Monday, July 09, 2007

Titillating Tinkerbell?


We spent 4 days last week scraping, sanding, spackling and painting both the kids' bedrooms. I'm not including pictures yet because they're not quite finished, but hopefully they will be soon.

Anyway, we ended up putting all three kiddos in the larger room - Rach & Zekers share bunk beds and Kari Bou sleeps in a little toddler bed. That way the baby can have the smaller room all to himself until he starts sleeping through the night.

With 3 kids come 3 different decorating ideas. So we abandoned all attempts to tie them all together into one cohesive theme, and just let R & Z each pick a comforter of their choice. Karis gets to use Rachel's Dora sheet/comforter set, which is fine with her.

Ever since Zekers first saw Disney's Cars, he fell in love with Lightning McQueen and Mater, so he was delighted to find a comforter with these 2 emblazoned across it. Rachel had a tough time choosing between Disney princesses and Tinkerbell, but finally selected the latter. This worked out perfectly, as all three comforters contained similar yellow accents (Yes! A common theme!). So we painted the walls a cheery yellow, set up the bunk beds, and purchased the finishing touch - three sets of wall appliques, one each of the characters to match their bedding.

As I prepared to put up the appliques of Tinker Bell, I stopped short. What my eyes beheld was not the innocent little fairy I remembered from the Peter Pan I watched as a child, but an almost Marilyn-Monroe-esque little pixie - complete with cleaveage, curvy hips, and "come-hither" eyes. I also didn't remember her being so scantily dressed.

Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I can't bring myself to plaster this sexy little image around my 4-yr-old daughter's bed. I don't want her to grow up thinking this is an acceptable way to dress or to carry herself. The actual appliques are below - am I just being an overprotective mom? I really don't think so. I firmly believe that immodest dress among teens doesn't happen overnight, but is a result of their being conditioned from childhood that this kind of clothing makes a woman attractive. I don't want my daughter thinking this is ok - even for Tinkerbell!



The one possible solution we've come up with is to use 2 or 3 of the less seductive stickers and stick on a little sweater (and maybe leggings?). I'm thinking this would maybe work with the fairies from the far right and left panels. But check out the ones in the middle - I'd almost expect to see a couple of these on the rear wheel flaps of a semi truck . . .

21 comments:

Sarah said...

Even the original tinkerbell looked similar to what she looks like today. Obviously, you're the mom and have the final say, but surely kids can be told that there is a difference between fictional characters and real ones. I think celebrities have more of a power over how people act and dress than cartoons. Just my opinion. I won't have to address this issue for awhile. I mean, don't put pics of Santa up or Zeke might want to dress in a big red puffy suit.

Tarah said...

I don't think you are overreacting at all. I wouldn't put them up in Anna's room. I had to go dig up our Peter Pan video to see what the original looked like. They do look very similar as far as how they are dressed. However, the original had a very innocent expression on her face with no eye makeup. She was less curvaceous and did not pose so suggestively. The eyes are what bothers me most. The pose you have at the top of your entry was terrible...it's like a playboy pose! Sometimes I think there must be artists that get kicks out of inserting sexual innuendos into kids paraphernalia.

It's not so much that I think Anna would actually think of Tinkerbell as a role model and copy her. It's just that I wouldn't feel comfortable with something of questionable intent like that hanging over my daughter's head every night. It seems weird to say, but I feel like sometimes we can't be too careful about the possible footholds we can give Satan...even if they seem innocent.

I'd say your gut is serving you well on this one!

Tarah said...

The ones in the last frame don't seem as suggestive as the other ones...I might feel OK using those.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Charity! Rachel (& Karis) will be conditioned by what they see. They'll grow accustomed to these images. Then they'll wonder why they cannot wear this short skirt or that tight revealing top. If Tink was a true pixie she would not be so seductive, and there would be an expression of innocence and joy. She definitely has become a shapely, seductive young woman, not an innocent girlish character.

Being a parent in a sex crazed society is no easy task! (And even when you watch a seemingly harmless program, what about the commercials? They are so sexual and/or materialistic. Even watching the news one has to be careful due to commercials!) Praying for you, your sisters, and your husbands as you raise my precious grandkids!!! mm

Anonymous said...

I'm needing a new set of mudflaps for my big truck. Thanks for the suggestion!

M.S.

~d said...

i hesitate to offer a differing opinion. just remember, it's only an opinion. you have to do whatever you feel comfortable with, but here goes. i don't think rachel will analyze the pictures quite the way you do. i think she'll see a fairy - and that's about it. something happens to our perspective when we as parents expose our children to something we enjoyed when we were younger. we become very sensitive to all its possible effects - and that certainly isn't bad. i just wonder if with our adult eyes we see something that's not there for our children...especially when they are as young as yours. as she starts to ask questions you'll be able to talk about these issues with her. multiple times. and she'll listen to you until she reaches the age of oh, about 16. then you'll be out of touch and stupid. and then the real struggles will begin.

that said, maybe you see something i don't. those pictures are too small for me to see much detail.

Sarah said...

I think ~D said exactly what I believe as well. A little girl would see a fairy. A teen boy might see something different.

Tracy said...

We have had to struggle with this a lot too, also with Jasmine and The Little Mermaid. While we haven't banned them from the house, I don't think I would decorate with those particular characters. Eve is very aware of modesty, and recognizes even when the cartoons are not modest, because she tells me. I often find her trying to imitate how her favorite princesses act and dress, and it is hard to justify encouraging her to look at these (the ones stated before)images all of the time, yet not to do what they do or look like they do. I feel like it is already difficult to go against the norm of our society and having strict standards in how my daughters dress, why add more (possible) temptations to be slack on those standards? In our circumstance, our oldest daughter already seems to have such a high priority on outer beauty, that we have to be extremely aware of all of the influences she has, and actively try to combat that way of thinking. This is all just my personal experience, and opinions of my husband and I, but having three girls, we have had to put a lot of thought and prayer into these things. Every other influence they have, even just walking through the store, seems to be contrary to what a Godly woman should be. Because of that, I think it is important we as Christians are active in fighting the world's view of women, not passive.

All that said, it comes down to your conviction as to whether or not you hang up the pictures. I would not look down on a friend if their daughter had those pictures up in her room, or keep my daughters from playing there, I was just stating what I would do if it were me. What does your husband think? I find Jeremy's point of view to be really helpful in these kind of situations, since men see the world so differently.

Anonymous said...

i think the hard part now would be trying to explain to Rachel why she can't have a tinkerbell room. you may have to bring up issues she isn't ready to comprehend. whereas now Rachel sees a fairy, in explaining why tinkerbell is inappropriate, she'll come to see tinkerbell as bad in someway. is she ready for this kind of thinking??

Charity said...

Thanks for the feedback! All of these different perspectives are helpful in trying to think this issue through. Interestingly, I think I am more bothered by the appliques than Danny is - but I still just don't feel comfortable with some of the poses. I know I'm going to have to deal with this at some point with Rach, but it's hard to know whether it's better to talk through it now - and perhaps draw unnecessary attention to it - or to wait until she's older - and run the risk of waiting too long. . .

OR I could just send her to Never-Never land, where she won't have to grow up!

danny2 said...

your husband backs your thoughts 100%.

as we've talked, my concern does involve the clothing somewhat, but i agree, she's probably not going to be wearing a "tinkerbell" outfit.

however, the concern i have is with the eyes. to many reading, they will probably think this over protective and ridiculous, but i don't like the look in tinkerbell's eyes in a couple of the stickers.

this bothers me more. for i've been in the living room when my daughter has come up stairs in one of her (laughably frilly) princess dresses and she comes and stands in front of me. without saying a word, she tilts her head, purses her lips and bats her eyes. when i ask what she's doing, she's trying to look like belle (beauty and the beast). she's not trying to be seductive then, she's trying to seem pretty/gentle/feminine. she's watched the movie, she loves belle, and she basically does the same stuff when pretending to be her.

now, if my daughter wants to be like tinkerbell, do i think she adopt some of the suggestive poses and looks she sees on some pictures (even without realizing what seduction is)? yes.

does that bother me? greatly.

(maybe i'll cut out some minature sunglasses too)

Ma said...

Just like everyone else in Hollywood I think old Tink has had a face lift and some nips and tucks.

RevPharoah said...

thought you might find this interesting. It's from a website debunking the urban legend that Tinkerbell's appearance was based on Marilyn Monroe.

"Depicting the character of Tinker Bell in an animated film posed something of a challenge for Disney -- on stage she had always been represented by a spot of light and tinkling bells. Early conceptions of a visible, human-like fairy Tinker Bell were rejected for not being "sweet and dainty" enough, and for looking too much like "a little nite club dame." Eventually, as Canemaker wrote, "Tinker Bell was designed with the knowledge that her acting would all be done in pantomime, with a face that would register her emotions clearly, a simple costume that would not clutter up her movements, and sex appeal to charm the viewer." As rendered by animator Marc Davis, based on the model of actress Margaret Kerry, Tinker Bell became the now-familiar winged blonde coquette, her curvaceous figure clothed in a short green dress."

RevPharoah said...

Here's the link:
http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/tinkbell.htm

Charity said...

RevP - LOL! I had no idea there was actually an urban legend involving Tink's association with Marilyn Monroe. One of her poses just put me in mind of the classic MM pose (with a much shorter skirt!). Thanks for the link!

Whatever the reason for her "sex appeal", I'm just not sure I want it charming my 4-yr-old daughter . . .

Kathy said...

I enjoyed your post, but it does put a mom in a quandry. It's hard to find ANY FEMALE sucessful cartoon character (Don't get me started on those Bratz abominations) who is NOT sexy above and beyond what kids should see. Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella or Alice in Wonderland, maybe. Or Snow White. But my daughter, if you try to get her something Snow White, says "ooh! She's ugly. Not her." and picks one of the leggy, scantily dressed ones. I don't think Disney's figured out a way to hookerise the old-school princesses yet, thank goodness.

I'm afraid it's a battle that we will not win. (For myself, I was just tickled to see that Miss Tinkerbell has a little bit of a thunder-thigh problem going on. :) )

Anonymous said...

Hi! As a mom of 3 1/2 year old "princess" in training :) I really appreciate your struggle! This has been a topic of much discussion in our house as well! We are currently trying to decide whether to purchase the Tinkerbell movie - from what I can tell (without having viewed it) the story seems to be very good. But like you, I am concerned with the message we might be sending with the fiaries outfits.
We have already started to talk about modesty ( in children's terms) with our daughter - My daughter loves to dress-up and act out what she has seen in the Disney movies. Tinkerbell is one of her favorites also and we try to talk through everything she watches - she always wants to know why characters act the way they do.
In regards to Ariel's and Jasmine's outfits. I purposely have not purchased the dress-up outfits for those characters b/c I don't want to promote that showing off your midriff is acceptable.
We do have those movies in the house - but view them rarely - my issue with them stems from the message that seems to say that parents (especially dad's) just don't understand them and need to leave their daughter's alone and let them do what they want. Children need lots of guidance to navigate the road to having wisdom to be healthy adults - and these movies seem to shrug off parents as inept or at least out of touch. They'll have enough sources telling them that outside the home!
Anyway, I digress... I think if you can make Tinkerbell work with little outfits, that is a great, creative way to encourage your daughter's heart without putting a less than ideal body image in front of her eyes everyday. Praying we all can travel the road of parenting with wisdom and creativity, truth and grace!

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is that most Disney movies have subliminal messages on them. Most have sexual content in pictures in the background or something similar. Go to youtube and type in subliminal messages in Disney movies and you'll see.

Anonymous said...

Your children will grow up in a corrupt world. Either you let Disney corrupt them, or someone else.

Anonymous said...

i would just like to say that the disney tinkerbell is in fact very much like the character from the J.M. Barrie book (unlike the rest of the movie). Barrie describes her as "being slightly enclined to embonpoint", with embonpoint meaning
-roundness of body, especially bosom.

link: http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861608073/embonpoint.html

Infiniti said...

Actually, if tinkerbell was an embodiement of the orginal pixie, she would be naked. I'm just saying. And furthermore, tinkerbell is a cartoon character. A little girl will only see that if that's what you want her to see. It's all in how you go about it.