Post # 1
So I remember as a child having a ton of barbies..I had about 12-15 (only grand-daughter and I was SPOILED).
I remember doing their hair and playing with their clothes. I remember their clothes were way more covering then nowadays.
I was playing with my niece last weekend and she pulled out her barbies and all I could think was “they look like miley cyrus at the MTV awards”. I was shocked. I thought maybe I was mis-remembering mine from 20 years ago so I pulled out my mom’s family albums and found some pics of me with my barbies at my niece’s age. And I was right! My barbies looked like properly clothes women (albiet still disproportionate).
Have you noticed how barbies have gotten even more sexualized in their outfits?
I spoke to DH and he said if we have a daughter he does not even want barbies in our house, he prefers American Girl type dolls (target sells a really affordable knock-off, which BTW I got my niece and she is addicted to it and her barbies are now collecting dust!).
Have you noticed this change in barbies? Will you/do you allow barbies? Do you think they negatively influence a little girls self-perception?
Post # 3
@missjewels: Yes, I’ve noticed the change for sure.
I’m personally not a fan of barbies.
I don’t think young girls’ lives are irreperably damaged when they play with them…body image and sexuality is affected by a myriad of factors in a girl’s life.
But why not pick and choose the best toys that promote curiosity and creativity without the strange body image baggage?
Post # 4
@missjewels: I don’t like barbies or cindys or bratz or any of those really. They are all disprotionate and overty sexualised
Post # 5
I’ve noticed the outfits when I’m out shopping, but they only sell them because people buy them. Of course they are also many of the same types of thing I see as I drop my stepson off to school everyday. Girls with their rear ends falling out of Jean shorts in below zero weather. Again because parents buy the cloths. The doll reflects the culture it doesn’t create it.
I only think Barbie affects self esteem when it’s made to. No little girl will think about it until it’s pointed out to her. So, imo, it goes back to parenting.
Post # 7
I don’t think barbies will single-handedly destroy a girl’s self-esteem, but I do think there are better toys out there. I’m a big fan of the American Girl dolls as an alternative–they promote reading, they spark interest in history, and they don’t touch all the body image junk. Also, because they’re more like legacy toys than throwaway ones, they (hopefully) teach kids to take better care of their stuff.
Post # 8
Yes, I did! Even their faces. My 1990’s barbies have open eyes and normalish full faces. Barbies now have heavy-lidded bedroom eyes and “I’ve had botox” eyebrows. Bratz are just.. ew.
Post # 9
Meh. I think Barbies are cute and I had so many as a child. I don’t see any issues.
Post # 10
I remember playing with my Knex and playing dress-up far more than with my barbies. Even as a child I had a difficult time understanding the appeal of dolls and barbies. The only one I really liked playing with was my Ariel one which I of course played with in the bathtub…along with my My Little Pony doll for some reason 😛
Most of my Barbies and their clothes were hand-me-downs from when my mom was little in the 50s and we still have them in my parent’s basement. If I have a child who wants to play with Barbies they will be getting the legacy ones, not the current googly eyed skimpily dressed ones they sell nowadays. Why buy new ones and feed into the coporate toy thing when you have perfectly good ones in storage?
Post # 11
@missjewels: We decided our daughters weren’t going to have Barbies. But they were so insistent that they wanted them, we decided we might as well let them, since Barbies aren’t inherently bad. Both my daughters had many happy years playing with them, and (in my opinion) grew up well adjusted and still are.
My point is you can start out saying “No Barbies” but it doesn’t always work out that way.
(Not that we always relented. We also decided “no toy guns except for water pistols” for our son (and daughters), and we were firmer on that, and we were able to keep to it).
Post # 12
@Eckle: Yes I wished I had kept mine but we donated them to a family who has recently moved into the country that was next to my grandmothers and they had 3 little girls and no money for toys clothes let alone toys. So I gave them my older school barbies.
HappySky7: That was my barbie totally! Actually I love seeing the contrast between old and new now.
Post # 13
@missjewels: My sister and I loved playing with our Barbies when we were growing up. Barbie’s are disproportionate, sure, but playing with them didnt destroy me as a person or anything. I loved that Barbie could be anything- a teacher, an astronaut, president- I think it teaches little girls that they can do anything when they grow up! Plus I would rather a kid play with dolls and use their imagination than play a game on a phone, tablet, or gaming system. My sister let me buy my niece her first Barbie for Christmas and that was special to me. I also bought clothes for the Barbie, but they were all modest. As for the changes, there are some in the face, but most of them don’t have as much makeup as the picture posted by PP. Also I would pick Barbie over those weird brats or monster school dolls any day.
Post # 14
I am not a fan of the over-sexualization of current dolls such as Barbies, Bratz, etc. However, I think as long as you pair the use of these dolls with a teaching opportunity to show your daughters that everyone is beautiful, and that dolls are just dolls, than I don’t see the big deal. My mother encouraged me to make my dolls clothes as a child, and it taught me a lot about being creative, resourceful, and how to use sharp instruments correctly 😉
Post # 15
When my daughter was about 6 – 7 I finally caved and got her some Bratz Dolls. I thought they were really ugly and very strange looking. Of course me being me, I couldn’t help but be funny when I played with her dolls with her. I would always act them out to be bimbos “Like hA hA! Totes n stuff! Ohemgeee like my hair is like.. totes pretty n stuff! ha ha ha!” and my daughter would crack up at the parody of that kind of girl. Now she is 13 and she is long past that age, but she is very against dressing like that (she loves loose t-shirts and capri style pants) and she doesn’t hang out with the girls at school who are into that type of image. So, judgemental or not, I think I won 😀 I just hope she stays that way!
Post # 16
Honestly, the only Barbies I feel comfortable with are the specialty ones, like Disney (or Disney knock off) where they’re wearing full gowns. If I have a daughter, I’d probably do what my mom did and make her a pile of Barbie clothes. The other girls were jealous of my Barbie clothing collection since it was 95% original stuff!