Saturday, April 12, 2008
Marshall and I have always wanted Marlie to not only feel comfortable being brown in a light-skinned family, we wanted her to love her brown skin, as we love her brown skin. We want her to be proud of her hair and the things it can do and never wish her hair or skin was different. So we vowed to only give her dolls with brown skin and we made sure all her room decorations depicted girls/women with brown skin. We’ve got a goat skin painting of an Ethiopian mother and child for her room, as well as many other Ethiopian decorations. We’ve got the brown skinned fairy pictures framed on her walls. And the doll house with the brown skinned family, and the many, many brown skinned dolls in her little toy box.
I’m not even sure how it happened. But somehow, our little girl decided she was OBSESSED with the Little Mermaid. I had avoided the whole Disney thing successfully for many years. It wasn’t until the Pirates of the Caribbean came out (and their full line of pirate merchandise) that my kids ever even set foot in the Disney store.
So here was our dilemma. Our little girl would get SO excited whenever she saw any item with the Little Mermaid on it. We were hesitant to buy any Ariel-themed items solely for the reason that Ariel is caucasian. We don’t want to encourage any liking of the caucasian dolls (we told ourselves). Oh but look how excited she is when she sees it! And slowly, our desire to get Marlie things that she really loves, won over our better judgment and intentions. And there was no going back. For the more Ariel items she had, the more she wanted ALL ARIEL ALL THE TIME. She wants me to “sing Ariel” when I’m fixing her hair in the morning. She wants to wear a “Mermaid” shirt every single day. And just to thrill my little girl, I’ve even resorted to hitting eBay to find last year’s mermaid shirts since I’ve already bought all the ones the Disney store is carrying currently.
She even asks me to look up “Little Mermaid” on Amazon whenever she sees me on the computer, so she can sit on my lap and see all the mermaid merchandise. I’m not kidding. She happened to walk in the room one day when I was looking for birthday presents online for her, and she flipped out with excitement at all the mermaid possibilities.
Seriously, loving something so much that you HAVE to have every single piece of merchandise ever made with that theme, is just not healthy or normal. I mean, for instance, I only have 16 Buffy the Vampire Slayer action figures, one calendar, one clock, a couple of TV props, a few shirts, several books and comic books, pencils, magazines, a lunch box and a couple of magnets. That’s no where near the total amount of Buffy merchandise out there. See, the girl needs some restraint, like I have. Stop choking, Marshall. I just have no idea where Marlie gets her little obsessive behavior. It’s just not normal, I tell you.
And with our heavy hearts, we have given in to letting Marlie have a bunch of Ariel dolls and toys. And then I try to make myself feel better and I tell myself, Well, Ariel might have light skin, but at least she doesn’t have blond hair.