Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Barbie turns 50 - yikes!

When I was a little girl, I LOVED my Barbie doll. Girls back then didn't have a collection of Barbies, but one cherished Barbie and if we were lucky, as I was, we had a large wardrobe for our doll and a nice case. My Barbie was the one with the bubble hairdo, like the one pictured to the left. Santa brought her one Christmas along with the case that is also pictured here to the right. Since I had a Barbie, my sister had a Midge doll, pictured below Barbie. We would sit for hours changing the little outfits and playing imaginary scenerios with our dolls. Our brother would join in on occasion with his macho GI Joe as Barbie or Midge's boyfriend or husband. My sister added Skipper when that one came out. Skipper was Barbie's little sister. I have to admit that I was still playing dolls at age 12. Back in the 50s and 60s there was nothing unusual about that. Not even in the 70s or early 80s, but as time went by something happened and kids starting growing up way too fast.

Kids today don't have a chance to really enjoy their childhoods and allow time for their imaginations to grow. Mothers actually buy their little daughters clothes that are way beyond their years. I saw a 2-year-old boy in a restaurant the other day with a mohawk haircut. A 2-year-old isn't going to ask for that, and even if the child is old enough to talk and want stuff, the parents can always say no. Even as teenagers, parents have an obligation and a duty to their children to use the no word when need be.

The dating thing is out of control, too. Ten year olds talking about going on dates and having boyfriends. They are wearing make-up and lipstick when they don't even have boobs yet. One thing I notice that is a big change from even when my kids were little is that there are few kids outside playing anymore. Our kids loved playing games like Ghosts in the Graveyard with flashlights after dark on hot summer nights, or chasing fireflies and putting them in jars to watch them glow in their room in the night.

I wonder what the world will be like even in another decade for kids. It's a wonder they even sell toys anymore. Seems like most would be satisified with their Wii machines and watching television. I guess I am a bit nostalgic for the old days and simpler times, at least for the kids.

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