Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pernicious Girly Sites

Yesterday Princess and her friend were visiting websites for young girls. They love to visit sites like and play games there. So yesterday they sought permission to go to a new site, and as usual I monitored the site to make sure it was appropriate for them.

Well, they go to this site and the animated girls on it say stuff like "Now let's get to the most important thing-- deciding what we want to wear!" Every word out of these girls' mouths emphasized that you want to be in the "in" crowd and the key to that is dressing correctly.

I've gotta nip this one in the bud; I can't let her learn that her goal is to be "in" and clothes are more important than anything else. So when I heard the girls on the computer treating a less-well-dressed girl meanly, I commented on how rude and unkind that was. I asked Princess and her friend what the right way to treat the less-well-dressed girl would be. I told them that no matter how well those girls dressed, they would never be beautiful because beauty comes from how you treat others. I asked them what useful things the girl characters on that site had done for the world, other than dress in fancy clothes, and Princess and her friend said they hadn't done anything besides give each other gifts. I pointed out that this was not a good way to increase the good will in the world, to only give gifts to friends you chose on the basis of how they dressed. And I told them that I did not approve of that site, but that I would let them make their own choice as to whether to visit it again.

After that they went back to, pointing out that Barbie did nice things for people and animals in unfortunate circumstances. Honestly, I never thought Barbie would ever be my preferred alternative, but yesterday it was.