My daughter wants to have a Barbie doll – what should I do?!

I’m a liberal mum,

Up-to-date…no wait seriously,

I understand about the dangers of socialisation,


Stamping my daughter with the pink sparkly stamp –


Setting her up for a lifetime

Wearing girls’ clothes

Make up, false nails, trips to the hairdresser,

Highlights, lowlight, balayage,

Whatever is in fashion,

The latest season, no reason

To see that as a bad thing,

To regard the trappings of womanhood

As un-laceable corset

She can never take off.


She wants a Barbie doll.

I try to explain,

I tried to find the right words

To say

That’s not the right way

To see yourself.

Your body is your material wealth

You are more than

Your face

Your eyes

Your smile.


All the while she looks at me

With her eyes that see

My brand of femininity,

Whatever that is,

And perhaps she thinks –

‘I should give that a miss’.

Do I really know better

Then she does?

Her favourite doll

isn’t Barbie,

Although her body looks like hers,

She’s a flat-footed fairy

Called Tink

Peter Pan’s rebel girl,

But to my daughter

She can be anything.

And when I ask her why she likes her,

She says ‘Because she looks like you mummy’.

She does not mean I am perfect,

Silicon enhanced, pneumatic in the chest department,

She does not mean that I have symmetrical features,

Permanent up do

Or an ideal butt.

Rather, she looks like a woman,

And a woman is something that she may one-day become.


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