Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » I Want to Bee …
 


I Want to Bee …

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 05, 2010

o o o

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Most issues of the 1969 Children’s Friend featured a paper doll illustrating possible answers to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Each paper doll had two or three generic outfits (not included here), as well as a costume for the chosen profession.

Stereotypes? No! Let’s celebrate the creative diversity in occupations portrayed here – I mean, who could predict the inclusion of “clown” as a future vocational choice for either boys and girls? Yeah, that’s my story …

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10 Comments »

  1. You tantalize us with the knowledge of yet-unrevealed alternate outfits.

    I wonder what “graphic designer” would be? Ratty t-shirt and jeans?

    Comment by SilverRain — October 5, 2010 @ 7:01 am

  2. I vaguely remember these. I wanted to be a ballerina.

    (Nothing could have been more unsuitable for me than that!)

    Comment by Coffinberry — October 5, 2010 @ 7:26 am

  3. They were trying to make growing up and working for a living seem at least vaguely glamorous. Hence, the absence of most jobs that people actually earn their living at.

    I want to be an assembly-line worker.

    I want to manage a fast-food restaurant.

    I want to sell used cars.

    I want to be an accountant.

    Or worst of all– I want to be a government economist.

    Can’t say I blame them.

    Comment by Last Lemming — October 5, 2010 @ 8:01 am

  4. SilverRain, this is the Children’s Friend. In *1969*. Which means your graphic designer would likely have been drawn with a cute little smock over her jumper.

    Me, too, Coffinberry — “me, too” meaning both the wanting and the unsuitability.

    Last Lemming. You may be right. If so, I posit that the two months without paper dolls were scheduled to show little boy dolls as a cowboy and an astronaut.

    And I should let all the librarians I see today know that you think their jobs are vaguely glamorous!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 5, 2010 @ 8:13 am

  5. I especially appreciate the casual crossed legs of the fireman.

    And that both the artist and the librarian get berets. I would have hoped that the librarian would get a cardigan sweater, which she could wear either unconsciously or ironically, depending. Though the artist does show her liberated self, since her grown-up outfit is wearing pants. (I don’t think women could wear pants at BYU–even artist women–until the early 1980s: right?)

    Comment by Terceiro — October 5, 2010 @ 8:50 am

  6. Women could wear “culottes, slacks or modest pant suits” in BYU classes beginning in 1971. But no “Levi’s.”

    The jeans policy changed in 1981.

    Comment by Justin — October 5, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

  7. Last Lemming,

    I have one son who already is an accountant, and a second one who has gone back to school to become one. Where did I go wrong?

    (Whacks head with palm of hand in gesture of bewilderment)

    As for me, I was just graduating from high school, and I wanted to bee a ski bum. I think that one got left out as well.

    Comment by kevinf — October 5, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

  8. “The jeans policy changed in 1981.”
    Yes. Just in time so I wouldn’t get in trouble.

    Though I did get in trouble for my Osh-kosh-By-gosh overalls. I was told they were too ratty. Those were my favorite pants. (I only had 4 pairs of pants, and a couple of skirts. My roommate had 25 sweaters, alone. But everything I owned fit in one suitcase. Cutting out the “overhauls” was a great sacrifice!)

    Comment by Coffinberry — October 5, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

  9. If you read the new biography of President Monson you will see that he wanted to be a cowboy when he was in primary.

    Comment by john willis — October 5, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

  10. Thanks for these! Today I have to teach the Activity Day girls about the importance of getting an education. I am going to show them these dolls and then teach them how to make clothes for other professions they may dream about and tell them that with the proper training and education they can become what they want to be.

    Comment by Rebecca — October 6, 2010 @ 9:23 am

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