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From me to you, highlighting challenges faced by girls

Dear Daughters, Female Characters Today Are More “Feminized” and Sexualized

Dear Daughters,

Today I came across a telling comment made by Dave Pressler, who is a professional sculptor, illustrator and character designer. He says,

“Any boy / man character can be a lump, a ball, or a bucket. The second it’s a girl we must feminize and give sexuality to the character.”

You can read more about what he describes as his “biggest character design pet peeve” on his personal blog.

To all those moms my age out there, do you notice a big difference in the toys we played with in the 1980s that are making a comeback but in totally different form? Our favorite friends and characters now have huge eyes topped with long eyelashes. Their bodies are slimmer and their legs are longer. Their hair is abundant and their clothes are lacking.

Take My Little Ponies for example. The My Little Ponies I played with in the 1980s, dear daughters, looked like ponies. They had short legs, burly bodies and pony-shaped eyes. The My Little Ponies that you play with, dear daughters, are exactly as described by Mr. Pressler above. They have been sexualized. They have huge eyes that take up most of their face and they have long legs holding up their slimmer bodies.

My Little Pony 1980s version

The My Little Ponies that I played with look like this

The My Little Ponies my dear daughters play with

The My Little Ponies dear daughters play with look like this

As for Strawberry Shortcake, see for yourselves.

The Strawberry Shortcake doll that I knew

The Strawberry Shortcake dear daughters know

When I was in full toy mode as a young girl, I think the most harmful doll out there as far as sexual objectification/unhealthy body image of girls went was Barbie. Today, you my dear daughters, are bombarded with that message in almost any toy you play with (even animals figurines) and in practically every image or character you see. I am not going to make you stop playing with these toys but I hope I am showing you that you have a voice. You have a voice to try to help change the harmful message that is being sent to girls and boys today through every form of media imaginable. Most importantly, I hope that you are hearing the truth – that you have value far beyond your appearance.

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