Wednesday, 6 November 2013


The Girl cleaned her room recently, and had unearthed some dolls people gave her years ago. I have been removed from mainstream culture for a long time, so when I come upon something like modern toys, they look strange to me. I don’t mind The Girl playing with dolls, but I want to make sure she can see what I see. 

Look at this doll’s legs, I said, pointing to one of her pseudo-Barbies – they’re three times as long as her torso. Can you picture someone really looking like that?

“They would be able to look in upstairs windows,” The Girl said, “Like a giraffe. Ooh! Daddy – have you seen her neck?”

The Girl delighted in showing me the way the doll’s head perched atop a spindly pipe of plastic, connecting to its tiny body.

“She must eat and then still be hungry for a long time,” The Girl said. “It takes the food so long to reach her stomach. And look at her head – it’s ginormous! It would break her neck!”

Let’s see: long legs, tiny body, long neck – what kind of environment would a creature like that live in? I asked.

“I can’t think of anything,” The Girl said.

She could be like a spider monkey, I said – if she swung from trees she wouldn’t be standing upright, and wouldn’t have to support that head.

“Her platform shoes wouldn’t be much use up there,” The Girl said. True, I said … but would shoes like that be useful anywhere?

 “Oh, Daddy – have you seen her eyes?” Although I think the doll was supposed to be the Scottish heroine of the film Brave, she had the insect eyes of Japanese animation.

Maybe her species is nocturnal, I said, and needs giant eyes to see in the darkness.

“Or maybe they had to survive by shooting arrows, and only the ones with the biggest eyes made it,” The Girl said, and finally shrugged. “Or maybe she’s from another planet.”

As you get to be a woman, I said, you’ll realise that most pictures of women look like something from another planet.   


peaj said...

I love these intelligent, leading conversations that you have with the Girl that emphasize thoughtful reflection on the world and society's rules. Bravo.

peaj said...

I love the thoughtful conversations that you have with the Girl that encourage her to critically evaluate the mores of society. Well done.