The “kids” in their program (adults in this pic bc this is of some their alumns on a retreat) go to school in Vegas as part of a special curriculum that teaches mindfulness, while stressing impt life skills; those not traditionally emphasized in our public schools. So many impressive alums in this group from Princeton, Georgetown, etc. doing incredible things in college & beyond.
I won’t call her out ;), but as we were sharing stories of our common challenges, one of the young women in this group made an incredible point (among the many made by the rest), that prompted me into this post.
She shared that she battled severe depression & anxiety for abt a yr, & to keep her busy, took up sewing & started to make stuffed animals. Jokingly she shared that these animals came out “wonky” bc of her concentration level (some w diff sized legs, arms, eyes in diff spots, ears asymmetrical, etc.). It occurred to her then, why don’t mass retailers sell what she ended up seeing as “cute & unique” looking animals, as opposed to the same-old, same-old? Wouldn’t those imperfections be a great lesson to teach our kids abt everyone being different & loving/appreciating the imperfections?
It got me thinking to dolls when I grew up. I’m not afraid to mention I got on the Cabbage Patch Dolls craze as a toddler. Then the Pound Puppies. After I “matured” it became Beanie Babies & American Girl Dolls.
I googled: imperfect dolls/stuffed animals. There have been some efforts – a doll called Etsy. Barbie attempted an “non-traditional” looking Barbie. But…even in thinking back to Pound Puppies (dogs from the POUND), other than a diff spot or color here/there, they were virtually all the same perfect proportion of cuteness.
I’m not a merchandiser. But coming off of news of a 9 yr old’s suicide from bullying…maybe there’s a lot we can learn from dolls/animals alone abt how we teach our kids to treat the differences we see in each other.