11.13.2008

Barbies

I absolutely LOVED Barbies when I was a kid. I had every Barbie thing you could think of - camper, townhouse, car, clothing, pool, etc. My aunt Michele {who is five years older than me} and I would play for hours and hours, and would make furniture out of toilet paper rolls, clothing out of scraps of fabric, and even little placemats and rugs.

Even though I loved her then, I've banished Barbie from our house so far. She is a stereotyped image of a woman - perfect body, long hair and a permanent smile. She exists for our daughters to dress in cute little outfits. But I'll admit that I've considered getting one for Malayna. Her favorite things to play with are dolls - big, little and in between. A Barbie would quickly become the favorite toy here if I let her have one. Or two or three or four…

Malayna's classroom has a few Barbies, and she points them out when we see them at the toy store. She knows I don't like them, and mentions that every time she talks about them. I'm quick to tell her that even though I don't like them, she doesn't have to agree with me. But I haven't bought her one, nor let anyone else give her one.

Jimmy and Malayna saw a doctor Barbie at Target the other day {photo above}. Malayna told me about her while we were having dinner - she was going gaga over the babies in the package. If I were to buy her a Barbie, at least I could start with one who actually DOES something, as opposed to existing just to look pretty.

What are your thoughts about Barbie? Do you have a daughter {how old}? Does she have Barbies? Do you talk to her about how Barbie looks?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I also don't like Barbie but it is a phenom that is hard to avoid. My mom broke out my Barbies for my daughter to play with at her house with all the inflatable furniture. I have lost the battle. As a side note, Barbie has smaller boobs now. Its wierd but true. I guess we like our parents will have to teach us to ignore such images and encourage them to be strong individuals. Atleast Barbie dumped teh deadbeat Ken. :)

lisa {milkshake} said...

I forgot about the inflatable furniture! I loved that stuff. My furniture was orange and yellow, I think.

My Barbies are in my basement in a big trash bag. Wonder if they've survived all these years?

APlanet4Creation said...

Olivia has 2 barbies. One is actually Mariposa. We got her Mulan too but she ended up with her feet chewed on. She also has Pokemon figures and Pink Power Ranger. Most of the time they just end up without clothes in our house. I don't think she really thinks about the body and image yet. I'm thinking of getting one for Briana so she can play with Olivia.

KB said...

My daughter is only 1, but I'm trying to avoid the Barbies until she's older. I was never that into them as a kid, but I inherited my babysitter's 1970s barbies and loved all their funky clothes. I also liked my Donnie and Marie dolls and the Sunshine Family.

You said you loved playing with them as a kid, did they end up warping your body image/self esteem/feminist ideals? I think you're raising Malayna right and no doll is going to ruin what you've instilled in her. Except maybe one of those freaky Bratz.

lisa {milkshake} said...

Good point, KB.

Swiedebie said...

Hello Lisa,
I adore Barbie alot, and yes when I was a little girl, I used to do all sorts of clothes for her and different scenerio serups. I have a daughter of 2 years of age and she love Barbie. I do not object to that at all. Reason is because I have been guiding her with her playtime with Barbie, and create nice and happy stories in the role-playing games we had. I allow her to watch Barbie movies selectively, those which have good moral reasons. I think it can be harmless if we as parents educate the child in a positive manner. :o)
Maybe you may like try your own creative method to introduce Barbie to Malayna, and who knows, she will be sending positive messages to her friends who are Barbie owners :o)

Anonymous said...

Guess what I'm getting my niece for Christmas!

Danielle said...

I LOVED Barbie as a child. Even collected as an adult. I never thought about body image issues. I just loved her stuff. LOL. My daughter is more into Bratz but she still prefers her Polly Pockets and art supplies over the Barbie or Brat dolls.