Today, I heard a sound bite on the radio that interested me. While I don't remember the exact quote, I do remember that the sometimes snarky host implied that the female host didn't dress up her barbies thinking that they would stay home. So here is the context: they were discussing a news story about all the copy-cat bratz dolls and how the presence of the dolls promote inappropriate dress in young girls. I couldn't agree more. And here's the thing, when I did play with barbies, I did not actually have a "mature" imagination about what they would do that night. They often were, in fact, all dressed up with nowhere to go. Sure, my barbies "kissed" Ken as they got older, and those two did sleep in the same bed, but after all, so did my parents.
There was recently an article about how parents allow their little girls to dress, like miniature adults. I wore make-up to a restaurant a couple of times before I was 13. I was dressed up in some random wrinkly dress-up clothes, and probably looked like a clown. What I looked like was a little girl. But it's not all about me. I have a two year old daughter, and I want her to grow up with the same innocence that I did. I want her to learn about life as necessary, not prematurely.
But here is my big big problem. While I don't want to shelter her from the world, I feel like there is some element of those her age that I will be forced to shelter her from. Why? Because their parents will allow them to watch rated R movies at 5, because they will be wearing make-up at 8, because they will not have a childhood.
A childhood is valuable, innocence is valuable, and youth is valuable. I hope that my generation, that my daughter's peers parents can value that as much as I do.