Dolls And Princesses Do Not Make Girls Insecure

Dolls And Princesses Do Not Make Girls Insecure

They are cartoons and are meant to look like cartoons.

There have been a lot of articles and discussions floating around lately of what girls are exposed to and how it shapes their perception of themselves. One major topic is how the damage starts at a young age with dolls and cartoons and how it sets the foundation for how a girl will see herself and the world around her growing up.

There are endless articles claiming that dolls like Barbie and Bratz as well as Disney Princesses make girls insecure. They say that they make girls insecure about their bodies and are terrible role models who teach girls that they need to be saved by a man.

If you’ve been on the internet lately then you have to have seen at least one article showing Disney Princesses with “realistic” bodies. Instead of the typical cartoonish, pencil-thin waistlines, they depict them with much fuller figures. They say that these are the bodies that girls must see and aspire to in order to not grow up with body image issues.

However, this argument that a doll or a cartoon will have so much influence on a young girls’ perception of herself that she will grow up having a warped sense of reality is utterly ridiculous. No doubt there may be a rare case where that may happen, but the chances are slim.

Myself, my sister, and many of my friends grew up playing with Barbie and Bratz dolls and watching Disney Princess movies. When playing with dolls, a six-year-old girl isn’t going to be focusing on the dolls body type and how she can look more like that doll. All a kid is really going to care about is what story they can come up with to play out, brushing their hair, and putting pretty clothes on it.

The same deal goes for Disney Princess movies. Did we really care about Ariel’s small waist as a child? Did Cinderella really make us feel like we needed to rely on a Prince Charming to come save us? Was the main thing we learned from Belle that we could not be strong, independent women? What we paid any attention to at all was the songs and the story. If anything, we took positive messages from the characters.

And yet, supposed studies are telling us that these things are severely damaging to a girls’ psyche. So people either turn away from them entirely, or try to change them to make them more “realistic.”

At the same time though, while trying to uplift others by making them appeal to one type of body, you isolate another group of people entirely. These re-drawings of Disney princesses say that the ideal body type is that of someone who is heavier and curvy. There are plenty of people in the world who do not fit that standard, plenty of people are very thin and can’t help that they look that way either.

A couple years ago, Mattel debuted a new line of Barbie dolls that would encompass all shapes and sizes. This line of dolls took the movement to a positive new direction because it recognized that not everyone looks the same and tried to include everyone on the spectrum.

But what’s really going to influence a child is not the characters that fill their imagination with fun, but the adults around them who project these ideas of insecurity onto their children. If you truly believe that the size of a Barbie dolls waist is offensive, maybe you’re projecting that insecurity onto a child close to you. A doll on its own is not going to make a young girl feel bad about herself.

The bottom line is, Barbie’s, Bratz, and Disney Princesses are not real. They are cartoons and are meant to look like cartoons, not real people. Young girls are not going to look at them as bad influences as adults would. They only see fun and imagination in them and that’s what we should leave it at. Let kids be kids.

Cover Image Credit: Jasmine - Flickr

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.

It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semi-colon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.

2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."

3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.

4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."

5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."

6.Greek symbol of Inguz: where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."

8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya)

9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity.

10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love and creativity or to put yourself in to whatever you do.

11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from the Hobbit. It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.

13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength & stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.

16. A glyphs means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."

18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.

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Get The Most Out of Your Trip To The Thrift Store

Tips from a self-proclaimed thrifting expert.


If you know me, you know I love thrift stores. Sorting through racks of clothes, filling my basket up with dozens of different pieces, and walking away with a couple of different things is always so satisfying. Some people go for the vintage items, but I'm there to find the best over-sized t-shirt around and maybe yet another pair of shoes to add to the dozens I already own. Every time I go, there is a different selection of clothes for me too look at, so I end up going there all the time to see what's new! The bonus of thrifting? You can get a bunch of new styles without spending a bunch of money. To make the most out of your own trips to the thrift store, here are six rules you should follow.

Try on EVERYTHING that catches your eye


We've all had those moments where we see a shirt we like at the mall, but then decide it might not fit, or it's not in our usual comfort zone, or it's too expensive, so we skip right over it. Not the case at thrift stores. If you like it and you think it might fit, try it out. I've gone into thrift stores and tried on fifteen or twenty things, some of which are just t-shirts but others that are interesting tops that I normally would never pick up. Sometimes those different clothes end up being my favorite, and since the prices are low it's the perfect way to test out a different style without dropping a lot of money on a shirt you might not wear more than once.

Bring a friend


If you're going to a big store like Savers, there can be an overwhelming amount of racks to go through. With a friend, you can look for each other and end up with outfits you like that you might've not seen by yourself. Last time I went, my friends found a ton of UMD gear for me to try on! Going with a friend means double the finds.

Scope out different locations


College gear is all over the place at thrift stores. Have you seen the price of a sweatshirt at your college bookstore? Check for something similar at the thrift store before you snag that $50 crewneck. If you're going to an instate school, there is a solid chance your local thrift stores will have gear for your school so you can show your spirit without breaking the bank. Some of my favorite college t-shirts are from thrift stores and they were under $5 each. For out of state schools, hit up the thrift stores in the towns close to it.

Read the label

Where else are you going to get an authentic Longchamp purse and a Southern Marsh fuzzy pullover for $3 each? Expensive brand names at ridiculously low prices are one of the hidden gems of thrift stores. They are rare finds but totally make going to the store with it. Make sure to check the shoes, too!

Look for deals

Many of the major chain thrift stores offer 50% off at the end of the month for one day only, if you're a rewards member. The rewards programs are usually free and sometimes include early access to sales or bonus coupons after shopping a certain number of times or spending enough money.

Give back


Got clothing in great condition that doesn't fit anymore or isn't your style? Donate it and make room for your new clothes while doing something good at the same time! If you aren't bringing it to the thrift store, look into non-profits or organizations around you that will take what you don't wear anymore. Many places will take books, shoes, and furniture, so bring those on your next trip, too. Donating is a win for people and the planet!

Whether you hit up the thrift store all the time or you're just starting out, thrifting is the way to go if you want to revamp your wardrobe without spending a ton of money!

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