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This Story About a Babysitter, a Young Boy and a Barbie Netflix Show Gives Us All the Feels Culture

This Story About a Babysitter, a Young Boy and a Barbie Netflix Show Gives Us All the Feels

Written by Stephan Horbelt on February 26, 2019
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You know those stories that reaffirm the good in people and that make you think the world isn’t going to hell in a handbasket? We recently stumbled across one of those on Twitter, and as a bonus, it also comes with one of those “aren’t kids so much wiser than their years?” kernels of truth, too. It involves the babysitter of a young boy who felt shame for wanting to watch a Barbie Netflix show.

The story was told by @griergxsm, who goes by “The original.” on Twitter.

Here’s the story about the Barbie Netflix show in its entirety:

I was babysitting my friend’s son and put on Netflix Kids. We were searching for something to watch for awhile and he softly says “What would you say if I wanted to watch Barbie Dreamhouse?”

I was like “Sure, let’s watch it.”

He was like “You don’t think that it’s not for boys?”

So I said “Cartoons are cartoons, love. Nothing is for girls or boys, if you like it let’s watch it.”

He visibly sat back in relief and said “I agree.” Then, “I’ve already watched the whole series I just wanted to see.” 😭💕

He went home and told his mom ‘He likes being at my house, we had great conversation.’ 😭😭 MY HEART.

It always amazes me how emotionally intelligent kids are.

While on the surface it’s just a story about a young boy — maybe he’s queer, maybe he’s not — who felt shame in wanting to watch a Barbie Netflix show because it’s not what boys are “supposed” to watch, this story also exposes something that is seriously detrimental to a child’s upbringing.

No, there’s no such thing as “boy colors” and “girl colors.” Or “boy toys” and “girl toys.” Or “boy TV shows” and “girl TV shows.” And trying to force those ideas on children doesn’t help them; it actually does damage. 

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Just last month a study confirmed that “instilling ‘traditional masculinity’ in boys and men is harmful to their psychological health.”

Parenting — and babysitting, for that matter — can be tough. It can be stressful knowing that something you say to a child could have an everlasting effect on his or her upbringing, or could be internalized and harm them later down the line.

As adults, the best thing we can do for children is provide a supportive, nurturing environment for them to grow, learn and discover who they are. Sometimes letting them know it’s perfectly OK to want to watch a Barbie Netflix show can help them do just that.

What would you have done if you were this child’s babysitter and he wanted to watch a Barbie Netflix show?

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