I have made gargantuan attempts at steering G to playthings (dolls) that are as beautiful as she. I have not allowed anything remotely Barbie-esque to grace our house (well except for the barbie waffles that were on clearance but there was diversity with in the pictures on the waffles) at least from my own pocket book.
She was given (handed down) two barbie books several months ago that I ignored (should have thrown away) but she found Saturday. These were given to us by my sister in law and at the time I verbally said in front of sil that I don't approve of Barbie. To which sil said, "Oh well I think they are fine and SJ loves them." (She felt judged in her allowing SJ to have them.) Well, SJ, my niece, is the tall, blond, long haired, green eyed child that resembles the barbie. After pointing that out and how G will never be that, sil seemed to understand. (I still think I offended sil).
But this morning on her barbie waffle there were two faces, one the blond blue barbie and one the dark haired (brown) darker skinned barbie. G doesn't like that one. She said she is stupid or dumb. I kept asking what about her did she not like and she just referred to her as dumb. I said "That is not about looks, looks are eyes, hair and face." I told her that the picture had dark hair like her to which she replied, "NO! That's brown hair, not yike mine."
So the best I can figure is that I haven't done enough in making sure diversity is upheld in our house. So I will be getting rid of the blond barbies and barbie books in the house this weekend which will cause much consternation by the way. And without telling her why I need to get rid of them (how do you explain it to a 4 year old?), I can't be sneaky in just getting rid of them.
Yes we have Disney videos, and we watch Mulan, Pocahontas, and Jasmine as much as Belle, Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland (snow white is banned due to the wicky witch). We have a DVD with two stories that include Aurora (sleeping beauty) and Jasmine that she watches too (not the original stories). We have all the pooh ones and rescuers and Dalmatians and what not.
But we don't have standard TV so she is not bombarded from there with the perfect images. I don't have cable or digital anything other than computer internet access. And I don't give her the AG doll magazines unless I specifically open it to the beautiful dolls that are closer to her in appearance commenting how beautiful they are. But lately (last three nights) we have read these silly barbie books and now all of a sudden she doesn't like the darker haired doll on her waffles.
I may be making a bigger deal out of this than needed but it sounds to me like we need a playdate with our Chinese sisters to get back to what is truly beautiful, our FCC family and friends. G will have a lifetime of self loathing by just becoming a teenager (rite of passage). I just don't want it to start at 4 or for it to be about her being Chinese and not looking like Barbie. I really want her to have good self esteem to ward off the stupidity she is going to face from others (racism).
So tell me, I am over reacting right? What do you APs of children of color do now at this age to build up against the future racism your kids will or do face? Let's talk.