Friday, August 20, 2004

Confronting the mysteries of tween girls

My oldest daughter Ariel is 4 years old. She is not yet old enought to start dressing like Kirsten Dunst or (God-help me) Christina Aguilera. She doesn't yet know who Lindsay Lohan is or have an opinon on the Olsen Twins.

So, I am lucky . . . for now.

But the dangers that await me reared their ugly head in my mailbox a few days ago. There was a rectangular package underneath the bills and coupon flyers. At first I thought it was another marketing CD by AOL. But it wasn't for me or for Tegan. It was addressed to "the hip girl at . . . "

As I said, Ariel is only 4 and to my knowledge, has not yet appeared on any mailing lists (probably a foolish assumption). So, I suspect the mailers were really targeting the previous owners, who lived at our address until the beginning of this summer. They had, I believe, a girl old enough to be considered "hip" by direct mail mass marketing.

I did not, however, throw this away. Being a good consumer/observer of mass culture, I wanted to know what constituted "hip girlitude" in today's world. Nevermind the fact that I am a thirtyish year old male, neither hip nor girly--except in the eyes of my coworkers.

It turns out the package contained a free 32 minute animated DVD all about some cartoons girls. I don't know the age of these girls, but the whole concept is based on a doll line called "My Scene." I have seen commercials for the dolls, but here, in my hands, was an open door into the marketable world that my daughter will very soon be facing.

I have not watched it yet. Maybe I'm afraid . . . but I hope to sit down and watch the 32 minutes (including commercials) this weekend.

Rest assured, I will let you know what I discover.

1 comment:

lulu said...

The "marketable world" that your daughter "will soon be facing" is here now, my friend. Who does she love? The Lion King? Ariel? Are there not a host of products available for purchase featuring your daughter's well-researched favorite things, and advertised with each repeat viewing of Disney marketing DVDs?

Because of the Olympics, my television viewing has increased from 1-2 hours per week to about 30 (yikes!), as has the number of commercials that I must endure. Spawnasaurus is often in the room, too, and even though he isn't actively watching most of the time, he can--in a jumpin' jack flash--point out that "that's the all-new Corvette." I've watched his attention turn to the TV when the ads COME ON. They are frighteningly effective.