There are a few things that I really hate. Here they are:
All things Disney. Here’s the gig with Disney: In college, I took a class taught by a radical feminist/socialist. An entire section of the course was devoted to an analysis of Disney movies and how they were sexist and racist. Probably classist too. And ableist. And all the other ists. I bought it all and although I had been a big Disney-lover up until that point, I denounced it. Since then, I have fallen out of touch with all of the things we studied and I can’t necessarily put my finger on the specific examples (if I tried hard, I could. But we are such a Disney-loving culture that it’s a constant battle to try to explain my position to my fellow moms.) But also since then, I have become more and more enraged by the insidious ways in which the Disney corporation infects popular culture. It’s just everywhere and it’s such a money-sucking scam. I especially hate the ways in which Disney aligns itself with McDonald’s. Every other Happy Meal is paired with some plastic cheapo Disney toy that kids are just clamoring for. It feels so gross to me. So yes, Disney. I hate the princesses and their near-synonymy with little girlhood. I hate the not-at-all subtle messages that the “classics” send (e.g. Beauty is supposed to love the Beast despite his “hideousness.” And when she does, she is rewarded by his “handsomeness.”) And, above all, I hate its ruthless business practice of capturing very young children before they have any opportunity to make their own informed decisions. I do not plan to take my child to Disneyworld. I do not encourage Disney-themed toys or character-emblazoned clothing. I try to steer him away from Disney Channel shows (although he really loves Handy Manny…) and I will not step foot in the Disney Store. If you ask me why, I will refer you, from now on, to this post.
Plastic toys. They’re very hard to avoid and I’d be lying if I told you that we don’t have any plastic toys in our house. In fact, we’ve got lots, but they are not my favorites. First, there’s the whole lead-paint-from-China aspect. Plastic toys are covered in that crap. Second, plastic toys are cheap. When they naturally wear (as well-loved toys are wont to do) they crack and break and drop paint chips. I much prefer (and have been endlessly mocked for preferring) wooden toys. Have you seen a wooden toy wear? It gets soft and faded. It looks loved instead of broken. I’m very lucky that Melissa and Doug exists and is so readily available and affordable, but in large part, wooden toys are hard to find and cost a jillion dollars. We were fortunate enough to get gifted with some beautiful stuff when The Who was a baby, but as his interests grow, it’s harder to sate his desires with wooden toys. I still try, though.
Food. All goodamn food because, unless you grow it yourself, it all sucks now. Even the supposedly wholesome, delicious organic things are now laced with arsenic. Red dye makes kids crazy. Hormone-injected milk gives girls breasts at age three. Vegetables are all bathed in neurotoxins. Meat-fed meat is all fatty and horrible. I try to feed my family well on some semblance of a budget, but it just keeps getting harder. I don’t even have anything else to say about that.
Also, in no particular order: light-up sneakers, scratchy polyester jammies, “Trix” flavored yogurt, and Fruit Roll-ups.