My beautiful little girl is the color of french vanilla. My georgous wife has skin like dark caramel. Her lovely older daughter, like chocolate. This should tell you about the tonal diversity that goes on under my roof. There are five people here, and all of us occupy our own special slice of the color wheel. Which is pretty cool.
But we all have one thing in common. This is a chemical free home. No perms, no relaxers, no hot combs, or weaves for that matter. No offense to Madame CJ Walker (or anyone else) but this household looks to a different beauty standard. Notice the tiny burnt copper crown on my little girl’s head. That’s all her, pure and uncut, and I love it. She does too, usually.
Then this chick happened. Barbie. She popped up out of nowhere in our Netflix cue. Just four short episodes.
Before her, Little Yellow Homie was all about My Little Pony. She wanted to be Rainbow Dash.
We have a whole herd of the pony clan roaming our house right now. Some of them are tiny, some bigger. Two are wierd human – pony hybrids, thanks to the Equestria Girls. But, after watching the series about seventy bazillian times, I think she’s burnt out. She wanted something different.
Barbie… She’s the grandmother of body dysmorphic disorder. Her bizarre proportions have been tormenting little girls for years. But cartoon Barbie doesn’t look like a blond woman in a funhouse mirror. She looks like… Barbie. Cartoon Barbie is an animated doll, living out a vacuous life in a crazily over the top animated version of her doll world. The artists and writers have made an entire series out of the rediculousness of the Barbie mythology. How do I know? Because I watched it with her.
Now she wants Barbie hair.
A commercial came on, as we were preparing to see After Earth. (It aiiiight, but just barely.) And my pretty little girl pointed, said, “I want hair like that…” and then she began to cry. Granted, she was tired, which explains the tears. But knowing that my soon to be four year old child wants long European hair made me frown.
Remember the famous doll study? In the 40’s two Black psychologists placed a white doll and a Black doll in front of some children. Their choices said volumes about how they saw themselves. Most of them picked the white dolls and gave the Black dolls the side-eye, even though those dolls resembled them. My own little girl’s toy chest is populated exclusively with toys that look like her. Black babydolls, Black mermaids, and Doc McStuffins of all sizes. One of them even talks. With the exception of the My Little Ponys’ and Dora the Explorer, it all looks kind of like her. I thought we had created a firewall. Maybe I was wrong.
Or maybe Daddy is over reacting. When I was young I wanted hair like Geronimo. Yes, two long black braids that I would tie with strips of leather… before I rode out and attacked settlers in wilderness behind our house. Self hatred? I don’t think so. Anyway, I grew out of it.
Either way, this house shall remain a chemical and straightener free home, Barbie, be damned. And soon she’ll get tired of Barbie and Ken and their entire empty headed crew. And all will be right with the world.
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