We’re a very sensitive bunch aren’t we? I read in the paper recently that Fitzroy’s John Street Community Early Childhood Co-op has decided to scrap superheros. The centre discourages children from wearing character clothing and has removed all commercial characters from its toy and book collection.
That means no Superman, no Barbie, no Elmo and no Wiggles – so now pre-school children are the latest victims of the vegan/eco-friendly/politically correct/super sensitive brigade.
According to the John Street organisation, superhero outfits encourage rough play in boys, whilst characters like Barbie present little girls with unrealistic portrayals of women.
This is interesting, because last time I checked, superheros like Batman and Spiderman never use weapons.
Instead they used their ingenuity and a few cool gadgets to get them out of strife and beat the baddies.
And meanwhile, don’t little boys play rough regardless of what they’re wearing?
And if we’re worried about little girls being confronted by unrealistic portrayals of women, then we better start raising our children in boxes, because Barbie is the least of our problems.
Unrealistic representations of women are the norm in our society.
Don’t blame Barbie. The most influential woman in any little girl’s life is her mother.
If we want a generation of secure, happy, confident women, then mothers need to take responsibility and be the strong role models their daughters need.
The fact is, getting dressed up and emulating their favourite characters is actually a very important part of a child’s development. It helps build imagination, encourages socialisation and communication, keeps kids active and provides an outlet for energy and curiosity.
The best part about being a kid is being able to run away with your imagination, making stuff up and creating new worlds.
Dressing up is all about role playing and it provides an opportunity for children to learn about the world and the people around them.
Girls will always want to dress up as princesses and boys will always enjoy dressing up like superheros and policemen.
If you think banning ‘costumes’ is somehow going to stop all this, then I think you’re deluded.
You don’t need a Disney costume to make you a superhero because everything you need can easily be found in your parent’s wardrobe.
During the school holidays I used to spend hours raiding my mother’s wardrobe; trying on her dresses, her shoes and her jewellery and performing my own personal catwalk show in front of the mirror.
I simply do not understand how banning fictional characters can benefit children.
All my friends grew up with Sesame Street, Noddy and Gumby and we turned out just fine.
Enough with the hypersensitivity, children are more resilient than we give them credit for.
And personally, I don’t think there’s anything cuter than a little kid tearing around a supermarket in a Spiderman costume.