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forbidding barbie -- thoughts? - Page 2

post #21 of 94
I personally don't have a problem with Barbie dolls. I had a ton of them growing up, and I used them as a vehicle for creative play. I don't think I even noticed that they were all the same (unrealistic) size and shape- I got my views about body image from other sources.

I learned how to sew by creating Barbie clothes from fabric scraps. I'm happy to report that my dds are doing the same thing- only they're focused on sewing modest clothes for the dolls, since anything you can buy for them is too skimpy!

BTW, Ken's pants make GREAT Barbie maternity pants! And if you use single sized cotton balls, you can use one to make her look about 4m pg, 2 to make her look 7m pg, and 3 to make her look 9m pg. If you use the triple sized cotton balls, you can only make her look 9m pg.

ETA of course my Barbies had sex! How else would they have gotten pg so many times? I had transgendered Barbies too! (OK, I had no clue about transgendered people when I was a preteen but I'd put a Barbie in Ken clothes when I didn't have any Ken dolls, and make Barbie have sex with the other Barbie who had just taken off Ken's clothes.)
post #22 of 94
I played with barbie as a child and never gave her body a second thought. I vivdely remember Barbie proms, dinner dates, weddings (with a toilet paper aisle runner). I also had my Barbie join the rodeo and go off on wild adventures. I never remember thinking that I should look like her. My body image issues steemed from a grandma telling me i was too big in the hips, and a mom who would say You would be so pretty if (insert figure flaw here). I will allow my DD to play with them.
post #23 of 94
Originally Posted by darlindeliasmom
You know, a lot of posts are reminding me of one aspect of the Barbie culture (and basically the toy culture) here: no kid just has one Barbie, like we did when we were kids (3 girls, 3 Barbies). Everyone has a collection of these dolls stuffed somewhere, naked Barbie dolls stuffed into plastic bins under beds!!
My DDs each have several Barbies, but they keep them semi-neatly on a shelf. The key to keeping any toy semi-neat is to have a place to put it.

They each have only 1 Ken, though, so one day they decided it would work out best if most of the Barbies were lesbians. :LOL
post #24 of 94
Of course not. If you only had one, who would Barbie have sex with?
Atilla: Well, my big sis DID have a Ken doll, and my little bro had that tough sexy GI Joe...'nuff said...
post #25 of 94
I won't buy Barbie for my DD, but I won't turn up my nose and forbid them as gifts.

I just don't like them.

As morbid as this is, if ya'll have busted barbies, lemme know, I have this morbid idea of popping off their heads, tying their hair up and stuffing the empty cavity with potpourri and making them into car air fresheners.

Dunno what to do with the bodies though...might make some sort of art...
post #26 of 94
My dd has 8 Barbies that were given to her as gifts, most of them for Christmans last year, and I can't remember the last time she played with them. She does like Barbie, but my dd has really never gotten attached to any one toy or doll.

As I was reading the other posts I was trying to think of something that she plays with consistently. And in all honesty NOTHING. She likes her magnetix, one or two computer games and good old fashioned crayons and paper.
post #27 of 94
[QUOTE=BethSLP]I loved Barbie when I as a kid, and I honestly don't think it screwed me up. I do understand all the arguments against her though.

To be honest though, its WAY better than Bratz!! I just hope if I have a little girl, she chooses Barbie over Bratz.

I totally agree! as well as those Winx club dolls. the girl across the street has them and my oldest dd comes home and tells me she wishes she looked like them. :

I won't buy them for my kids but others do and I go with it, I would never buy them for gifts for other kids.
post #28 of 94
I felt much the same way as you. After much begging from dd1 I bought her a barbie. I chose one that is not Barbie herself, but one of her "friends." She came with a baby and a cat. Her figure was more normal looking, not the huge breasts and tiny waist. Dd played with her for about 3 days and then grew bored and now our barbie and accessories are in a box in the closet. She may get it out someday again and that's fine with me. I'm not going to be buying her all the accessories. Dd can make them herself out of boxes and things she finds around the house just like I had to do. It fosters creativity so why not? I also have control over the barbie's outfits and I'm making sure they are modest.
post #29 of 94
Wow, now I'm feeling entirely too mean!!! I have banned Barbie and all knock-off from the house. DD has lusted after them because all her friends have them. She did get one as a gift and ripped into the box before I could confiscate it. Unfortunately, when we moved a month later, Barbie decided she would "find her own home." Am I really being mean? No, I don't think so.

MIL is Barbie. That's her name and her rolemodel. Vacant and blond with a good plastic surgeon. I am the anti-Barbie: Fat & fit (& proud); talented & a member of mensa. MIL is constantly jabbing my appearance in front of DD (another issue) and I don't want DD thinking that MIL is right when she says, "everybody should look like Barbie, so don't you go getting fat like your mother." Yes, she has actually said that!

OT, I'm still trying to figure out how DH turned out as well as he did.

That said, I'm done my rant . . .
post #30 of 94
When I was a kid I loved my Barbies and I think I grew up fine.. but I secretly hoped DD wouldn't want them. : Someone gave me one as a baby gift : and I put it away in her closet. Then a couple of summers ago we were in the dollar store and she asked for one. I said we have one at home... so of course she wanted it. Now she has way too many... that she got from other people as gifts. She plays with them mostly with me or another adult, so we monitor what's going on. Or at least I'm within earshot when she's playing. I've mad comments about clothing I think is inappropriate and why and I don't allow the Bratz dolls and don't like myScene either...
Having said all that, you can't tell people what not to give your kids, and we should teach them to be gracious.. but it's definitely a viable issue.

So I let her play and monitor closely and we talk a LOT!
post #31 of 94
I have to chime in as an anti-fashion doll parent. Barbie, Bratz and any similar dolls are not allowed in our house.

If our 3 year old daughter gets one as a gift she does not get to keep it. We tell people how we feel about it and that if they give one to her against our wishes they will only be disappointing a small child.

The reason they are banned is something my husband and I agree on totally. Barbie is a symbol for a patriarchal, consumer, wasteful, sexist society where women are valued for looks and sex appeal. Owning Barbies encourages rabid consumerism and we don't support that.

We don't think it is appropriate for a pre-pubescent child to be playing with a sexually mature doll.

Our household has an atmosphere of gender neutrality and our child is being raised as a child, not as a little princess.

I find it disturbing that so many parents say "well, someone else bought it for her..." You have a choice of letting them play with it regardless of whether someone else made the purchase.

So, no misogynistic, consumer icons in our house.

As well, I had tons of the things when I was a kid and bulimia at 12. To me they are a symbol of values that we don't want taught to our child.
post #32 of 94
Originally Posted by m0mto3
you can't tell people what not to give your kids,
Actually, you can and I do.

If it were war toys being discussed, would you say differently?
post #33 of 94
Originally Posted by never
Barbie is a symbol for a patriarchal, consumer, wasteful, sexist society where women are valued for looks and sex appeal.
That's pretty much how I feel about Barbie. I was never allowed to have them as a child and I went through a short phase around age 6 that I wished I had one but my parents explained why not and I gave up on it within a year. I think I am better off for not having to stare at her with all her perfection all the time. I had plenty of other dolls to role-play with. Barbie is not the only doll that can be a physician, superhero, mother, etc. Most of the things done with Barbie can be done with what I might think of IMHO as more "wholesome" or realistic. I already live in a very consumeristic part of the country with "plastic" women everywhere - all done up with the latest fashions. I don't want to live here too long and I don't want dd to join the crowd on this one. I have told the in-laws Barbie gifts are out and I don't think anyone else I know would get her one. If they did I'd return it. I feel that the body-image issues are too important to me to be over-ruled by the potential fun. I am like this on most girl-overemphasized-beauty toys. If Barbies are already in your home I don't think they're going to harm anybody too much. But for me I am very on guard about the marketing agenda of the consumerist culture concerning our society. It's a lot easier to disallow it before it comes in than to change your mind later and break your kids heart by throwing them out. I am just personally very cautious about the girl's beauty = their personal value that is being bullhorned into their ear constantly.

What Barbie alternatives that are not just gorgeous knock-offs do you like?
post #34 of 94
I wasn't allowed to have Barbies as a child and honestly it didn't scar me nor did they become some sort of big control issue for me. My mom was very clear with me about why she didn't want me to have them which was body issues. Later she claimed it was because she didn't want Barbie telling me what I could be in life (this was before Barbie became a pilot, doctor etc) but that's not really true since she spent almost all of my life telling me to be a housewife like the Bible says (her words don't flame me). Anyway I had a cowgirl Barbie (who winked and came with a stamp) and a horse I think given to me. That disappeared after a while. Later I was also given a Barbie and Ken who had iridescent formalwear with fuschia trim. Man they were styling! :LOL I also had a bedroom set that I got at the same time. And yes Barbie and Ken had sex and man would I have been in trouble if my parents had caught me. Anyway my poor Barbies again were mysteriously missing within a fairly short time. When I graduated college my mom gave me a graduation Barbie and said she thought "it was safe now." The next year she gave me a shopping Barbie and then a book about Barbie and then a Barbie jewelry box. I guess for her it was a much bigger deal than it had ever been for me and so she thought it was really this sort of sweet rite of passage. I thought the first one was cute and displayed it and would tell people the story but I was over it after that. In any event so I had these two Barbies in their boxes in the basement and my DD discovered them and she occasionally plays with them. They are naked of course. I don't know that I would actually buy any Barbies but I don't have a huge issue with not allowing her to play with the two that I have.

Funny story though. She also likes to play with my cap from my graduation from UC Berkeley. She calls it my Barbie hat because of the graduation Barbie. Ah the irony. :LOL
post #35 of 94
Originally Posted by never
Actually, you can and I do.

If it were war toys being discussed, would you say differently?

Do you mean guns and etc? I do not care if kids have those either. We have the real deal lol. I do agree that people should respect what parents want or do not want their kids to play with when it comes to gifts though.
post #36 of 94
"We don't think it is appropriate for a pre-pubescent child to be playing with a sexually mature doll.

Our household has an atmosphere of gender neutrality and our child is being raised as a child, not as a little princess."

See, I totally agree with you in theory. And if my youngest child was my only one, it would've worked - she's fascinated with babies, balls, cars and rocks so far, all things that my oldest was not ever particularly interested in. My eldest has ALWAYS been interested in pink, purple, tutus, ONLY dresses, and barbies (especially Disney Barbie) But I too had to get to the point where my 5 year old has autonomy in her life, and I had to realize that I can't control everything that goes on in her life. I've stated that *I* don't want to spend my money on various things, but if she gets things for her birthday or has her own money to spend, she chooses. And we discuss what my issues are with certain toys, and she tells me what she loves about them, and I try to round it all out with toys that I like lying around! Before, when I was really fighting her about it more, she was OBSESSED with all things barbie (and polly pocket and my little pony and strawberry shortcake, etc) but I find her talking less and less about that stuff - it's less the forbidden fruit aspect.
Oh, and on the point of raising them as children and not as princesses...she also very clearly walks around telling everyone "I'm a princess" - I find it frustrating how much of this pervades our culture but it is the culture we live in and my job seems to be to counterbalance it!!!!! We don't have tv, and I consciously do not wander around toy stores with them, but they have friends who influence them, go to preschool, go to the playground, etc. I dunno, I guess I started out my parenting journey with absolute ideologies, and find that Kea for sure is challenging me in many ways and I'm learning to let go and see our family as 4 individuals with differing opinions and needs. And I was a classic tomboy growing up, so I have NO idea where she gets this stuff from?!!!! And why the second one is not at all like that - crazy genetics!

Anyways, these threads always give me fruit for thought, and I'm fascinated by how differently I would have responded each year since Kea's birth - an always evolving journey, this parenting thing!
post #37 of 94
I haven’t read the other posts.


Well, Momma, this is up to you, but, if you're asking for opinions:

I like Barbie.

I had several Barbies as a child and I LOVED playing with them, and I don't have any body issues. I cannot see how a DOLL could possibly be the cause of a body issue, that's something that comes from within and from the parenting you got and the relationship's you've had and the way you were fed, etc, etc. I just can’t see how a doll could really do damage.

What I like about Barbie is that there are so many different kinds of them, all different races, different hair colours, different ages, different sexes, and hundreds of different roles.

Barbie has been everything from a police officer to an astronaught to a teacher to a baker to a bride to a motor-cross racer to a horse trainer, etc, etc.

And, I don't see how Barbie dolls promote greediness or consumerism. I MADE all of my Barbie clothes other than the ones they came in. I named them my own names and cast them in roles that I wanted.

I've never understood what the big deal was with Barbie.

Yes, her waist is too small and her breasts are too big. So what? It's PRETEND. I haven't seen any unicorns lately, but I loved My Little Pony. Wouldn’t let my child cuddle a bear cub, but, I’m not worried about teddy bears warping the understanding of wildlife. All of the other dolls I had were decorated with odd coloured hair, decals, strange feet and hands, etc. Heck, rag dolls were and still are popular and they don't look “normal” at all.

For me, childhood was all about imagination, and I liked using the dolls for my own stories. I’m sure my parents liked getting me them because they were sturdy, easily interchangeable and affordable.

Of COURSE, if you want to get her different dolls, by all means, do so, but, I don’ think there’s anything inherently evil about Barbie.

I’m actually planning on making my babies their own dolls; I hope I’m okay at it!
post #38 of 94
To me it's not that they are sexually mature (I mean, after all, a mother doll is sexually mature) but the kind of sexuality that they represent -- big hair down to the butt, lots of makeup, abnormally small waist and big perky breasts, feet that only fit into high-heeled shoes. Look, I think the whole sex-kitten thing is fine for consenting adults. But for my four-year-old daughter? No. I'm sex-positive, but I draw the line at anything -- books, movies, images, toys -- that portrays women only as playboy bunnies, even if they are also doctors and pilots.

And yes, I realize that it's pretend. So? That somehow makes it edifying or innocuous?

I was looking at some Japanese anime dolls the other day, they had enormous porn-style breasts, and personally I would find it disturbing if people were giving my four-year daughter such a thing to play with, and I suspect a lot of the pro-barbie people here would too. But how is it really different from what Barbie is? She's got porn breasts too, they're just more stylized. I think we've just been desensitized as a culture, just as we have been with violence.
post #39 of 94
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
To me it's not that they are sexually mature (I mean, after all, a mother doll is sexually mature) but the kind of sexuality that they represent -- big hair down to the butt, lots of makeup, abnormally small waist and big perky breasts, feet that only fit into high-heeled shoes.
Not all Barbies are like that. My DDs have ones with flat feet, short hair, etc. Some have more makeup, and some have less. They don't all have the exact same body either.

Originally Posted by never
Our household has an atmosphere of gender neutrality
Ours did too until our daughters were old enough to have say in things. :LOL

For me this is just a control issue. I don't particually like Barbie, but my kids can pick their own toys.

(They could play with guns if they wanted to, but they don't like guns, swords, etc. )
post #40 of 94
""Of course not. If you only had one, who would Barbie have sex with?

Or am I the only one that's going to admit that's how she 'played barbies'? ""



I started "playing Barbies" that way when I was about ..... hmmm.... 12? I think?

Me and my girlfriend, we played with them till we were, probably.... 17 yearsold. It was great. Really creative role-playing, lots of time spent outside. We kept them all bundled up in a big sheet and spread them all over the backyard.

================================================== ====

Finally in a toy store she marched up to the staff and asked where to find the dolls "with the big big boobs and long long legs."

I would have howled with laughter, that's awesome Momma, your little one knows what she wants!
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