Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Good Riddance!

"Club Libby Lu was an experiential/experience-based retailer for preteen girls ages five through twelve. Founded by Mary Drolet, a former executive at Claire's and Montgomery Ward, in August 2000, the store chain operated 98 stores in 28 states in the United States before closing in early 2009." Source: Wikipedia

Preteen? Between the ages of five and twelve is considered preteen? Disturbing.

Thank goodness this chain closed down. Good riddance! Maybe I shouldn't write that being that I've never stepped foot in the store, but after reading about it, it doesn't seem like something I'd be interested in. I'm all for make-believe and dress-up, but not is treating your girls like they are older.

Even though the battle to save our little girl's innocence is tough,I'm glad to see that other's are finally waking up. I'm tired of advertisers and companies trying to sell "sexy" to our little girls! My daughter's beg for Bratz dolls and other items in the stores that promote this. The My Scene dolls from Barbie are starting to follow suite. Peanut just got one from a preschool friend for her birthday- lots of makeup,extremely short skirt, high heels-basically the doll looks like a street walker. Just in case you think that I'm exaggerating, here's a pic of my Peanut's new toy.

My girls are only 5 and 7! This is crazy. I'm trying so hard to protect them from this (not just a doll), but it is everywhere. How do I explain that it is inappropriate for them to act sexy, when they don't even understand what sexy means? They want to dress like these dolls and act like teenagers already. The more I try to explain that it is inappropriate, the more they want it. Big Powertrip. Help!

I know this isn't the usual type of post for Creative and Curious Kids!-usually I'm bit more positive, but it has been a major concern of mine.

What are you doing to protect your children from becoming sexualized at such a young age? Would love to hear from you and any suggestions on how you are dealing with this issue.

Take Care!



Lynnie said...

I know, this issue bothers me a lot too! Because my girls are slightly younger than yours (3 and 5) , we have still been able to maintain a lot of control over their toys. Once someone sent my oldest a bag of tiny Bratz dolls and I just passed them on to my much older niece before my kids even saw them. But as they get older, possibly even at the next round of birthdays, I know it will be harder!

I wonder if you could just make a few of their appropriate interests widely known so that people chose gifts from those categories? Like, my oldest LOVES birds and would much prefer a stuffed animal bird instead of a Barbie any old day. I wonder if we threw her a "Bird" birthday party if people would naturally steer towards nature/animal gifts just because of the theme? Maybe you could include a little blurb about your daughter in the birthday party invitation like "Top 5 things about So-and-So as She Turns 8." And maybe send out a newsletter about your kids, fun and informative, around Halloween so that people knew what they were "into" well ahead of Christmas?

We do rotate our toys, too. We have way too many since I was a teacher before I had kids. I'll bet you're in the same boat having also been a teacher! So, when some toys are "put away for a bit" they are actually thrown away!

Good luck!

Jen said...

Lynnie- Thank you so much for you feedback! My girls have a lot of interests- art, music, and science in particular. You have great ideas for sharing with others my children's interests. I appreciate your suggestions and well thought out response.


Hadley said...

I just found your blog from the snail's trail, and already I like you!

It is such a battle to keep these things out of our home! We've even gotten scantily-clad dolls in our Happy Meal! I sent McD's my thoughts on that one.

We battle the Bratz and other growny stuff too. I don't know how to talk about being sexy, but I tell my girls that they just aren't appropriate for sweet girls. They are satisfied with that for now.

I'll be following along your comments for more tips :)

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with you! We homeschool, so we are able to limit some of the exposure. We spend time with other families with similar values, so my children's friends are less likely to give them gifts that we consider inappropriate. It still happens, though, and we just tell them that the fact that everyone else is doing something doesn't make it right.

Staci said...

Even though I don't have a girl, I can't stand the Bratz line. When my son points out a toy that I dislike, I'm very honest about why it's not appropriate, but in terms a little one can understand. It has done a lot to keep him from asking for certain things.

We also emphasize things he really enjoys, and try to keep our focus on that. But I'm sure once he goes to school, I'll be facing a whole new battle.

Preschool Playbook said...

I know exactly where you are coming from. It is so hard to try to keep them little girls. I remember trying to find clothes for my daughter that kept her still looking 8, not 14. I was very upset during those years. (Unfortunately, now I don't get much say). She knows, though what not to wear, but boy do I get the eye rolls.

SkylarKD said...

Have you ever read the book "Packaging Girlhood"? I'm in the middle of it now, and I must say, it's disturbing to look into marketers' heads..

Jen said...

Thank you so much for the book suggestion. A definite "must read". I found the website for it-just in case others are interested in checking it out.

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