Mini rant - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 12 Old 06-27-2011, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
seawitch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Among the palm trees
Posts: 344
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was in a local toy store the other day trying to get my daughter a last minute gift for the solstice. Our budget this year is next to nothing so I didn't have money to buy online, but I figured I might find something in the local big box store. I've been looking for a baby doll for DD for a while now and I never find a nice one. I got her a Waldorf one a while back that was custommade but she cared nothing for it and our dog chewed it up. Sigh.

Anyway, so I was at the store, and there were quite a few new dolls in our budget. But. They. Were. All. White. All of them. Most were bald but the ones that had hair were blonde. (The older Bratz type dolls which I didn't even consider were more diverse.) I even asked a lady if there were any ethnic dolls in the back, and she brought out a black one, saying it was the only one they had. My daughter is part Hispanic, and is a far cry from being full-on black. I know there are black Hispanics, but she's not nearly that dark. She's decidedly in the middle. She has rather dark skin and light brown curls. We're in Florida and there's tons, tons of Hispanic folk around here. And that's not even mentioning Asian dolls. None of those, either. I was floored that all the dolls here would be white.

Normally I wouldn't bat an eye but a few months ago we were in a different store, a more upscale one, and I pointed out a more ethnic looking doll, DD said "no Mommy, I don't want that, she's not as pretty as the one with yellow hair." She is 3. THREE. They were identical other than the skin and hair colors, so its' not like she liked the clothes or something better on the blonde one. We don't watch TV, we stay at home most of the time, her teacher at preschool when she went was Hispanic. I'm not blonde (though I am white skinned) and neither is anyone in my family. Where is she getting the blonde-is-beautiful thing from? Next thing I'm gonna hear that skinny is beautiful too. (And skinny she will never be, her body type is short and muscular and round.)
Even my son said he said my one friend was prettier than both me and my black-skinned friend, because she had yellow hair and blue eyes. Huh? Is this stuff instinctual or something? I've heard in a long-ago anthropology class that pretty much every society elevated light-skinned individuals of whatever race they were. The lighter the skin the higher the status.

Anyway, that was my mini rant. She didn't end up getting any dolls. If I end up getting her one it'll be a pretty one that happens to be ethnic. I don't think it would damage her to play with a doll that didn't look like her, but I think it would be nice if she didn't automatically prefer the blondes. And what's up with that store for not having any ethnic dolls on display? In a minority-dominated area, too?

coolshine.gif
seawitch is offline  
#2 of 12 Old 06-30-2011, 04:51 AM
 
Ansley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 38
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My DD is 2.5 and she prefers her blonde haired, blue eyed dolls too. She got the Little Mommy Baby Ac-Choo Hispanic doll for her birthday and rarely plays with it. I am white and DD's dad is honduran/italian, so she looks Hispanic (black hair, brown eyes). I know it is frustrating that she thinks blonde is prettier now, but she is only 3. She may change her mind by the time she is older and grow to love how she looks..I guess only time will tell. smile.gif


Single mom to Claudia love.gif

Ansley is offline  
#3 of 12 Old 06-30-2011, 06:29 AM
 
ollyoxenfree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,933
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)

 

When my DD was about that age, Groovy Girl dolls were quite trendy. Thankfully they came in a range of skin tones and hair colour. They made a nice counter to all the Barbies and other "white" dolls out there. 

 

I'm sure you'll keep reinforcing strong messages with your DD about loving herself and her appearance, as well as modeling that attitude about yourself. In the meantime, I'm wondering if you could persuade the store to carry more diverse toys. Perhaps an appeal to store management and corporate headquarters, a letter-writing campaign, on-line petition etc. might be in order. I'll bet there are other families in your community who feel the same way and you'll find a lot of support. 

 

ollyoxenfree is offline  
#4 of 12 Old 06-30-2011, 07:29 AM
 
Mosaic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: La vida loca
Posts: 4,005
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I posted about this a few years ago as well. Over the years I've found a lot more variety, both online and in stores, which is good because my DD LOVES her babydolls! Many of them are the kind that talk and move and do annoying stuff, but I have seen a lot more Hispanic dolls recently, though Asian dolls remain sorely, sorely underrepresented. Cabbage patch dolls have some more variety in terms of hair/eye/skin color, but DD never really got into the one we got her because it had a harder body (we got an Asian baby that could sit on the potty, but it just wasn't that huggable so it didn't get the amount of play as the others did). A couple of her favorite dolls have been:

This tiny doll from Target is great for on-the-go and comes in a light, medium, and dark skin tones. And it's dirt cheap, $3-6, I think. We have easily 4 of these things and they go everywhere with us.

This one is only online, but it's one of DD's favorites because it has a soft, huggable body and is a good size for younger or smaller kids.

FWIW, I'm blond/blue-eyed and my husband is non-white and non-black Hispanic, and my nearly 5yo DD has shown no preference for hair or skin color, and I couldn't tell you why/why not.

Mi vida loca: full-time WOHM, frugalista, foodie wannabe, 10+ years of TCOYF 

 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T spells BRAND NEW User Agreement!!

Mosaic is offline  
#5 of 12 Old 08-17-2011, 10:41 AM
 
CA Country Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 480
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My 5 yr old DD has also said "the one with the yellow hair is prettiest" and besides one friend, no one in her close circle is blond or blue eyed.  I am dark haired and dark eyed as are her aunts, but I remember wishing I had blue eyes and whiter features when I was young too.  She also has already expressed desire for her hair to be straighter. I just try to emphasize how beautiful her curly, brown hair and brown eyes are, to which she says, "Mommy, I know"  like she has heard it too many times already.  They must get it from media, even though I have pushed movies and fairy tales (HBO's Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child is wonderful).  I guess we need to just keep telling them they are beautiful and hope the blond thing, like the princess thing, will fade away quickly.


Metreehugger.gif College Literature Professor reading.gif(36) and DH (35) married 7/05, together since 1/99; Mom to two lovely and fierce little girls: DD1 2/06 and, after 18 months TTC (and a couple years NTNP), DD2 born 7/3/12!  Dedicated AP parent who is for selective (most) vaccination.

 

CA Country Girl is offline  
#6 of 12 Old 08-17-2011, 11:00 AM
 
VocalMinority's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: surrounded by testosterone
Posts: 1,306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I don't have an answer for you, but I grew up dark-haired, in a family full of dark-haired people, somehow believing blondes were always more beautiful.  I was in my 30's when I met my husband and, even at that age, felt surprised when he told me he simply isn't attracted to blondes.  I never spent much time thinking about it, but I guess deep down I assumed that while dark hair can certainly be attractive, that the norm was to prefer blondes!  Why?  Got me!


One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
VocalMinority is offline  
#7 of 12 Old 08-17-2011, 11:35 AM
 
mambera's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,308
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Really?  I feel like I've seen a number of online polls over the years that indicated a preference among men for brunettes.  Not that it's a scientific sample of course.

 

http://archive.blisstree.com/feel/which-do-men-prefer-blondes-or-brunettes-45/

 

Personally I've always had an aesthetic preference for darker hair/skin over lighter.


Me, DH, DD1 (5/2009) and DD2 (10/2011).
I'm not crunchy. I'm evidence-based.

Vaccines save lives.

mambera is offline  
#8 of 12 Old 08-21-2011, 11:11 AM
 
Eclipsepearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I hear from my little one how she wants blond hair and blue eyes like Mommy and how her brown hair and eyes are not as pretty. 

 

She did have a preference for blond dolls but is over it and chooses non-blond dolls now. 

 

I played it cool and seems to work...

Eclipsepearl is offline  
#9 of 12 Old 08-25-2011, 11:56 AM
 
Lovesong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sweden
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think if your daughter is not subjected to a lot of outside influences (which she doesn't seem to be) it might just so happen that it is a natural preference for her. Much like some people prefer the colour blue and others like hot pink the best. I wouldn't worry. As long as she grows up with a healthy self image, liking who she is, nothing else matters. Give her the blonde dolls if she prefers those. I don't think it is any more harmful than letting her wear green, if that happens to be her favourite colour. Or buying her peaches rather than apples when in season, because she prefers those. Tastes differ. They do not need to be a sign of future problems. Besides...tastes change.

meemee likes this.
Lovesong is offline  
#10 of 12 Old 08-27-2011, 02:37 PM
 
Eclipsepearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovesong View Post

I think if your daughter is not subjected to a lot of outside influences (which she doesn't seem to be) it might just so happen that it is a natural preference for her. Much like some people prefer the colour blue and others like hot pink the best. I wouldn't worry. As long as she grows up with a healthy self image, liking who she is, nothing else matters. Give her the blonde dolls if she prefers those. I don't think it is any more harmful than letting her wear green, if that happens to be her favourite colour. Or buying her peaches rather than apples when in season, because she prefers those. Tastes differ. They do not need to be a sign of future problems. Besides...tastes change.


Exactly!!!

 

Things have changed. When I was small, ALL the heroines in the fairy tales where white, if not blond. T.V. cartoons had girls with blond, red and dark hair, but they were still all white.

 

Today, there is far more diversity in popular culture, especially for children. 

 

I interpreted my dd's preference for blond hair as a compliment to ME. But now she picks up a doll with dark hair, perhaps skin as well, without comment. My kids watch T.V. shows with kids of all colors. This has been a really positive change. The long term goal is to relate to and identify with, people of different backgrounds. This is exposure even to kids who don't come in regular contact with other groups.

 

Did she prefer blond dolls because she wants to be blond? Because it reminds her of me? Because she thinks globally blond girls are prettier? It's a tough call! 

 

It bothered me as a blond child from a dark family, when people would compliment my looks. My sister and cousins were as pretty, if not more than I was. Were they really complimenting my looks or just the fact I was light colored and was not an obvious example of my background?? So this preference is really a no-win situation for all little girls, no matter what they look like.

 

Maybe the blond doll had a prettier face (irrespective of color)? 

 

While it's annoying that a store doesn't have the selection you want, in anything really, it could just be they ran out of the un-blond dolls! But it's good you mentioned it. Perhaps they'll take note and stock accordingly, even if only to look more "politically correct". 

 

I've heard in a long-ago anthropology class that pretty much every society elevated light-skinned individuals of whatever race they were. The lighter the skin the higher the status.

 

I learned this in college too but here was their reasoning (I went to a minority-white university with a VERY diverse student body); Dark skin was always associated with working outside, in the fields, in other words, manual labor. The rich lived inside, away from the sun. The skin color instantly identified social standing, and this was interpreted as a standard of beauty.

 

You could carry this theory on further; lighter people who stayed indoors aged slower. A higher social caste meant they probably ate better, had better teeth, took more care with their hair and clothes... So it wasn't even an instant light-prettier evaluation. Richer folks who didn't venture out probably really did look better than poor people laboring in the fields, skin color ending up one of the lesser reasons.

 

Weight, by contrast, has not been as consistent. Plump girls have been seen as prettier, while in other societies and eras, skinny was (is) preferred. It's obvious that our beauty appreciation is heavily influenced by other factors. 

 

There was some reversal with the Industrial Revolution. Manual laborers moved indoors, away from the sun. The rich had time to sit by the pool, so a tan was desirable. BUT this was limited, and really only followed by white people in certain parts. In other areas of the world, the light complexion is still considered the beauty standard.

 

So we don't have a real biological affinity towards lighter coloring but rather it's a result of the structure of our society. I found that kind of a relief! Hope you do too... 

 

Eclipsepearl is offline  
#11 of 12 Old 09-05-2011, 07:35 PM
 
howdeepistheocean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Montana
Posts: 34
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I grew up in a white family, with one blond sister. My other two brunette sisters and I (brunette) always preferred being brunette, and disliked blond hair. My childhood dream was to have black hair and darker skin. We would show off tans and were envious of anyone who naturally had darker skin or who would tan easily.  I still sincerely think that white skin is the least pretty of all (not that we're not pretty, but our skin just isn't), and that black hair is very beautiful. Just thought that was interesting, as it is opposite to what others have noticed. Or maybe it's just that a lot of us prefer what we aren't, so if I was hispanic or asian, I might have preferred to be something else. Thankfully my two african sons have not stated that white is prettier, even though I am white and they have a white, curly blond 3 yr old brother.

 
howdeepistheocean is offline  
#12 of 12 Old 07-09-2012, 08:15 PM
 
kgdg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Brooklyn NY
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Im an anthropolgist; your professor got it wrong.  But racism is pervasive! Kids pick iti up from friends, family, TV, radio, walking down the street....

kgdg is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off