How I Know Your Kid Is a Jerk

Yes, your kid. She’s a jerk.

Roblin Meeks

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My eight-year-old daughter likes to make crafts. About two years ago, my wife came across a woman who calls herself “My Froggy Stuff” and who makes shockingly good doll accessories out of things you’ve likely already got in your house. She regularly posts YouTube videos demonstrating how, with infinite patience and care, you too can make a doll vending machine or cash register or doll party stuff or just about doll anything else. She also ends each video with a short skit that uses whatever she just showed you how to craft, with what we assume are dolls as stand-ins for herself and her daughter. These little shows are uniformly adorable, made even more so by the “shout out” they give at the end to a crafter in the community who has sent in work inspired by the videos.

It’s all uplifting and self-affirming and shot through with a genuine sense of You Can Do It Yourself. And as far as we can tell, this lady doesn’t do it for money. She does have an Etsy page, sure, but she doesn’t push craft kits or branded scissors, doesn’t endorse any particular line of dolls or accessories. She doesn’t even ask for donations or viewer support. If anything, My Froggy Stuff threatens whole swaths of the Doll Industrial Complex with her high-quality industriousness. Why pay hundreds of dollars for a doll tree house when you can make your own that’s so far and away better and self-inflected than some boxed, pink-plastic monstrosity?

Froggy’s quality and consistency have not gone unnoticed. She currently has over 1,100,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel, including thirty videos with over a million views. She also has a Facebook page with nearly 72,000 likers and a blog (that still has “blogspot” in the URL) with a serious readership. She has built, though hard and consistently outstanding work, both an Internet community and a real community on the Internet.

As the shout outs show, she likes to cultivate and to engage with this community. In the spirit of cultivation (I’m assuming), she held a photo story contest in which she invited people to submit five photos via Facebook that tell a story with no words. It cost nothing to enter, and finalists would receive t-shirts, with three grand-prize winners each receiving a Saige American Girl doll, retail value about $120.

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Roblin Meeks

Essayist, lapsed professional philosopher, associate dean of ice cream. Author of creative nonfiction about work, love, self and other stuff. Welcome, pals.