If I’m being honest, it’s taken me all week to muster up the words to write this post.
When I first read Wednesday that Mattel was releasing a line of gender-neutral Barbie dolls, my first thought was not shock. It was more like an eye-roll met with numbness.
The kind of numbness I often feel these days when there’s yet another mass shooting. The kind of numbness that our souls have become so accustomed to because the things of this world that were once shocking and heartbreaking, are now to be expected.
Make no mistake, I don’t take mass shootings, or identity-crises lightly. In fact, it pains me to the point of hopelessness.
Which is where I’m at today friends. As I reflect on these new gender-neutral Barbie dolls—of all things—I can’t help but feel this overwhelming sense of hopelessness for the generation we’re raising.
Barbie dolls have traditionally represented the female image—a long-legged blonde woman who exudes beauty. And while I understand that society has come a long way, and learned a lot of things about identity from Barbie (both good and bad), Mattel’s new move is a misstep for me.
The new dolls allow kids to form the gender expression of the doll itself. Fully gender-neutral, it can be accessorized to be a boy, a girl, neither, or both.
It’s all in an effort to promote gender inclusivity.
“In our world, dolls are as limitless as the kids who play with them,” a voiceover says in a video ad for new collection. “Introducing CreatableWorld, a doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in, making play more inclusive than ever before.”
According to the Washington Post, the new figures “in both form and fashion are not coded as stereotypically male or female. The dolls come with a kit that includes wigs with long and short hairstyles and clothing options like skirts, jeans, leggings and denim jackets.”
Friends. Hear me when I say this: Bullying is real. Exclusivity is real. Loneliness is real.
Identity is real.
Kids today live with a sense of entitlement that we, as an “inclusive” society, have fostered in them.
And it’s a travesty.
It’s not an entitlement to material things, but rather, an entitlement to choose who or what they identify as. Who or what they want to be.
As more and more people are choosing to identify as non-binary — not male and not female — our society has done away with a lot of the things that celebrate masculinity and femininity—the OG Barbie and Ken dolls if you will—and replaced it with inclusivity. Neutrality.
In an attempt to promote being “uniquely you” and “inclusive,” society has fostered a generation that celebrates being un-unique in every way.
And isn’t that just the problem. We were created perfectly, through love, in the image of God, to be uniquely who God intended for us to be. To walk in the identity that He, in His omniscient sovereignty, established in each and every one of us, individually.
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
We aren’t entitled to choose whether we’re left-handed or right-handed. We don’t get to decide where we’re born, who our parents are, or the color of our skin, because, quite frankly, none of that matters.
It doesn’t matter if you identify as Indian or European. It doesn’t matter if you identify as a lefty or a righty. It doesn’t matter if you “identify” as a girl or a boy. Our identity is not found in the things we identify as to the world. Our identity is found in Christ alone.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14
His works are miraculous friends. We have been wonderfully made by a God who loves each one of us more than anything else in all of creation. So why are we making dolls that take lightly the MIRACLE in which we were created? Why are we making dolls that give us a CHOICE that will never suffice to the identity God has already woven in us?
I know you may be thinking, get over yourself Bri, they’re just dolls. But you guys, we’re talking about so much more than Barbie dolls here.
We’re talking about a generation who is so lost and absorbed in SELF, seeking the identity they’re entitled to, that there’s no room for the One who calls us by name.
It pains me to watch this generation so desperate for love and acceptance, being led to find false purpose in an identity that “feels” inclusive, but holds no power to the One who IS inclusive.
Kids are SO impressionable. Satan is a ruthless son of a gun, and he is after your child’s heart. Our kids don’t need a gender-neutral Barbie doll. They need a savior.
We can’t afford to be numb to the entitlement society pressures our kids into. We can’t afford to raise generations who place their identity in SELF—whoever or whatever they choose to identify as—over placing their identity in the One who gives freedom and LIFE.
Praying hard today for this generation we’ve been trusted to raise up, friends. May they be guarded against the schemes of the enemy, and know the Truth about who God says they are, not who the world allows them to express themselves as.