Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"Why I Banned Barbie"

"To Barbie, or not to Barbie. That is the question.

I have read other mommy columnists who wax nostalgic about their playtime with Barbie, passing on the tradition with their little girls and having a ball. The little shoes, the Corvette, the Dream House! It's all very alluring, very ... pink. What's not to like? I mean, I had a Brooke Shields Barbie doll when I was young and she was loads of fun!

Then one day my oldest son (a big second-grader at the time) came up to me with a half-naked Barbie doll in his hands and said to me sternly, "Mom, I don't think this is an appropriate toy." He had just had a fatherly talk with my husband about what is "appropriate" and what is "a poison worse than the black plague of death itself and should be avoided at all costs, lest it rot your mind like an unstoppable rebel force."

He was right. Half-naked buxom blondes littering the toy chest are not appropriate for my boys. It's just a fact of life that Barbie dolls spend 70 percent of their time either half-clad or not clad at all. Oh, it's all very innocent, of course. Those tiny clothes are really hard for little fingers to put on. Heck, it takes me the better part of 10 minutes to get Barbie ready for her hot date with Ken. How can I expect uncoordinated, chubby hands to wrestle on those microscopic rags and keep her plunging neckline and bare midriff Velcroed up all the time?

I know for families of girls, Barbies are a lifeline, an institution even. But that is not my family. My daughters are surrounded by brothers. Hot-blooded, American boys who should not be put into tough, compromising spots every time they're rooting around the playroom on a quest to find that one LEGO piece to complete their set....


I searched online and found alternative 9-inch dolls we love, namely

"Only Hearts Club" dolls.

These dolls are girls, not women, and feature a much more modest wardrobe for my girls to emulate. They're not old enough to drive (no Corvette), or date (no Ken). But then, neither are my girls! Instead they ride horses, take good care of their pets and look forward to the day when they're finally old enough to babysit. Just right.

Our playroom may still be a mess, and there are LEGO pieces we've resigned we'll never find, but I believe making conscientious choices about playtime helps make our home our very own Dream House." - By Margaret Anderson, ksl.com contributor


This is an article I read in the news today and I was very impressed with it. I wanted to give her a standing ovation! Finally another mom who sees barbies the same way I do!!! By the way did you know that the woman who invented barbies got the idea while in Europe from a popular sex toy there? It's true! It doesn't surprise me though.

When I read in Margaret's above article about the Only Hearts Club dolls, I went straight to their website. I read about the companies intention to make wholesome dolls, to teach our daughters morals and values and to follow their hearts. I honestly started to cry tears of joy!!!


RGG said...

Alicia you are too funny.I remember my mom struggling with the "Barbie" issue. Her issues were that Barbie did not represent what most little girls looked like, so she found dolls that looked like me.One Barbie type doll was Julia. Julia was a nurse like my mom and she wore a nurses uniform. I had a younger brother who just loved to decapitate any poor dolls head. My mom taught us both rudimentary sewing skills, and showed us how to make stuffed dolls and toys. We loved them, and it was something that we didn't fight about.
Good for you in taking a stand.

Alicia said...

I had two Barbie's growing up: Peaches and Cream Barbie and an Aerobics Barbie.

Their clothing was modest but it seems now whenever I go down the doll isle what little clothes they have are so provocative. Not only are they made to be sexual in nature but I've seen more dolls that encourage tattoos and body piercings. I just don't want that kind of message being sold to my girls.

I think it's funny that your brother used to decapitate your dolls. My brother did too. He used to switch the heads on my barbies. I guess that's what brothers do.

Thanks for your comment Ramona. :)

6L's said...

my daughter has a musical barbie that actually has a hard plastic skirt on in pink. it's made that way so the music box has a place to be and is disguised. i thought it was pretty cool vs the naked barbie. thanks for the website, i've never heard of those but i'm gonna check it out!

Alicia said...

6L's have you seen the barbie that has the permanent molded on clothing?


I like these ones. Plus they are a really great price.

They sound kind of what you are talking about.

6L's said...

nope, i hadn't seen them before but i like the idea. this one was from a really frilly barbie and it had a really big plastic skirt for the music box. it's pretty cool, since like you say, all barbies end up naked. ;) have a great weekend!