Monday, April 14, 2008

who's that girl

yesterday on npr's studio 360 the theme was 'girl culture' - a topic near and dear to my heart. studio 360 host, kurt andersen brought in an expert as his co-host - lucy, his youngest daughter who is currently a senior in high school. they discussed how girl culture is big business. it was delightful to hear how kurt and lucy interacted - one could tell there was a lot of love and mutual respect.

it seems that paris hilton recently declared herself to be a role model for girls around the world; at least according to paris, who claims that mothers come up to her and thank her for the shining example she is providing for their daughters. eh gads, can you imagine that? a little while ago on today's morning edition there was an interview with a young woman that I thought would be a much better role model for the girls of the world than paris hilton. of course, the problem is how do we get young women like kelley to get the same type of media attention that paris hilton garners?

the program was quite fascinating (if interested, you can catch it by clicking here.) I particularly enjoyed the segments which discussed how women have been portrayed on film and the touching and often hilarious piece about identity (and a grandmother's dress). there was also a bit of delving into the american girl empire and kurt asked his listeners to weigh in and share what they think about this phenomena. my daughter e, missed the whole american girl bit by quite a few years- thank goodness! now, don't get me wrong, I've read quite a few of the american girl books and I found that they do a fairly decent job conveying a sense of what it was like for a girl to live during certain historical periods. however, I have a bit of a issue with the dolls. first off, they cost an arm and a leg and that's just the start; once the doll (price $90) joins the family it's only just the beginning, I expect not many children are satisfied with just the doll when there's so many wonderful accoutrements to go along with each doll. no wonder that it is estimated that the cost of raising a child through age 17 today ranges from $184,300 (for low income families) to over $285,000 (for higher income families)!

I am a Cherry Alive

"I am a cherry alive," the little girl sang
"Each morning I am something new:
I am apple, I am plum, I am just as excited
As the boys who made the Hollowe'en bang:
I am tree, I am cat, I am blossom too:
When I like, if I like, I can be something new,
Someone very old, a witch in a zoo:
I can be someone else whenever I think who,
And I want to be everything sometimes too:
And the peach has a pit and I know that too,
And I put it along with everything
To make the grown-ups laugh whenever I sing:
And I sing: It is true; It is untrue;
I know, I know, the true is untrue,
The peach has a pit, the pit has a peach:
And both may be wrong when I sing my song,
But I don't tell the grown-ups: because it is sad,
And I want them to laugh just like I do
Because they grew up and forgot what they knew
And they are sure I will forget someday too.
They are wrong. They are wrong. When I sang my song, I knew, I knew!
I am red, I am gold, I am green, I am blue,
I will always be me, I will always be new!"

-Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966) american poet

to see a vid of who's that girl click here

photos: top - e (on left) and friends, march 1985; insert the paris hilton, paris


Anonymous said...

Wonderful! It's the bumper sticker that really makes it! Great post!

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

You're right, there are far better role models but by default they won't be popular. It's very sad.
I just loved the Cherry Alive poem.

dennis said...

Dennis really does not like Paris Hilton.

mzjohansen said...

Another fine post missy! I loved that photo! Paris as a role model?! Ee gads - they must have been from where I grew up!

Anonymous said...

i see look-alike paris hilton's walking the streets of chicago almost every day & it just makes me SAD for our world. sigh.

btw, i think we'll be in cleveland the last weekend of may for a first time visit. something like that. hoping you're around?


Barbara said...

Tell me more about the top picture. Those girls are so cute!

My daughter was never interested in dolls. She cut all the hair off her only expensive doll, which still sits in a box in the attic. Sounds like we saved a lot of money on the American Girl series that many of her friends had.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

gig - ah! you zeroed in on the very reason I chose the pic to accompany the post. of course, I not surprised your keen eye and mind caught that!!

te - one of my favorites - we have a copy of the children's book which has the poem in it - been part of our family library since this picture was taken.

d - why would anyone name a child 'paris' if the last name was hilton?

z - thanks...

i - not many paris hilton wannabees walking around my hood I'm most happy to say!

so far it's looking good that we'll be around. I'll email you.

b - picture was taken at our house one day when daughter e had some friends over and they were playing dress up! at this time we were living in new haven and the picture was taken twenty-three years ago - boy does time fly!

other than a couple mandatory barbies e had no interest in dolls either....and one of her grandmothers did give her a cabbage patch doll during that craze. dolls pretty much freak me out, so I guess e comes by her lack of interest naturally....

Reya Mellicker said...

Subvert the dominant paradigm? The trickster is everywhere, yes?

The girls are beautiful!

lettuce said...

thats a great poem!
i know 'The heavy bear' - which is sad. heavy and sad.
this is very different

Sara said...

wow i really dont look like i'm having fun there. :) Who put that damn hat on me!!!???