be so diligent in protecting the innocence of my own girls.
Is it any wonder the governor of Texas just passed an executive order that requires 11 and 12 year old girls to be inoculated against s*xually transmitted diseases? Yes, the governor has mandated that 11 year olds must be protected from diseases that are contracted from having promiscuous s*x. Could there be a connection between little girls playing with highly s*xualized toys and girls being s*xually active at younger ages? The correlation seems obvious to me.
While I'm on the subject, whatever happened to teaching children about consequences for risky behavior? We teach our children not to run away from us in the parking lot because it is dangerous, even deadly. We tell them not to play in the street because they could be killed. I guess we could keep them all on those leashes we occasionally see children attached to, but we prefer to teach them to control themselves instead of relying on an outside force to protect them from their own risky behaviour.
When the time is right, and my husband and I will decide when that will be without having to submit to any state curriculum or standard, we will tell our children that having s*x outside of God's plan is risky, even deadly. We will explain, as we have when discussing other risky behaviors, like using alcohol or drugs, that self control, not outward control, will keep them safe.
It makes me sad. All of it, scantily dressed dolls, immunizations from avoidable diseases, the loss of innocence, makes me profoundly sad. It also makes realize more than ever the importance of bringing up our children "in the training and admonition of the Lord." (Eph. 6:4)
I am very glad, though, that I can say, "For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth." Psalm 71:5