Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Supergirl vs. Strawberry Shortcake

My 2 year old daughter wants Strawberry Shortcake (how she knows about her is beyond me). At the store today I wandered down the 'boy aisle' to see what dolls (hmm...excuse me, 'action figures') were offered. A possible alternative to Strawberry Shortcake?? And I found SuperGirl! I snatched her up and presented her to my daughter. She screwed up her face and asked me where Strawberry Shortcake was. I begin to highlight Supergirl's powers, strength...and the awesome fact that she could change the world. I mean c'mon she has both heat vision and freezing breath. My daughter's response...but you can brush Strawberry Shortcake's hair and she smells like fruit. My heart sank...what is a feminist mom to do? Can Supergirl compete with those qualifications? Should she have to?

As if I were not distraught enough...upon closer inspection of Supergirl I was devastated. Not only is she the only girl in the line up of Marvel figures on this particular store's shelf but she has breasts that give Barbie a run for her money. The size of her waist line makes you wonder if she could even hold up those ginormous breasts! And the main movement she can do is bend her knees (as in get down on her knees). And let's not forget that I found her in the 'boy aisle'-- she is marketed to boys...young boys. Package says ages 4+ Seriously?

Strawberry's body is much more girl like (despite the size of her head). And she has a community of young women around her...Plum Pudding, Raspberry Torte, Lemon Meringue, Orange Blossom, & Blueberry Muffin. They come in different colors...a rainbow--gay friendly? A sign of diversity? So they flit around, dress up, and have tea could be worse, right?

Has it come to this? Am I honestly arguing the redeemable points to Strawberry Shortcake and her girls because Supergirl in toy form is so disappointing? Can there be no mainstream action figures/dolls that support girls as girls? Highlight their strength? Teach them to be empowered by their capabilities? Is this asking too much?