Monday, January 30, 2012

It's a trick!

On the radio the other day was author Rachel Herz who had written a book called "That's disgusting!"
 “...Disgust is a type of fear—a special type of fear that evolved to help us evade a slow and uncertain death by disease.”
This author put forth that what we find disgusting is rooted in our cultural and personal fear of death. Rotten food: That is obvious. Anything rotten and decaying is a reference to our own imminent demise.
Behavior, I get it: disgusting actions lead to social isolation which would equal death not so many years ago and does equal social rejection today.  Sex: some people think this is a gross subject and Herz points out that slopping around in another person's excretions is indeed an avenue to disease and ultimately, death. Eww. Ok. I get that too.

So now, why am I disgusted by Barbie and those horrible Disney Princesses? One could say that they represent desirable qualities that men covet, thereby ensuring the safe position of a female in possession of such traits within society.
That's why I am disgusted.
Because I am not like them. (Fear of rejection? Rejection =Death?) I am acutely aware I am not like Barbie. None of us are. And we see that glittery pink poison infecting the psyche of our girls, who literally think they are going to grow up and BE a princess. This princess epidemic is insidious. It is everywhere. 

I am no lover of "girly toys", plastic toys, battery operated toys, but I am the proxy owner of many of each. Some I have even bought myself. I am a huge hypocrite. My values are lofty and holistic and good for the earth and socially conscious and virtuous.  My integrity, however, you know, that real- life- can't- lie reflection of self? Mine is a weak and feeble thing and I have sat back and let those princesses march right into my house and sing their songs and swagger around with their shell covered boobs and swoon for their princes. I have bought the toothbrushes, the P.J's. I am letting Disney and Barbie tell my daughter things. Things that go deep into her and stay there.

"Slow down, Fembot."  my husband would console, "Look at this child, she is outside tracking animals, playing 'mice and owl' games, she wants to be an astronaut. She spends half her days as a secret agent, She wears her princess dress into mud puddles. She is fine."
 "Disney wants her soul." I reply.
Queue eye roll.

Well, anyway, I'm sick of it. I am also sick of going to the grocery store and having my kids seduced by colorful boxes of cartoons selling sugar snacks and jellies and high fructose corn syrup and made in China lead-and-arsenic toys. I am also tired of being the bad guy, Mean old Mum won't let us get X because Mum is Mean. Not for this chump!

I have begun a mission. I am fighting back and it is surprisingly easy. No kid likes to be duped, right? They hate that. So I am telling them when they are being tricked. I explain to them that when they are half crazy over some toy, or some treat they see in the store, that the people who make that stuff just want to take all our money. (This hits home for my money loving 5 year old, especially.) And not only that, but they want to sell them junk that breaks or is made from stuff that isn't even food because it is cheap for them to do, and they know how much you love princesses and that is why they put a princess on it. TO TRICK YOU!!!!!  THEY WANT TO TRICK YOU AND TAKE ALL YOUR MONEY!
Now, what do you thing of that? They think you are so greedy and silly that you will fall for their trick and give them money that you worked hard for and in return they will give you JUNK!

"Are you silly?"
"Are you greedy?"
"Are they going to trick you?"
"So do you still really want this junky piece of junk?"
"You mean no!"
"But I still want it."
"No you don't, because they can't trick clever you, can they!"
"It's not fair that they try to trick us! we are just kids!"
Anyway, it has been working and I am not the bad guy in this. It is us against them. Damned if I'm going to let Disney dictate what corner of the ring I am standing in. That would be truly disgusting.


  1. Karen, I heart your posts even when we've already had almost this exact conversation! Can you come be the 'not bad guy' in my house? Although, we don't have the begging for things at the store in my house, because my house is already better than the store. When I list my house in April, part of the description could read: Pink and purple plastic jungle...every little girl's dream come true! Of course, I guess I will have to take that with me when I move. Or wait a minute, do I...?

  2. Stand your ground fair mama, for you are the in the battleground and you stand for all that is living and authentic. I hate that plastic princess crap too and I don't even feel bad denying it to Willow. Its garbage, media driven, money making, vapid crap. Sounds harsh? Well the billions of dollars that goes into marketing to babies, toddlers, preschoolers and kids is unethical and pure evil. Willow is already well-schooled on the nasty-ness of advertising...I will never withhold the truth from her and I have always and continue to love my life without TV. If I have my way she will never see a Disney movie until she is in University doing a women's studies course on said media evils. Boo to the Disney Princess (but yay to cool stories like 'the paper princess' about a home made paper doll that goes on an adventure or playing real role playing, imaginative games about princesses who slay evil and tame dragons and write their own stories....I think I know a princess or two like that.....)