Watching My Granddaughter Play with Barbies Looks Way Different Than When I Did – It’s Empowering
When I was a little girl, I loved playing with Barbies. Most of my playtime, if not outside riding my bike, was playing pretend with my Barbie dolls. But, watching my granddaughter play with her Barbies, versus how I played with mine, is very different. It's better.
First of all, my Barbies were always having a good time. They were always coupled up. Since I didn't have an equal number of Barbie dolls and Ken dolls, a love triangle usually ensued. Most of the time they were partying at the club, and by CLUB I mean my tall analog clock radio with deodorant can barstools. The radio made the perfect bar because it played music too. It was a bangin' place to be.
After a night at the club, they would go home, walking because my parents never got me a Barbie car, to their Barbie ski chalet. I also never got a Barbie dream house, just a vacation home. This was cool because the cardboard scene in the window could change from a snow scene to an ocean scene. My partying Barbies could throw killer parties in the mountains or at the beach.
It's shocking that my Barbies were partiers, right?!?!? I know, I was a weird and slightly advanced, in a bad way, child.
My granddaughter, on the other hand, plays much differently than me. When I went to visit her this past weekend, I had a very pleasant and proud revelation. Unlike me, who always put my Barbies in couples, she hardly ever does. She plays with her girl Barbies like they don't need a man.
Yes, she will play The Bachelor with Papa, on occasion, but that's just because she thinks he's funny when he asks questions. She thinks of it as the game show it is.
The amazing thing I observed over the weekend is that in a pretend scenario that involves professions, the women have all of the jobs.
She wanted to play Labor and Delivery, she is obsessed with having a baby brother or sister. As she was assigning the Barbies and Kens to jobs, all three nurses were female and both doctors were female.
I asked her if any of the Ken dolls got a job and she said they just needed to stay over there and out of the way.
Why did this strike a chord with me? It hit me that she sees the world differently than I did at her age. She sees females as doctors and believes that there is nothing a female can't handle. I never saw that as a little girl.
My view of the world was of women needing a man to be complete or to do the important job. She doesn't see the world like that at all.
As women, we have come so far, and the really amazing thing is that we have done a great job of teaching our daughters, who are reaching out to granddaughters to see females as the strong, smart, brave, intelligent, and unique queens they all are.
My heart was bursting with love and pride as I sat and watched her deliver a Barbie baby instead of, like my Barbies, arguing over a guy at the clock radio bar.
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