BARBIE mania! help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 05-10-2002, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hi everyone. i have a 3.5 yr old who we have now successfully confused re: barbies. both hubbie and i are very against them and since dh has insisted on telling her that he doesn't like them, they are "sick" since they don't eat enough....she is now very obsessed w/them. of course in hindsight, i know we should've just really said nothing about it to inflame the interest but it's too late for that now (unfortunately!):
we still are intercepting barbie containing gifts (all but a few relatives know our policy regarding this...) and won't let her have one but she is confused and tells me "But mommy, I like Barbies!" to which i reply, "I know honey". I am at a loss. my current policy now is that while she still can't have one, but I don't make a big stink if she wants to look at them in the store or play w/someone else's.
<sigh>!!! anyone else in a similar boat or have any advice. i fear the only thing may be to quietly diffuse this one w/time. I just really try not to react to much when she talks about it.
I've given up on A LOT of standards/battles but this is one i just can't!!
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#2 of 14 Old 05-10-2002, 03:34 AM
 
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I can't really offer any advice, other than hopefully she'll outgrow it. Molly gets excited at seeing Barbie type dolls in the store, but I've never really gotten her any Barbie related stuff. Then for some reason she just really fell in love with the Little Mermaid from the Disney movie and my husband bought her a Little Mermaid doll which might as well be a Barbie. She has so many soft, nice looking animals that she loves and cares for but her biggest connection is to this hard, uncuddly, plastic doll with annoying hair.

Oh, maybe there is a Barbie analogue that isn't as bad that she might go for? I think there are some that are supposed to be a little more realistic looking. I don't know though, it seems like most kids seem to go through a Barbie phase. There is something about these adult looking dolls with their pretty clothes that attracts kids. My nephew used to have a Barbie, but he called it his woman, and one night he told my sister he wanted to take his woman to bed.
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#3 of 14 Old 05-10-2002, 09:30 AM
 
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We are well past the Barbie years, so I will chime in here with the long-range viewpoint. I remember being horrified when dd received her first one from her birthmom. There was no way I could say anything at all - trust me, it's not like telling your mil. So suddenly we had Barbies. I had resisted with my older dd, but my little one was 3 yrs old when this happened.

I went through my stage of worrying that playing with Barbie would warp their little minds; I am not dismissing your concerns. But eventually my girls showed me that they were not about to become Stepford Wives just because of a piece of molded plastic. These kids are smarter than we think sometimes.

Here is how it played out. The girls used those Barbies for everything, and they were not looked at as gender-specific, let me tell you. We had the most feminist Barbies in the neighborhood. Barbie was a witch. Barbie was an engineer with our Brio trains. Barbie was involved when they played Office Manager. Barbie wore clothes made out of every imaginable household item, as well as those ridiculous shoes that you step on when you are barefoot. We had Barbies that were only for the bathtub since their hair gets ruined when they soak for too long. At one point we probably had 30 of them. Barbie was also a very handy topic of conversation when Mom wanted to make a point about body image, accessories, conspicous consumption, you name it.

I only ever bought one. I felt sick. I stood in the Barbie aisle at the Toy Pit and was dazed and confused by the selections. My friend Michael was along and he bowed to the Mattel gods and then we picked one out.

After a while normal-looking Barbie substitutes became available but by then we were just about finished.

Now when we are on a shoe-buying spree we discuss whether a particular model is a Barbie shoe that will ruin anyone's anatomy with too much use. So Barbie has her place.

Kind of. Sigh. It's never easy, is it?
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#4 of 14 Old 05-10-2002, 12:08 PM
 
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I struggle with the Barbie thing as well. My daughter just turned 3 and so far has no Barbies. I also struggle with myself about this sine I *loved* Barbies as a girl and still love looking at them now. I actually bought Queen of the Nile Barbie as a table decoration for my son's Ancient Egypt birthday party, and it got me to thinking about Barbie's. The thing that bothers me so much about her is that they all seem to look the same, representing the one ideal body type. Although they all have the same body- looking at the Barbie aisle nowadays there is quite a bit of variety. There are Hispanic, African America, and Asian Barbioes, Barbies dressed in native costumes, career choices, red hair and freckles, disabilities, brunettes, teens, young girls, toddlers and babies. I guess what I am saying is that while I would not want my daughter to have 10 dolls that all looked the same, if she were to chose a collection that was more representative of our community as a whole I think I could live with that. She loves my Princess of the Nile Barbie (Although I don't let her play with it) and she certainly is not blonde haired and blue eyed.
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#5 of 14 Old 05-11-2002, 04:51 AM
 
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Indigolilybear,

My 4-year-old I know is attracted to Barbies because I see her staring at other little girls' Barbies, but I have made it sooooo fun to play with so many other dolls that I think (I HOPE) she will forget Barbie.

She loves Mowgli, for example, the Jungle Girl from the Jungle Book. Yes, she is a girl - in our house at least. My dh and I both take turns all day spening HOURS playing with her blocks her cars her balls and her non-Barbie dolls and doing other educational stuff like gardening or cooking/cleaning together or reading books, etc. No TV, either.

Also, we keep her away from playgroups where all the little girls play with Barbie and all the little boys play with trucks. She is at our own private on-site day care (max 2 or 3 hours per day) where of course, nobody has ever heard of the woman who can't decide between pink and hot pink clothes.

I commend you for not giving up on this battle. I am sometimes SO SURPRISED that after days or weeks of frustration with something (whatever, it is) that a long explanation of my position ACTUALLY CONVINCES my dd. Kids really can be reasonable. Just sit and explain your concerns to her in terms that she can understand. Tell her more than that Barbie is sick, there are many other reasons to stay away from Barbie. Like someone else mentioned, they all look the same (that is not good and that is not life). Also, too much focus on material possessions and clothes and appearance. There are more important things in life, my dd, like generosity and kindness and inventions and math. Etc. Good luck, I am sure to face this issue soon myself. I can't keep her away forever.
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#6 of 14 Old 05-11-2002, 01:58 PM
 
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There was a Barbie thread a while back. there appear to be at least 2 barbie spin-offs which seem less offensive. get Real Girls come with jointed arms and legs and their own sports get-up (they are also more realistically pproportioned). Feral Cheryl lives in the outback, will never have a male counterpart and has rooted pubic hair.




http://www.getrealgirl.com/

http://www.feralcheryl.com.au/index.html

Good Luck!
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#7 of 14 Old 05-12-2002, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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yes, thanks everyone for your encouragement. I've seen feral cheryl and would LOVE to get her but she is so expensive! <siogh>
anyway, i think this will be a continuing battle especially we have moved to a less progressive area. well, keep any ideas coming. i think i have a lot of damage to undo.
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#8 of 14 Old 05-12-2002, 01:09 AM
 
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My dh has this bookmarked this site I never looked at until today. It is http://www.adiosbarbie.com. Here are some of the featured articles:

The Color of Hunger —the hidden truth about women of color & body image
7 Ways to Love Your Body—Through Thick and Thin
I'm Fat—Take That! —Snappy comebacks to rude remarks about your body
Hand-Me-Down Eating Disorders—What happens when your mom is obsessed with her weight?
Mars Attacks —A San Francisco gym "alien-ates" fat people.

There is also a game to play called “Feed the model.” I didn’t play it but it looked too cute.
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#9 of 14 Old 05-12-2002, 07:40 AM
 
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I don't know if this will work for you, but my dad cured me of Barbie-itis by cutting off their noses. He didn't want me playing with "graven images.": I rejected those noseless Barbies hands down.
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#10 of 14 Old 05-14-2002, 06:11 PM
 
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My 3 yr old dd is obsessed with Barbie, despite our ever effort to keep them away. She has gotten a couple inadvertant gifts of Barbie and we let it go because she had quite the variety of other dolls to play with too, plus she really only likes to take off thier heads. I didn't think the Barbies had any influence on her until the other day we were talking about boys and girls and dd says "i know why a boy is a boy!" and I asked why and she says "because he has a penis!" i then asked her what gilrs have that make them girls and she looks down at the Barbie in her hand and says "beautiful eyelashes!" Ahhhhhhhhhh! Damn you Barbie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!
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#11 of 14 Old 05-14-2002, 06:17 PM
 
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I know, I hate her too. Dd goes to pre-school 2 days a week with a bunch of Barbie logo'ed girls. Now, that's all she talks about. I hate to admit it, but she has too (presents from my sister {thanks sis}). However, she dosn't play with them all that much. She just likes the pink pouffy logo stuff.

Oh, how I wish Barbie had birthin' hips and her breasts were made for milk....
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#12 of 14 Old 05-14-2002, 09:38 PM
 
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I recently had a problem with the Barbie situation. I told my inlaws and family members that I didn't want Barbie as gifts for my dd who has just turned 5. They agreed, but for Easter, my sister in law gave her one, claiming that her daughter picked it out! I didn't say anything until we got home. I told my dd that Barbie is for older girls. *On a recent vacation- a little girl we met had the Barbie pool, that came with Martini glasses as well as clothes that I feel are not appropriate for 5 year old kids to play with.* My dd was a little upset, but I gave her the choice of putting it away until she is older or returning it to the store for a younger doll, more age appropriate. She said she would like to put it away until she is seven. So that's what I did. Luckily, our school friends don't have many commercial toys around and we don't watch tv. I am just hoping she forgets about it all together.

:

Tracey
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#13 of 14 Old 05-14-2002, 11:33 PM
 
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They will outgrow it!! My dd is now seven and hasn't touched a Barbie in almost a year - I've been able to put them all away!!! No more stupid Barbie accessories to stand on lol!!!
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#14 of 14 Old 05-20-2002, 11:39 AM
 
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Just my opinion...
Well I am a former Barbie lover and I honestly have to say that I personally never thought that Barbie was an ideal, she was a doll, just like my Joey doll (did anyone else have the anatomically correct Joey doll from "All in the Family"??) I had Hawiiaan Barbie, Pretty in Pink, Glitter in Gold etc. etc. I loved it. I think it really shocked me when I got older and found out that some people say they have image problems because of Barbie. It just never occurred to me. I don't know what I will do if I have a girl. I guess I will see what happens. I just don't think that I could ban Barbie but I certainly will provide my child with lots of other options.

lisa
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