This is a compensated post as part of the #BarbieProject. All thoughts are my own.
The first time Sofia picked up a Barbie doll, I had an internal dilemma. She was about 3 years old and I had all the fears that you hear chatter about. You know the ones that say if your daughter plays with a Barbie doll she’ll hate her body, her looks, herself and blah blee blah. At the time, I was wondering if that chatter was right.I mean, here I am, a mom raising a daughter in a modern, “selfie” centric society, but not just that, I am a Latina, plus sized woman, trying to raise an empowered, proud, aware female who will lead the future. I wanted to be sure I was doing the right thing and I almost let those fears get to me. I came pretty close to just locking away all her dolls and never letting Barbie come into our home, but, all it took for me to crush my fears was one thing: I watched her play.
This all happened before I became part of the Barbie Project, which is one of the reasons I did join, and it’s been an ongoing journey from just watching her play to being a participant in play. She’s taught me so much more about body image and self love that I could have ever done. Last week, we were playing with her dolls and she gave me one of her dolls and said “This Barbie is you mommy, cause you both are wearing dresses and are pretty.” Now, just for comparison….
The “me” Barbie
The ME me. Heh.
Barbie and I are as different as the sun and the moon, yet, my seven year old didn’t see us any differently. What’s happened is that I see that to my daughter, Barbie is a friend to share adventures with. She’s fun and she be anyone, try any career, any type of play she wants with Barbie. Barbie is possibility, wonder, excitement and adventure. What Barbie isn’t, however, is her measure of what a woman should look like. She gets that from me, from my husband and from herself.
There is no such thing as one perfect female form and every form is beautiful. Barbie is beautiful, and so am I, and so is my daughter and so are all the strong, wonderful women I know. If anything, what Barbie can teach us about our bodies is to not allow ourselves to be defined by how someone else sees us but rather, break down those stereotypes and become dreamers, leaders, and history makers. You know, kinda like what Barbie does across the world daily.