It has been a constant struggle to buy toys for our eldest, Emily, since she was a baby. She is a super smart, highly imaginative, gender confused kid. She has often told me she is a boy. She refuses to wear dresses, and she has hardly any "girl toys", well, a large assortment of stuffed animals, but nothing overly girlie. My husband and I want her to be a proper little girl, but within her own limits. I can't put her hair in cute ponytails, I can't get her in patent leather shoes; she is a blue jeans and sneakers kid, and there's nothing wrong with that. I have no problems with a tomboy daughter, I prefer it this way honestly. Starting school this year has helped with her gender identification and she's starting to wear more pink at her own request (Whew!).
I keep thinking the problem could be helped by having some Women Heroes to idolize. She loves super heroes and the whole affair with having super powers, of being special and different. She craves being extraordinary and There's an a lot of Women to choose from: Wonder Woman in the Justice League, Batgirl, Power Puff Girls, Totally Spies, a couple girlie Power Rangers, Xena Warrior Princess and so on. Barbie is greeted with a "Yuck!" as she's not really a hero, she can't fly or fight but she does like Bratz ("Yuck!", I say they're obscene. All lip enhanced trout pout and way too much make-up. It's just training little girls to be obnoxious teenagers. All the girls at her school adore them. I'm terrified.) The problem is, where do you get the toys for her to play with?? Going into the local Toys-R-Us yields nothing, ditto for Asda (our version of WalMart), and Woolworths pulls a nil point too. I've come to fear the "pink isles" because they have nothing but baby dolls (motherhood training; and we wonder why teenage pregnancy is out of control.) Bratz, Barbie and her ilk.
My poor little girl...heroless, except for me, and I can't fly.
The thing about hero toys is what makes them super is the imagination of the child. The more they are played with the more they grow as a hero figure in their mind. But there's a major shortfall in availability in feminine action hero toys. She has Spiderman pajamas, and giant growling Hulk Hands and Beast Boy action figure. I would love to get her Wonder Woman pajamas, but they can't be found...not for children anyways (ahem!). Even an action figure would be nice but again, the choices are slim and tend to be in the area of "collectible" as opposed to toy (A Wonder Woman or Batgirl Barbie goes for $17.00 and I know the exchange rate is in my favor but Really! ). She does have a Blue Power Ranger with light up boobs, but it's quite small...not really adequate for full on action figure play. We could find an assortment of Teen Titans including the girls, but they were only 3.5inches and just too dinky for proper super hero fun. Even a pair of underoo's (do they still make those?) would be fantastic. I can't figure out if there's none in-store because they've been bought up and sold out, or, if they just don't bother to stock them. I have to resort to Ebay, which is just a lottery for quality and I still feel I'm paying too much for just a doll.
That's not true. They're not just a doll, They're a friend. A Hero. A confidant and a role model. Why can't little girls have a Hero in their pocket, all their very own?