Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pink in Thinkin'

My parental motto is basically my life motto, is borrowed from the movie Smokey and the Bandit and is as follows: eastbound and down, loaded up and truckin', we're gonna do what they say can't be done. In other words: keep on truckin', don't dawdle at the truck stops, join a convoy when you can and above all else: watch out for smokies. So far, this has served me well in keeping my head above the dark, immense waters of BS that come with having a kid in this day an age. (Another thing that helps is having a special needs child; you never see a special needs parent worrying about the sugar content of dried apricots or the political implications of the length of Dora's shorts, but that's for another blog.) But the other day, I saw something in the corner of my rear-view that caused me to pause, one foot lingered above the brake.

Cinderella met my daughter

The thing was a book called Cinderella Ate my Daughter by Peggy Orenstein. Now, admittedly, my expertise of this book is strictly limited to the quarter page review I read of it in the People Magazine I found at the gym, but that is not going to stop me from telling you exactly what I think of it and anyone who has jumped on its anti-pink bandwagon (have we learned nothing from Purpalicious?).

The pause I felt was due to three things: 1.) Feminism was condemning our girly culture, 2.) my daughter, on any given day, could be seen dressed head to toe in pink sparkles and tulle, rainbow painted fingernails embellished with flower decals, carrying  a pink purse containing at least one lip gloss and one princess doll, and 3.) I am a feminist: a militant one (which basically means that I wear a watch that signals me it is time to suit-up and go throw a grenade at a frathouse/Girls Gone Wild offices/Fox News set by playing a midi version of I am Woman by Helen Reddy.) 
Pinkalicious faces anti-pink discrimination

Supposedly the problem with Snappy's mountainous pile of Princess/mermaid/fairy/pink-for-the-sake-of-being-pink crap is that it all leads to Miley Cyrus fandom which, as we all know, leads directly to pole dancing on an ice cream wagon at the Teen Choice Awards and "forgetting" to wear underpants with mini-skirts. There might also have been something in there about it leading to anorexia as well, but considering that fact that exactly half of everything you could ever say, give to or put near your child will lead directly to anorexia and the other half leads to obesity, I think they just cancel each other out and can be ignored. 

I decided, ultimately, (with the exception of writing this blog) to just ignore the whole thing for two main  reasons: one because I remembered my long-standing endeavor to trust my own instincts and two because I did not want to spend every single Thanksgiving for the rest of my life apologizing to my grown daughter for throwing away her Aurora dolls when she was four.

Now it will be a long time until I can know if I'm doing the right thing, but I feel like trusting myself not to turn my daughter into a skanky ho as well as trusting my daughter not to let me turn her into a skanky ho has just got to be better than falling in line with the latest parental scare making the blog rounds. Still, that doesn't mean that I don't get brief glimpses of  my impending success.

The other day, my mother-in-law sent my daughter a nightlight in the shape of a buxom, bootylicious pink and red-clad fairy. Snappy loved it, named her Rose Fairy and asked me to find a place to plug her in. I had to  pull out a basket full of tutus, princess dresses and fairy wings, but I found the perfect corner outlet for Ms. Fairy. As she blazed forth in glittery glory, Snappy curled herself into a comfortable little ball on a perfectly child-sized patch of carpet (sullied only by a few minuscule scraps of tulle, feathers and rhinestones that had fallen from the basket) and stared lovingly at her newest decorative addition. I stood just outside of her diminutive domain and listened to her tell a story about the fairy that began, "a long time ago in a far, far away land...".

Hey, who knows? Maybe she'll be a famous writer, maybe she'll be a nail technician who specializes in rainbow nails but there is one thing that I know for sure: somewhere, out in the ephemeral reaches of a little girl's imagination lives a pleasantly plump fairy named Rose with a back story that the anti-pink patrol hasn't even considered and who will one day blow the Miley Cyruses of the world out of the water. And all I can say is "Go Rose! Go!"

You tell 'em, Pink!


Smurf said...

I love this post. I'm glad you are all empowered about your kid and her love of pink and all that, but I think, that, her momma's wonderful grasp on the English language and ability to turn a phrase and create such amusing visualizations will keep her off the pole.

Ps. The Captcha to post this is boutte. Which, I think, is the French form of Booty in deference to Ms. Rose.

Bailz said...

I'm super proud of the "Pink Ladies" in my life!

RocketGirl said...

I love it! I'm currently discouraging my mother from buying scads of pink'n'purple, just because I'm so bloody sick of the colors and want to dress her in primary love for as long as I'm able to choose what she wears. But if, when the time comes, she decides that she's going to attend Abby's Flying Fairy School, I'll be the first in line to buy her the wings!

Karen said...

My sweet little Princess Z! I'm not a fan of the Disney Princess crap in general, and I have let my little girl take the color lead, but if she had decided pink was it, she'd be in pink, dammit. No one will ever go broke banking on the insecurities of parents, though, so we'll continue to get silly things like anti-pink brigades.

Whoever decided boobs were bad, anyway? That always bothers me. Breast is best only until it appears on a toy; at that point, it becomes bimbonic. As a feminist with a giant rack myself, I want to punch people who equate curviness with vapidity and anti-feminism.