Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Some thoughts on TV...

Am I the only one a touch disturbed by the all-encompassing invasiveness of children's toys?

I don't mean how you find bath toys under the bed and Legos under the couch cushions. I mean how Barbie (for example) isn't just dolls anymore. It's series of dolls, apparel, "appropriate" accessories for both the child and the doll, tableware, bed linens, bathroom accessories, movies, books (coloring and story), all of which combine to exhaust any potential for the child herself to have a say in what happens in Barbieland.

I mean, when Barbie was just dolls (okay, and clothes, houses, and cars) at least you could make up her personality and what happened to her. Sure, Ken and PJ (does that date me or what?) weren't an entire Homecoming Court of syncophants like she has now. But the relationships were determined by the child, not a marketing team in a board room. That turns those "movies" into extended toy commercials, doesn't it?

With the movies, though, you can reenact scenes from the movie or not, but you already have her voice and personality determined, as well as all of the other folks in the line/film.

I realize Dora started out as software and has morphed into an entire franchise as well, with Diego added for additional marketing to the male child demographic. That I can forgive because she had to have a personality in the genesis of it. But when something like the Weebles and Fisher-Price toys have their own TV show or videos, it really has gone too far.

I'm not even going to touch on using the TV to teach your kid morals and ethics. I'm lucky to have even gotten this much vented.


At 8:01 PM, Blogger SecretAgentMan said...

With you 1000% They don't encourage children to use their imagination. They discourage it in favor of a consumerist weltschaung into which the child's mind is supposed to fit. Why they do that I have no idea. :)

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Zach said...

No, it's not just you.

Our Rachel got some "Sky Dancer" dolls for Christmas. If you haven't seen them, think a Barbie-style doll with helicopter action (I swear I am not making this up).

Each doll comes with it's own freakin' DVD!

So, of course, story is pre-provided. No imagination required.

"My Little Ponies" now come with video helps as well.

It's diabolical, I tell you.

Nancy works hard on keeping the kid's stuff quasi-Amish/Luddite enough that they don't have their imaginations crushed. I think we're having some success ...


At 4:37 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Madeleine saw the commercials for the "Sky Dancer" dolls and said, "Maybe I'll get those someday." Right. This was BEFORE I knew about the DVDs. Not to mention I can see her brother using it as a weapon.

She also wants a personal video player, which someone brought in to preschool as their favorite gift from Santa. "When will I get a video player?" she asked this morning.



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