The second thing that I learned from my daughter’s birthday party is that there are not enough empowering images of fierce girls in the media. Before you say DUH, keep in mind that I wasn't browsing chic magazines, commercials, or sensationalized media outlets. I was googling the world wide web for images of little girl knights, ninjas, and mummies. Those are legitimate search words. Nothing sexy or weird about it. Seriously.
I needed the pictures for a treasure map. With a quest you kinda have to have a map. On ours we put the six rooms where the party goers would travel to complete each Magic Tree House challenge. On the map I wanted to use icons/pictures and not just words. Since the partiers were all girls, I wanted the map to have girl centric imagery. So I googled and searched royalty free picture sites for girl knights, mummies, ancient Olympians, ninjas, and pirates.
I did not type in woman or costume or cute. I knew that much. But, dang, all the world wants to see is objectified women. Why does that hold so much (negative) power?
For the girl knight I could only find images with bare mid-drifts (who would joust in that?) and super sexy buxom knights. Women may not have been actual knights in those days, but I can find plenty of dogs dressed as knights. Sure, that’s funny. But if they think of putting a dog in a suit of armor, what about an American Doll or a Barbie? Or anything a girl can see herself as.
So. The first thing I learned was that a tree house cake is an *experience* well worth having. The second is that girls are really being cheated out of strong role models for their imaginative play. Sexist brainwashing starts early. And finally, I learned that if you want to mummify seven little girls you need approximately five rolls of toilet paper and four adults. Also, little girls are not super psyched about being mummified tightly. They like a loose drape effect.
Always willing to share my life lessons!