I also consider myself quite lucky that my adolescence was spent while grunge was the dominant style. Baggy jeans, big flannel shirts worn like cardigans and colored opaque tights under skirts and worn with Converse all-stars gave me all the protection my developing body needed from the degrading stares and comments of the adolescent boys I was surrounded by. I often look at teenagers (and younger) today and feel sad that their looks are so polished, with the visible and perfect cleavage with those flouncy little skirts. Did I even own an underwire bra before I was 20?
So, when an organization fights the constant erosion of childhood at the hands of market forces, I support them. They have asked me share a story with you about the aftermath they encountered from Disney after the Baby Einstein videos were exposed as frauds.
As described in the New York Times, last fall’s successful campaign to get Disney to offer refunds on Baby Einstein videos came at a price. At the height of the media flurry about the refunds, representatives from Disney contacted JBCC, and our relationship with the Center was changed irrevocably. We were pressured to stop talking to the press about Baby Einstein. Questions were raised about whether CCFC’s mission was appropriate for a JBCC program. Finally, in January, we were told that we had to leave—quickly. And, for our remaining time under JBCC’s auspices, we were forbidden from conducting any advocacy aimed at a specific corporation or product. You may have noticed that you haven’t heard from us in a while.My brother and sister-in-law are expecting my first niece or nephew in a few weeks. I am trying to make sure that Baby Shashi has a chance to be a kid before she must become a consumer. If that jingles your bell too, check them out and make a donation if you're so inclined.
It is chilling that any corporation, particularly one marketing itself as family friendly, would lean on a children’s mental health center. We have great admiration for the Center’s staff, and the work they do for children. At the same time, we are deeply saddened that the institution ceded its ground and stopped supporting CCFC and our efforts to challenge powerful interests in order to protect children and support parents.