Disney & Barbie questions

Status
Not open for further replies.

catsrcul

Puritan Board Freshman
I have a question. Those of you with girls, do you read Disney stories to them? I've never read them to my children. I'm not saying anything evil with them. They're just so many good books I've never had the time to fit in a Disney story.
We also didn't have any Barbies until a neighbor friend gave my daughter a couple the other day. I definitely don't like Barbies. I'm not condeming any Barbie collectors though. I can recall discontent welling up within me when I was a babe playing with my Barbie.

We've never seen any popular Disney films either. We've never seen Pochahantas, Little Mermaid, etc.

My daughter is 4 and she is very attracted to anything with a blonde princess on it though.

I'm thinking that there is nothing inherently evil about the story of Cinderella.

What say ye?
 

Ex Nihilo

Puritan Board Senior
I have a question. Those of you with girls, do you read Disney stories to them? I've never read them to my children. I'm not saying anything evil with them. They're just so many good books I've never had the time to fit in a Disney story.
We also didn't have any Barbies until a neighbor friend gave my daughter a couple the other day. I definitely don't like Barbies. I'm not condeming any Barbie collectors though. I can recall discontent welling up within me when I was a babe playing with my Barbie.
Me too. I disliked her because she was so thin. (Which is an awful thing for a seven or eight-year-old girl to feel.)
 

matt01

Puritan Board Senior
I don't have a problem with Disney or Barbie in general, though there are particular books that we do not read to our daughters...Take it book by book, there are some good, and some not so good books.
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
I have a question. Those of you with girls, do you read Disney stories to them? I've never read them to my children. I'm not saying anything evil with them. They're just so many good books I've never had the time to fit in a Disney story.
We also didn't have any Barbies until a neighbor friend gave my daughter a couple the other day. I definitely don't like Barbies. I'm not condeming any Barbie collectors though. I can recall discontent welling up within me when I was a babe playing with my Barbie.

We've never seen any popular Disney films either. We've never seen Pochahantas, Little Mermaid, etc.

My daughter is 4 and she is very attracted to anything with a blonde princess on it though.

I'm thinking that there is nothing inherently evil about the story of Cinderella.

What say ye?
No Barbies will ever take up residence in our house - most of all because they portray a wretched image of what it is to be a woman, and with all the other awful societal cues our girls (we have four, age 1 to just about 8) receive, over which we have little control, we do not need to add the pathetic Barbie image to our home.

Disney is a mixed bag - we don't do much of it, though the girls have seen some Disney movies and we have a couple of the old classics. We haven't gone in for (nor will we) the new agey newer movies like Lion King and Pocahontas - why waste the time with such insipid stories that carry such subtly deviant messages under the radar screen? I'm not sure what Disney "stories" you refer to are - I suppose there are little story books that are heavily distilled versions of the cartoon stories? We don't do that either, for the reasons you state.

Cinderella is a wonderful story - if you go to the original sources, as are Snow White, etc. Our girls absolutely love the old fairy tales, and by giving them those stories from the old sources, we are trying to give them good stories while giving them to them in the form of good literature (rather than the dumbed down language of modern "story books").

Call me a snob and a prude, but that's our perspective on these things.
 

Kim G

Puritan Board Junior
They're just so many good books I've never had the time to fit in a Disney story.
This is a good problem to have. :) I agree that there are so many good stories for children. I love classic children's literature!

I can recall discontent welling up within me when I was a babe playing with my Barbie.
I guess this is a case-by-case issue. I've been chunky my whole life, but I don't ever remember envying the way Barbie looked. Maybe because I had two brothers and we played with Barbies and legos and GI Joes and army men all together. But no one is actually missing anything if they don't grow up with Barbies (and most of that new Bratz junk!).

Perhaps you could instead find little dolls for your daughter to "be a mommy to." I LOVED taking care of my dolls growing up. I would sew little pillows for them and dress them every morning. You would be teaching her gentleness and responsibility (diaper-changing, bottle feeding, etc.)

We've never seen any popular Disney films either. We've never seen Pochahantas, Little Mermaid, etc. My daughter is 4 and she is very attracted to anything with a blonde princess on it though. I'm thinking that there is nothing inherently evil about the story of Cinderella.
I wasn't allowed to watch Little Mermaid growing up, and we walked out of Pochahantas when the spirit incantations started. Cinderella is okay, but it does teach a VERY shallow view of love--something that little kids probably don't pick up on. My favorite movie was Beauty and the Beast because it has a much deeper/more complex view of love, friendship, and sacrifice (I'm getting chills just thinking about it).
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
I'm not pro-Barbie, but I find it interesting that the intelligensia are more offended by the physical disconnect of Barbie than the moral disconnect (turpitude even) of things like Bratz.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Now I know who Karen is! ;) :D

Barbies: we didn't allow them at first. One of my brothers gave my oldest a Barbie when she was 4 or 5. She disappeared after we kept finding her laying around the house in between costume changes. I prefer the specialty Barbies though...and Barbie is 100 times better than BRATS where there is NO WAY of making THOSE presentable!

Disney: we avoided them at first also. At least until our older children were mature enough to discern certain things. We still have never seen Pocohantas and have no intention of it. My children have never seen Snow White (insipid twit). They have seen Shrek (ack! My grandmother even gave my stepfather the deathstare for making her and us sit through that one). Enchanted was funny simply because it shows the ridiculousness of the cartoon-Disney-movies (and included McDreamy who really needs to hear the song "I'm Still a Guy" and take some lessons). But I can't say that they are all evil. I did buy the "polly pocket" versions of the Princesses, simply because they had decent clothing and presented "ladies".
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian

jonmo

Puritan Board Freshman
We were pretty determined we would be a Disney-free home and have failed utterly (in part because of gifts from American relatives, in part our own doing). Our two-year-old daughter is completely into being a Princess in the Disney style. She loves the Little Mermaid (her Ariel doll is an absolute favourite) and Barbie (again she has a doll, which she calls Blondie). However, it is only part of a broader range of toys she loves, including Mega blocks and kicking a soccer ball.

I grew up in an all-boy household so I am getting a whole new insight into how the female mind is shaped from an early age. I am reasonably relaxed with it at the moment but it's something we need to manage going forward (for example, we are firmly of the no to Bratz view as well).

One plus side with the Princess obsession, is that when my wife puts on a nice dress, my daugher usually says, "Mummy, you look like a princess", which is lovely.
 

Dwimble

Puritan Board Freshman
Our daughter is only about to turn two, and just about the only thing we let her watch right now is Jack's Big Music Show (it is GREAT, by the way) on Noggin. Although we will have no problem with occasionally letting her watch classic Disney movies, some of the most recent ones, and of course the Pixar movies, we will NOT be letting her watch most of the stuff on the various Disney Channels. In some ways I think that Disney's television products are the worst, most harmful things on television for children. Virtually all adults are portrayed as bumbling buffoons, evil, or both. All children are smarter than the adults, arrogant and disrespectful, and they break any and every rule that suits them...as long as the end always justifies the means (sort of like Harry Potter).

As a side note, we will probably stick to DVDs almost exclusively, because the commercials during children's programming are almost worse than anything in the programs themselves.

As for Barbie, long ago we decided that our house would be a Barbie-free zone. There is nothing inherently wrong or evil with a Barbie itself...it is just a hunk of plastic. But, it is all the junk that goes with the Barbie image and marketing that is bad, i.e. materialism, greed, vanity, and so on. Any Barbie she gets as a gift will mysteriously disappear within a day of her getting it.

And don't even get me started on the whole "princess" thing.

Here's an article about the current princess craze. It was written by a feminist, so you have to take a lot of it with a grain of salt, but over all it has a lot of interesting info.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Disney has re-published all kinds of books with its own label that were originally Grimm's Fairy tales or other classics. If you want to direct money away from Disney, Golden Books has many of the same stories, although I have no idea if they've remained a distinct publisher.

We haven't been able to avoid the D company altogether -- my boys love Cars!

As far as TV goes, forget about it for kids, In my humble opinion! I can't believe how dumb and poorly made the shows are! We pulled the plug on our basic cable when we saw the vulgar commercials that were hardly even "covered" that were running late at night. Yuck! We hardly miss it, except that I sometimes have trouble pulling in the network news.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
No TV (as in cable or regular broadcasting), just DVDs and videos here.

My mom introduced my girls to Barbies (mostly because they were cheap at garage sales) but we 'cull' whenever we get the chance. Moving or exceptionally messy rooms are great times for this.

I'm usually OK with Disney, but I don't know that I've seen one in a long time that didn't have serious problems. Even in "Finding Nemo", the way Nemo spoke to his father was quite offensive at times. It was a poor model for my children who saw it. Though we talked about it at the time, I don't want to be constantly 'deprogramming' my children. It may be that Disney has to go altogether, and we're in the right time slot as were just re-inserting ourselves into Western society. I'd rather go a bit Amish than have that rubbish in my house.
 

Solus Christus

Puritan Board Sophomore
:think: The thing I've often wondered about Disney films is they promote themselves as family orientated. But ever notice how some of their top movies involve main characters who have either one or no parents, or their parent dies?

The Lion King: Simba's Father dies.
Aladdin: Aladdin, no parents; Jasmine, no mother
Beauty and the Beast: Belle, no mother
Toy Story: No father figure (at least I don't remember seeing one)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Will Turner, no mother; Elizabeth Swan, no mother
The Little Mermaid: Ariel, no mother
Finding Nemo: no mother
Snow White: no mother
Cinderella: no parents
Bambi: mother dies
Lilo & Stitch: Lilo, no parents (older sister takes care of her)

I mean, what sort of message is Disney trying to teach kids?
 

Grace Alone

Puritan Board Senior
I have fond memories of the old Disney movies and think many of them teach good lessons about good and evil as someone already mentioned. It is still fiction and I don't think it is harmful to watch children's make-believe stories unless there is some terrible message. We always point out if something conflicts with our world-view.

I did not buy or promote Barbie, but the girls were given a couple. One daughter strongly preferred baby dolls and didn't play with Barbie and the other didn't really care to play with dolls at all because she is the creative type and would rather be drawing or making something.

My primary objection to Barbie is that I didn't want to encourage my little girls to be pretending to be in teen situations since Barbie was a teen or older. Eght year olds don't need to be thinking about going on dates with Ken, in my opinion.
 

Kim G

Puritan Board Junior
My primary objection to Barbie is that I didn't want to encourage my little girls to be pretending to be in teen situations since Barbie was a teen or older. Eght year olds don't need to be thinking about going on dates with Ken, in my opinion.
They were dating teens? :eek: You ruined my childhood memories! In my mind, they were always married. :lol: I had so many Barbies from gifts and garage sales, so I had Barbie families--husband (Ken), wife (Barbie), childrens, aunts, etc. from other Barbies. I'd spend half the day just setting up their house with my blocks and legos. Then they would go grocery shopping, play outside together, go swimming at the lake (bathroom sink), and eat supper as a family.

Guess I was naive. :lol:
 

SteppingHeavenward

Puritan Board Freshman
I agree that the stories were not originally Disney's, and so you have the decision of whether or not you like the Disney spin/hype, as well as that of whether or not you approve of the story itself, in a more "original" form. My daughter is only 2, and our exposure has been pretty limited so far. Although, I don't think I would have a problem with a lot of them. (haven't really checked them out... I wasn't allowed to read/watch these as a child, so I'm not too familiar with a lot of them.)

As far as Barbies go... I agree with those who say that there are doll options out there that are far worse. I played with Barbies when I was younger, and I don't feel that they contributed to some sense of vanity or greed in my character. To me, they were merely dolls to be dressed and played with. It takes more than a doll that is "physically desireable" to develop this sort of attitude in a young girl. I'm not saying that it couldn't promote it, but I don't think that a doll, in and of itself, can produce these attitudes. Pair Barbie with Saturday morning cartoons and kiddie soap operas - yeah, you may have an issue on your hands!

I will agree that most of the clothing sold for Barbie is less than desirable, but it is possible to find acceptable store-bought and handmade clothing. And whether or not Barbie needs a convertible... it may be considered excessive, but as long as she has wisely budgeted for it... :)
 

Amy

Puritan Board Freshman
My primary objection to Barbie is that I didn't want to encourage my little girls to be pretending to be in teen situations since Barbie was a teen or older. Eght year olds don't need to be thinking about going on dates with Ken, in my opinion.
That is my main reason that any daughters I may have, will not have and will not be playing with other girls and their Barbies unsupervised. When I played at home with my younger brother they were always dating his GI Joes which was stupid enough, but whenever I played with my friends, all supposedly nice little girls from whichever church we were going to at the time, the situations were much too adult. I never knew anyone that played nicely with Barbies. They all went to school though and also were allowed to see a lot more TV, movies and such than I ever did. I'm glad that at the time most of it went over my head and it wasn't until I was older that I realized what had been going on, but I still wish I had different childhood memories. I think the clothing and build and accessories for Barbie had little to do with the problem, and it was more about having an adult doll to act out things viewed on TV or talked about by everyone.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top