Do Toys Define Who We Are?

Do the toys that we are given by our parents, that we play with while growing up, define who we are? What kind of person we will grow up to be?

Some people certainly think so.

In the 21st century, there are still people out there who think that letting a boy play with a doll, or a purple controller, will make them gay.  There’s also people who think girls who aren’t interested in playing house or dressing up and doing ‘girl’ things won’t somehow survive to become a strong woman.  Well, I hate to tell you this.  Dolls don’t make boys fall in love with other boys and running around in army fatigues and playing with GI Joes won’t make a girl any less of a girl.

For those that know me, it probably won’t surprise anyone that I was a tomboy.  From my earliest childhood memory I can remember my father coming home from his drill duty with the National Guard in his fatigues.  I loved my father and I was a daddy’s girl to the letter so I wanted to be like my father.  I can remember insisting on going to school in my little mini combat boots and army fatigues so I could be like daddy and I had aspirations to join the army.

Well, that never happened even though I did well on my aptitude test!

I also had a fair amount of barbie dolls, and I even asked for Barbies and My Little Ponies from Santa.  However, He Man, Transformers and GI Joe got just as much or more wishlist space as the Barbies and My Little Pony.

I can remember running around playing He Man, GI Joe, Ghost Busters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with my friends.  Those sessions of “lets pretend” were much more interesting than playing house.  The times that we did play house, the area around the playhouse my father built for me (complete with kitchen and a running sink) had a moat dug around it.  It wasn’t a small moat either and it tended to have water in it regularly.  And of course the inside of the playhouse got soaked on a regular basis because we were firemen and had to put the fire out.  Or it was a ship and we were sailing the high seas…it was rarely the ‘My Three Sons’ type household.

Around 9 or 10 years old I got a horse.  My Christmas wishlist suddenly had Breyer Horses on it and horse related stuff.  However, the games of ‘lets pretend’ didn’t stop.  My friends and I were knights on our valiant steeds that were off to slay the evil dragon.

I think all through this, up until I was 16, I flat out hated to wear dresses.  I was at home in jeans and t-shirts covered in grass stains, mud, and later loads of horse hair.  Up until the end of high school, the ONLY exception I made for “girly” things was for homecoming and prom.

Today I wear dresses, sometimes.  I love corsets.  I love steampunk jewelry.  I get my hair and nails done on a regular basis and I’m happily married.  I’m a great chef and kill it when baking.  I sew.  I also am a game master, love role-playing of any type, don’t hesitate to play the opposite sex in a game if I have to, and I wish I never sold my Transformers all those years ago at a yard sale in my Grandma’s front yard.

So do toys define who you are?

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