I sort of wish I’d been weirder when I was younger. My name was the one the supply teachers never pronounced properly and other kids loved turning it into less than charitable nicknames, but my weird factor was pretty limited beyond that. Average height, average weight, blond hair, brown eyes, an outgoing bookworm. I wore a lot of pink. As much as I remember that kids can be mean, I also remember being very normal. I wasn’t leading any trends, but nor was I ignoring them. In fact, I remember following a lot of trends. I played with Barbies and My Little Ponies and knew all the words to Spiceworld (a skill that has come in handy more than once in the years since).
The Spice Girls were really not that bad. I mean, sure it was all manufactured and the songs contained subject matter than wasn’t really appropriate, but all I remember is sitting on the playground assigning Spice names (I was Baby Spice. Blond hair, natch). My mother put up with our tape playing over and over – she used it to entice us to get ready on time for school. At least the catchphrase my friends and I took from the Spice Girls was “Girl Power”.
I look at the girl band du jour now, and gag. The friendly, smiling faces and bizarre costumes of my childhood favourites have been replaced by a series of glorified strippers in dominatrix outfits. Um, gag? If they had been around when I was ten, no way would my mother have even allowed the tape in the house, and rightly so. Poor little girls can’t even play with Barbies anymore; they weren't the best for body image, but the “new Barbie”, the Bratz dolls, shouldn’t be anywhere near anyone who isn’t old enough to wear a bra. Also, Gap? Babies don’t need skinny jeans. Thanks.
What is wrong with the world? I’m a little bit disgusted. It must be hard for all the moms out there with their daughters being bombarded by the Pussycat Dolls. I do not envy their predicament. I remember being ten, I remember how everything friends were allowed to do and I wasn’t were SO unfair. Kids don’t see the big picture. I certainly didn’t. At least my number one role model was Claudia Kishi from the Babysitter’s Club. Does anyone read those anymore? Does anyone read anything anymore? My own little sister is only three years younger than I am and she and her friends barely ever read unless forced to. Without all those fabulous literary characters to draw on, pop culture retains an even larger influence.
Yikes. When I have kids, I’m chucking out the TV.