It’s a good title, but not SEO sufficient for what comes below. If titled appropriately, I’ll be trolled forever by creepy predators.
Went to my mailbox and pulled out these two beauties. Together. The same day.
So if I were to title this blog post accurately, it might be:
Blowjobs and American Girl Dolls
Boobs and dolls in my mailbox
Bras & Dolls
Girls Grow Up
See the SEO conundrum?
Here we have an innocent, springtime family frolic with the American Girl Doll spring catalog juxtaposed with the oh, this bra makes my lips wet and my hair is in my eyes aren’t you horny highly anticipated bra clearance sale from Victoria’s Secret.
Same day. Same addressee. To my then tweenaged, not quite boobs and blowjobs, not done with playing with dolls yet, daughter.
Did somebody purchase a bad list?
Did they make a mistake?
Spot on marketing.
Tween and teenagers are exactly this. Well, not exactly, but some combo thereof, whether we want them to be or not. Some are all Victoria’s Secret on the outside, all American Girl doll on the inside. Others are all American Girl Doll on the outside, and underneath, a Victoria’s Secret angel dying to bust out.
I think it’s all part of growing up and it’s all normal.
Growing up female according to direct mail catalogues
While I don’t want my kid growing up thinking she needs a push-up padded memory foam water-balloon bra in order to be acceptable according to (primarily) male come-hither standards dictated by unattainable, unrealistic plastic Barbie-doll beauty, neither do I want her thinking a $100 historically correct, albeit white-washed, Lilly Pulitzer Patagonia J Crew country club privileged doll is common place in most American households.
Even though we had several in our house, with their coffin like-tombs and matching outfits for every possible social situation all more accessorized and much, much nicer, and more expensive, than anything hanging in my own closet. Thanks Grandma.
Regardless, I never did patronize the Fifth Avenue salon to fix Felicia’s hair when it was dippity-dooed, not once, but several times, into the dog dish by a jealous sibling then sautéed like a chicken breast into the cat litter box, before being hidden, for days, weeks maybe, in the tree fort, afraid of the wrath of angry mom over expensive grandma gift.
Neither will I run to purchase a cosmetically-or-photoshopped-enhanced booby catcher from an ignore-my-blow-job-lips-and-look-at-my-cleavage-isn’t-it-lovely barely old enough to vote bra model, quite often herself sprawled seductively and sautéed in sand – maybe beach maybe cat litter – who knows.
Even though their t-shirt bra is the best and something I’ve been known to dig through the clearance bins in desperate search of a discount, then dig some more for my more bustier daughters, and dig some more and more and more because who doesn’t want to save a buck and do you know I have three daughters – sometimes four, not counting my own two midlife melons, with a boob size in every bin?
The bellcurve of middle school
When talking about middle school, I’ve been known to shock people and say, in the bell curve of what is 7th and 8th grade, there are dolls on one end of the scale, and blowjobs on the other.
Not everyone is snorting oxy or selling handles in the bathroom. But it happens. And not everyone in middle school is sexually active. But it happens.
Likewise, not everyone believes in Santa or the tooth fairy or that damn elf on the shelf either. But it happens. More often than not in our family history.
The vast, vast majority of kids are right in the middle of that curve, painfully aware of those at the ends, and wondering and trying desperately to fit in someplace, somewhere.
What’s a girl to do? Find a place to fit in that works for her. What’s a mom to do? Let them be, but call out the ridiculousness of both. None of my girls ever looked like the happy girls frolicking in the American Girl catalog, nor have they grown to be the smoky eye, pouty lip sexual sinkhole that of Victoria’s Secret.
The dolls are cool. And they’ve even got some of some color now. Angels too. All still about the same size, but skin tones have advanced.
But until the pages of these catalogs and others represent the world in which we live, I’ll buy what works for us at this time in our lives, and write about the rest, after I dig through the bins in search of a marked down 34c t-shirt bra, because once you get past the blowjob lips, those angels do make a mighty fine brassiere.
Me too, guys, size, dolls, bras and bell curve.
Was just referring to the BC yesterday as a project was potentially sliding down the wrong side. Gotta catch ’em at the peak!
Ellen Dolgen says
Oh my! My daughter, Sarah, is 37 so I am out if the loop on all of this. However, Sarah’s precious 2 year old daughter is already growing up so fast. Grandma E may need to put her in a bubble. Yikes!
I’m dreading these days. I know it’s coming but nothing will prepare me!
Kathy Radigan says
As I was reading this I kept thinking back to my own teen years and that feeling of wanting the bra and wanting to hide in a corner with a doll. (I’m too old to have an American Doll, but we do have our share of dolls and every thing that goes with them. Only girl, doting grandparents.) Thanks for a very thought provoking piece.
Stephanie D. Lewis says
Really made me think! The dichotomy and paradox is all around us – – no wonder our teens are so confused! Same as me with the lose ten lbs in two weeks but first bake the scrumptious red velvet cake on our cover magazine. This was quite insightful and my friend’s 17 year old daughter was recently let go as a newly hired model for VS when they determined she was still a virgin and therefore they felt she would be unable to make the “C’mon and F@*# me” expression they deem a mandatory modeling skill.
Tracey @ mummyshire says
Really interesting post and the juxtaposition of the American Folks vs VS Angel’s is a really common on, and not one that only confuses our teens.
My daughter is just creeping into her tween age years but already she has friends either end of the curve (love that visualisation, btw).
Kate Mayer says
Thx for the read! Confuses moms so it’s gotta freak out kids as well!
Nicky Kentisbeer says
I have to say, this really has made me laugh. Because herein lies the problem that we all faced with. Firstly though Kathryn, I do need to clarify that the doll you have pictured with the shampoo and set is actually an ‘American Girl’? Or is it an imposter? Yes we have not quite ready for the full on bra, dolls, dolls in secret, the American Doll in Britain and then make-up and maturity. The whole lot is going on all at once. I really get your point here, not quite so good on the wording from VS and AG and of course those combos could turn into an SEO shocker. Meantime, we are quite fine here with anything goes now, we can be small girls and bigs girls. In fact, I’ve had many an older girl here that can’t wait to get in the doll box. I guess there is a message here. Thanks for linking up to #TweensTeensBeyond in our first week. Nicky
Kate Mayer says
Thx for the read. Nope, doll pictured is cheap knockoff; should say do in caption. And absolutely, room for both!
Jo - Mother of Teenagers says
Kathryn what a dilemma. My youngest is 13 and is definitely down one end of the spectrum with many in her year desperately trying to place themselves firmly at the other end which sends my daughter in to a red haired rant regularly about their barbie doll beauty and brains attitude. Needless to say it took me a while to convince her that she needed to upgrade to a bra! Thanks for joining the first week of our linky and hope you will join us again. #TweensTeensBeyond
Kate Mayer says
Good luck with your girl! Thx for the read!
Sharon Parry says
Oh the juxtaposition of the teen girl! I have three teen daughters – well the youngest is 11 but the same applies. Yes to calling out the ridiculousness of both – otherwise we seem to be condoning the other? What a brilliantly written piece on a tricky subject – thanks so much for sharing it on #TweensTeensBeyond. Looking forward to reading more next week. 🙂
Kate Mayer says
thx for reading, and good luck with your girls! Sounds like they are in very good hands!
Kate, you had me laughing about the AG Doll coming from grandma. We have the exact same situation in our house (4 dolls and a b****y salon chair!!!). And yes, I have paid the $20 to get Josephina’s hair brushed out. Though a small part of me was happy that my daughter chose the Mexicana doll and not the blond-blue eyed doll (she came later).
The Doll/Bra Balance (to coin a phrase) is something that is happening younger and younger. I’ve mentioned before on another post that my daughter’s classmates were getting bra-lets at the age of 6. I suspect VS has been funding other outlets to get the girls hooked early.
Am now following you in a non-stalker way because I think you could be my new BFF. I LOVE your blog!
Kate Mayer says
I could use some friends, especially those that find me funny and not offensive! Thx for the read and follow!