Monday, February 07, 2005

A Modern Day Hero for a little girl?

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?


Victoria said...

Your daughter sounds awesome! When I was little I was facinated with my brother's toy monsters, cars, comics and stuff, and now I'm so girly. I guess gender identification really is a product of school/socialization, as you mentioned.
Bat Girl rocks! There should be more super-hero women. If I think of any great ones I'll send it along to you..

Love your blog, Lyv!

Lyvvie said...

Thanks Victoria! Em actually does have a Batgirl stuffed doll, but it's of carnival toy quality so not as nice as it *should* be. She also has a Jessie the Cowgirl from Toy StoryII, but she's disenchanted...Jessie is no Wonder Woman.

I love your blog too...BTW when's "Doris Part II" coming out??

Lyvvie said...

Emily would like me to add "Please tell them all that I'm actually a super hero called "Flame", and she has lots of super powers like flame throwing power, wind powers and ice powers, and she has her super hero spirit friends called "Sun" and "Wind", Sun can make it really bright, shiny and hot (especially on Easter ? Wind blows the enemies away with power breath. (She even instructed me where to place the full-stop...ain't she cute)

Victoria said...

Flame! Your daughter has a great imagination.. These are the girls who grow up to be authors/artists..

Blog ho said...

I am moved. I was chomping at the bit to tell youi about teen titans...which I LOVE. But you have them. TT has some of the coolest girl heroes ever. I couldn't think of any other super hero girls, though... The ladies in The Incred. were pretty cool... The Tick is cool, but he's a bug. And not a girl. I'll be thinking of nothing but this, now.

Lyvvie said...

Oh Crap! now I have Bratz ads in my google strip...Fuck off Bratz!!!

sCruuw said...

Bratz are borderline about your Britney wanna be dolls!

I am outta the girl toy scene so I have no suggestions..but I agree batgirl is awesome!