For some reason, most people these days take “offence” for things which once seemed very normal.
I also need to apologise in advance for using “offence” with a “c”, I incline slightly towards British English #ColonialHangover and if there is an “s” that also needs to be used somewhere down the line instead of the “c”, I apologise for that too. Contrary to popular belief, my degree in English did not teach me spellings or conduct dictation every week.
It’s the sort of offence I speak of in my earlier post on religion and things. Adding to this is this body / age shaming or discrimination stories going around. If at all, it seems to me that the world has become more sensitive (or lonely, as per my last reading of it).
My Barbie Doll Story
I was watching Ellen the other day and she spoke of these differently sized Barbie dolls (tis legit) and there were some comments among many that stood out, which said:
and I completely agree with this! I used to and still love Barbie for all that she it, a beautiful doll to play with, not in the dirty sense of the word okay (for once I am not being vulgar #halo). I only cared about how I could mix and match outfits, fit them into my miniature doll house and what not. I did have an “Indian” Barbie doll, which was a gift from the parents who h~ad returned from India many years ago. I received my last two dolls as birthday gifts a few years ago (yes, in my twenties) from two of my roommates. Interestingly, one was of “colour” or “black” and the other was a career woman (an architect to be precise). While I found them “interesting”, in perhaps my naïve twenty-something ways, I did not find them to be “inclusive”, because to me they were (merely) dolls.
<sorry but I’m too lazy to take the dolls out of hiding and photo-capture them>
As a child that grew up with dolls, I never aspired to be one of them. I mean for starters I have (or had) black hair, haha! What’s more, if it is with the advent and over-popularisation of the internet, social media and what nots that we now have greater channels of promoting negative slash discriminatory messaging, should it not be such media that should be sensitised as opposed to Barbie dolls?
I might be wrong, but for “kids” like myself: a combination of two ethnicities to having had grown up in multi-ethnic backgrounds to Christian and later Catholic educational institutions, I did not find anything wrong with my Barbie doll.
Yes, I am aware that the dolls have gone too far, lol.
But that’s just “colour” we are talking about.
Then there comes the issue of age or body-size shaming. Since we were children, well, “age” did not necessarily come as a component in our education syllabi, but as a natural well, ageing process, lol. Body-size on the other hand was emphasised on, purely for health reasons. However, if I recall correct, we were also taught of certain illnesses or genetic encoding that left some in either end of the “average (BMI) spectrum”.
But there was no shame there either.
I have been fortunate enough to have seen three of my four grandparents and one great grandmother for many of my twenty birthdays. But to me, there was no shame in growing old. Instead, in my mind there was fear, in not having enough time to accomplish all what they had. I mean, #GoalDigger Even now, I wonder if I would have done half or even quarter of as many things as my parents, grandparents and great grandmother would’ve done within the next twenty years. Growing up with these fascinating people also taught me about life, the need to slow down and enjoy life while you watch sunsets pass by.
On size concerns, half of my gene pool inclines towards the broader, chubbier and let’s-put-on-weight-in-places-that-are-difficult-to-lose-places. But the need to be healthier and fitter to beat up those who are not nice towards my favourite people or even one among the few exes who thinks they are smart for their own good has urged me to work out! Okay maybe, it’s my yoga teacher and some other people I see on social media. But listening to their stories and knowing that some of them were never into sports and stuff as children and later got on the let’s-get-fit bandwagon has actually inspired me to workout. Part of me is aspiring for a little bit of shedding from here and little bit of toning from there, but that’s mostly because of the school bestie’s wedding in a few months and not because I saw a hot instagram model.
I am well aware that I’m no model types with the gazillion genetic chins (genes are such an easy bait) and instead I am aware of what my strengths are and they are no where close to heels I cannot walk in on carpet, let alone a runway.
So, I still am a little perplexed on as to why we are having different colours and sizes in what once way a “one-doll-fits-all” scenario.
To me, if social media postings cannot be filtered or controlled, it is then important to realise that taking these one step further to incorporate “inclusivity” into children’s playthings, creates categories and boundaries.
While I think it is important for each community or social group to have a voice of their own, I also feel that as this happens only within “minority” communities, the division among these minorities widen further and the majority continues to sit on its iron throne and smirk to glory. Because, if it is equality to be found in minority communities, it is important that all minorities speak as one voice, like the opposition of a democratic country’s government. In retrospect though, it seems as though Sri Lanka is becoming a little trendsetter and everyone wants to become like it’s government: either a collated government or a divided opposition, haha.
Also, I apologise if my political statements are untrue, I know nothing on politics, Jon Snow.
Finally, on individuality. This would be a longer post for another very lazy night, but a recent read told me on the creation of division through the search for individuality. Given that we all claim to be “individuals” as opposed to “peoples”, we refuse to work together (I for one cannot even work in a team, chee) or to work towards a common cause because we have no one cause! (Sorry, but I cannot seem to find the link to this very article) Yes, this is a good thing but if we are all going to keep digging up new causes as though it’s an archeological excavation or a new Facebook page like request, we are not going to have enough fans to support one common cause! Hayyo.
Until next (rant-wisdom-lel) time.
P.S. – I had typed out an end note “Add another part on the offensive bits” on the Pages doc (on Saturday) that I clearly do not remember now 😀