Yesterday I went to a couple of bookstores in the city to have a look around. It seems that bookstores these days sell almost as much merchandise and decorative items as they sell books. When I was younger bookstores sold books. Period. Now they are overflowing with displays of home decor and merchandising of films and characters. I don’t mind that development in general being a sucker for home decor, but when the merchandising is advocating a dubious female image I’m torn between my girly liking of pink and my thorough dislike of the Barbie myth.
Everywhere you look you see Princess Lillifee items, cutesy Hello Kitty stuff, books on how to be a princess and such crap. Maybe this is just a German phenomenon, because the search for “princess” on German amazon comes up with way more hits than on amazon.com. It seems American princesses are limited to the Disney variety, whereas the German princess learns how to get pampered and spoilt and – above all – look pretty.
Then you head on to the DVD section and what do you find? Barbie Mariposa, the fairy princess, and all its derivatives, Barbie of Swan Lake and Barbie in the Nutcracker.
Another childhood memory came to the surface yesterday when I noticed that obviously Sarah Kay has been resurrected from the dead.
I remember those things from when I was a kid, no idea why they are popping up now again.Those dolls don’t look like playmates and claim a princess status.
It seems girls nowadays can choose between being a useless decorative item with no brains and being a good housewife, concerned with Kinder, Küche, Kirche.
Happy New Year!