While I was preparing dinner last night, my daughter and I had one of our deep conversations about toys and life and things that just matter for her at the moment.
Suddenly, out of the blue, she looked at me and said: “Mom, it is actually pretty hard work to be Barbie, you know.”
I looked at her and asked her what she meant.
And then she explained it to me.
“Being Barbie is hard. You always have to look good and be skinny and walk in high heels. You also always wear short and tight dresses or skirts or shirts. Or your wear princess gowns and boots. You always smile. You always have to be happy. Always…
You are a fairy, a mermaid. A princess and a pop star. You are a model and a designer, a movie star and a photographer. A vet and a chef, a surfer girl and an astronaut. You are a teacher and entrepreneur. Sometimes you are a dumb blond and sometimes you are a genius.
You know everything and you can do everything. You can even talk to animals or at least understand them. You can breathe underwater and you can fly, you solve problems and everyone admires you.
Basically you never get a break. Everybody wants a piece of you. And you always, always have to be perfect.
But still, you might also be criticized for who and what you are. You are either too pretty or not pretty enough. Some think you are cool and some think you are super annoying. You can never do it right.
It is hard work to be Barbie. To look your best all the time, to fit a profile and to please everyone all the time. You get pushed around and thrown into roles you might not enjoy. And for what? Only to have to do it all over again the next time. Still you can not please everyone. Never.
Maybe it’s a good thing not to be Barbie. Maybe it is good not to be the way everyone wants you to be, not to fit all the expectations only to still not please everybody. Maybe it’s good not to look like a beauty queen. Maybe it’s good to just be yourself and do your best to become the best version of you that you can possibly be…
At least then you can do things the way you want them to do. You can be yourself, you know…”
And just like that she was done. Back to playing and back to less deep thoughts… And she left me standing there, thinking. And I thought to myself: What a beautiful lesson to learn from a little girl.