It’s December, and I browsed the selection of this year’s Hallmark ornaments.  There is a veterinarian ornament, intended for those little girls who dream of working with animals. It looks like this:


Hmmm.  I find her outfit interesting.  Her skinny jeans and  booties are cute and all, but… I don’t dress like that for appointments. Nor does any woman veterinarian I have ever known.  I never wear sneakers. I have a no sneaker rule. And no jeans. Some people wear sneakers for comfort, and I get that. I wear clogs. For house calls during snowstorms, I wear boots. But cutesie booties with kitten heels…. um… no. The only kitten accessory is,… an actual kitten.  Sure, this girl looks happy holding the puppy. Sure, who wouldn’t be. But let’s not hyper focus on what message they might or might not be sending to a little girl. Let’s try to give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume that they are trying to stimulate interest in the profession for 9 year olds who love animals.  If they had a hallmark ornament showing a veterinarian, covered in dog hair, and body fluids, including but not limited to blood (animal’s or vet’s… ), then I suppose that not only sales of the ornament would plummet, but it would not entice tweens to become veterinarians. I get that. But, if I had a choice of a female veterinarian in an ornament form it might be:


OK, I realize this is Wonder Woman, but.. why not? Put her in some cool scrubs, and throw a stethoscope around her neck. I would be good with that. I have used a lasso several times in my career, to capture my patients. Maybe not a golden lasso, but a lasso like rope or leash nonetheless.

A veterinary friend pointed out that I should be happy that the ornament person is not a blonde. Hmmm.  Good point, I think. Being a brunette, I appreciate that.  OR DO I? This goes into a much deeper discussion of smart girl vs pretty girl.  Why is it that the smart girl is almost always depicted as a brunette (+/- with glasses), in contrast to the blonde, pretty , possibly not so smart girl. We all know plenty of brilliant blonde women, and vice versa.


Why is “Dream Date Barbie” a blonde? And, more importantly… what is she wearing?! And, pray tell, where is she going on this “dream date”? Clearly, her dream date involves Flamenco dancing.


Why is Golden Dream Barbie again, blonde?  Where is THIS Barbie going? Clearly, not to the office.  Why do all the blonde Barbies seem to have all the fun (albeit really bad taste in clothing), while we brunettes seem to be forever either working or saving the planet?


Here is another very cool version of Veterinarian Barbie that I would be ok with. I am not a big Star Wars fan, but this Jedi woman is cool. And,… noticeably brunette. Interesting.


I guess I should be grateful that this Barbie is not the version of an aquatic veterinarian.


And, here again, is the X-Files Barbie, wearing uncool clothing. And.. noticeably, unblonde.

OK, that was unfair. I will admit. They are staying true to her character.


Now, this I like.  This is the Hallmark “Healthcare Super Hero” ornament design. Again, I would be fine with this.

But I am left wondering what the real message is that Barbie and Hallmark are trying to send.


Case in point. Santa’s “Core Crunching Kringle” ornament is just… wrong.  Do we need to really make the poor man feel bad about his weight the time of the year that he is putting in overtime, for all of us? I think that if Santa wants to strengthen his core, or lose weight, that is fine, but I will not be putting any pressure on him, particularly around Christmas. Santa, I think you are great just the way you are.

Happy Holidays.

Dr. Dawn

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