Guest Blog by Élan Barish
My eight year old daughter asked me to buy her the new Skechers that a girl in her class has started to wear. Apparently, they are the talk of Third Grade. These coveted clodhoppers are named “Daddy’s Money – Gimme.”
I am not sure where to begin with my list of things I find wrong with this. Perhaps marketing high heels to children is a good place to start? Who knows what type of damage to their developing spines and feet wearing 2” wedges will inflict. While they are not outright calling them “high heels,” their feet will be in a Barbie pose. I cannot count the articles I have read regarding the dangers of wearing heels in adult feet and backs. Why on Earth should this be allowed for children. And, they are masked as sneakers!
My second objection is the name: “Daddy’s Money – Gimme.” The message being sent to girls is a) it’s Daddy’s money, and b) gimme. I just puked a little in my mouth when I wrote that. This is in diametric opposition to everything I am trying to teach my daughter. Not only is the grammar incorrect, but the message is revolting.
Have we arrived in a world so infected by the E! Network that materialism outweighs common sense? Through these shoes we send the message that girls can behave like spoiled Kardasholes. Fashion writers and critics often extol the humor and irony in designer’s collections. There is nothing ironic about marketing like this. We should not find this remotely funny.
When I buy things for my kids, I make sure to insert, at some point, that their father or I have worked hard to earn the money to buy these things for them. That their father spends his time working to earn the money to clothe, feed, house, camp, vacation, beach club, and theater them to their heart’s content.
I suggest that they should thank their Daddy. That someday they too will be responsible for earning the money to take care of themselves. I want them to know that their father and I take great pride in being able to care for them in the manner that we do, and that when they grow-up they will feel pride, too. But, “Daddy’s Money – Gimme” are giving me a run for my money.
And, what about all the single women I know who work hard to support their children? Are they supposed to buy shoes called “Daddy’s Money”? What if daddy doesn’t give money? What if daddy is a defaulter on his child support?
What about women in the workplace? Yes, Marissa Mayer built a nursery in her office at Yahoo!, but she is bringing home the bacon. And, I guarantee her little yahooligan won’t be thinking it has a sugar daddy with a working mother like Mayer.
And, I cannot back off the message in general: children should be concerned about adding inches to their height. Part of the campaign is that these are “hidden” wedges. Why are we making CHILDREN body conscious? Have we become a nation of vapid Housewives? Has the Bravo Channel succeeded in wiping our brain’s of any original content making us susceptible to 24 hour commercialized programming?
I could rant about this like Bill Maher on gun control. I know that I will not be buying these shoes for my daughter. I have explained why and she has accepted the reason. I hope that the examples that we set in our home will outweigh and override the message in the sneakers.
But, I can only hope.
This blog was originally posted at Élan Social. It is reposted here with permission.
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