forbidding barbie -- thoughts? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-19-2005, 03:48 PM
 
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There are so many other options beyond Barbie. Barbie looks like a stripper, to me, and I personally can't stand the whole big corporate take on femininity. So far, my daughter hasn't even encountered a Barbie. They're not very popular here.
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Old 09-20-2005, 11:35 AM
 
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We got DD one of the Only Hearts Club Dolls. Not perfect, but better than Barbie to me. Though, I now realize why they reccommend these toys for 6 & up. The clothes are hard to put on! The doll is flexible & all, but the clothes are just tiny! She seems to like it, when she's not having a fit that I can't help her that minute to put the clothes on!

We'll see how this goes. She's in preschool now with more girls than boys. They don't have Barbie there, but as she gains more friends that are girls & wants to play with them, it may change.

Ah, the trials of parenthood just keep a changing......

L

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Old 09-21-2005, 05:38 AM
 
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Who really came up with the idea that kids think of Barbie as being a sex symbol and that she is unrealistic because she has a small waist and big boobs. I would bet it wasn't a kid. Kids get ideas like that in their heads when their parents(and other adults) start putting them there.

So what if Barbie has a small waist and big breasts. Everyone is built differently and there are women out there who have small waists and big breasts. Alot of them are naturally built that way. Sure they may not make up the majority but calling them not normal is not fair to them either.

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As well, I had tons of the things when I was a kid and bulimia at 12.
How many people actually ended up with any body image and eating disorders from playing with Barbie? If you believe that a 11 1/2" doll with large breasts and a small waist is going to cause an eating disorder or bad body image, what exactly do you(you being the general population who considers Barbie to be evil) think telling your child that a human adult or teen who has large breasts and a small waist is not normal is going to do to them. They're going to sit around wondering if they're normal, they're going to make sure that they don't end up with a small waist because someone may not think they're normal. They're going to be binding their breasts to keep them small to make sure they don't get large ones because someone might think they're not normal. Can you spell overeaters anonymous, lifetime memberships to WW and gastric bypass when thier childhood conditioning that small waists are not normal is exposed and they want to become healthy? Weight and body issues go both ways gals.

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the ethnic variety in barbie's circle of friends is minimal... one may have slightly smaller boobies, or brown hair, or green instead of blue eyeshadow... but there isn't that much of a difference for me to be all that impressed.
You need a better store.lol Ours have Barbies of different ethnic backgrounds.

I would like to thank each and everyone of you who believe that I(or my former pre-baby self as my stomach is 2" bigger and has a slight pooch) and my slightly larger but still small waist and large breasts am not normal, unrealistic, not real, etc. As a 13year old I must have been hell on any child in my high school and the elementary school for being so unrealistic for having a small waist and large breasts(which were porn perky back then). I can't imagine what little self esteem I would have had at such a critical point in my life to hear the things being said about fake people like I was back then, but as long as YOUR child wasn't exposed I guess it would have been okay, right?

How come nobody ever complains that Ken has a muscular 6(or 8?) pack?

Double standard?
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Old 09-21-2005, 11:23 AM
 
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Carrie, there is nothing human about Barbie's proportions. her legs are way too long, she is way too thin, etc etc etc... I saw on TV once where they took a photo of a woman, and gave her Barbie's proportions. It was actually pretty funny to see. But other than that, I totally agree with you.

I think what really bothers people about barbie is that she's girly. In the 80's, when most of us were at our most impressionable, feminism meant disdain for anything typically associated with women, and women were busy trying to fit themselves into the "man's world" businesswomen were dressing in suits and ties, and anything and everything associated with feminine qualities was seen as less desirable, inferior, and bad. Stay at home moms were seen to be weak and pathetic. All of the females in childrens' stories and movies were either weak pitiful and beautiful, or strong ugly and evil. Strong women were bitches. Sexual women were sluts. There was a negative term for any type of woman you can imagine. And so many women still believe those things, even those who consider themselves to be liberated. It's very hard for people to let go of these very oppressive stereotypes, and Barbie gets a bad rap because she is a girl toy. You don't see anyone talking about how horrible Tonka trucks are for a boy's self-esteem (I can imagine it might go something like this - "oh, yeah, teach him he has to have a big truck to make up for his small :" :LOL)
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Old 09-21-2005, 12:11 PM
 
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Carrie,

You make some good points. We need to not make girls & women who are normally thin feel like freaks either. I do try to be conscious of that, especially since DD is a tall thin girl right now. I don't say anything to her about Barbie either way actually. I keep much of the discussiona away from her. I have had discussion with my 7 yo nephew though about how I don't think Barbie looks like most women & that women are beautiful in all shapes & sizes.

I don't think that Barbie or any one thing can effect a girl's outlook on herself or self esteem. I think its a combination of many factors. Barbie for some reason has just become this icon of love or hate in feminine beauty.

I must admit that part of the reason I don't like Barbie is the girly part of it. I'm just not that. I think the little rebel in me just dislikes her too. :LOL

I do bounce back in forth on the whole thing. It amazes me how one doll can bring up so much shit! Ah, this whole parenting thing sometimes.....

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Old 09-21-2005, 12:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stafl
All of the females in childrens' stories and movies were either weak pitiful and beautiful, or strong ugly and evil.
There is an excellant book called "Great Books for Girls" that lists books with strong female characters. Your library should have this book.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 09-21-2005, 12:43 PM
 
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Carrie, there is nothing human about Barbie's proportions. her legs are way too long, she is way too thin, etc etc etc...
Perhaps true, but nobody complains about her legs being too long or her being too thing. I normally avoid Barbie, etc threads but I couldn't sleep last night so I read every post. The ones who were complaining only mentioned breast size and waist size. There are people with "unnaturally" long legs, or short legs or thinness or fluffiness or wide or thin waists or large or small breasts. Sure it'd be great if they made dolls in all sizes, but it isn't going to happen. If people want it to happen then IMO they need to come up with better reasons and then campaign Mattel or whoever makes Barbie. It still won't change much since it is such a worldwide known product. Barbie is not as unproportionate as she used to be.

I was born in '76 so the 80's I was a child in the right ages to play with Barbies. The anti-female sexualism was not something which was ever came across my mind, I probably didn't even know about it until the 90's.lol Barbie was a toy who often kicked my younger brother's Gi-Jo's ass alot and twisted Gi-Jo's head around just because she could.

If you want to talk about a toy that is unrealistic, look at Lego people. Last I checked we weren't rectangles.lol
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Old 09-21-2005, 01:07 PM
 
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Not only are Barbie's proportions all wrong, so are super models in magazines. Did you know that the women, who are already a standard most of us cannot meet up to, are photoshopped? Their legs are stretched to look longer and their boobs are made to look bigger and their skin is flawless. No wonder some of the so called most beautiful women in the world have serious body issues. It's sad. But I don't balme Barbie!

There are some really cute dolls made by Barbie - I forgot what they are called, but they have oversized heads (not bratz - who, IMO, are WAY worse than Barbie.) and they are ballerinas, in rain suits, in bathing suits - DD likes those. She also does have the vet barbie which came with a cool x-ray machine.

I played with barbies and I am fine. But I also played with balls and climbed trees and built go carts. :LOL
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Old 09-21-2005, 01:09 PM
 
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Barbies are cheaply made plastic crap.

so many roads to ease my soul...

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Old 09-21-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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Not only are Barbie's proportions all wrong, so are super models in magazines. Did you know that the women, who are already a standard most of us cannot meet up to, are photoshopped? Their legs are stretched to look longer and their boobs are made to look bigger and their skin is flawless. No wonder some of the so called most beautiful women in the world have serious body issues. It's sad. But I don't balme Barbie!
I was looking at a Avon catalogue last week and someone got a little overabmitious with the airbrush. It was very obvious that too much was taken away and if you met the model irl her waist would have been the length of your hand.
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Old 09-21-2005, 09:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CarrieMF
You need a better store.lol Ours have Barbies of different ethnic backgrounds.
um... my family owns a retail store, that sells barbies, of all different ethnicities. my husband happens to be the toy buyer. it's great that barbie comes in different shades of brown skin and different hair colors... but we're still talking about a very narrow definition of beauty. barbie, no matter what her skin tone, has the same proportions the same facial features, etc... it's not that there is something WRONG with being thin and busty. what's wrong is the idea that thin and busty is the ONLY way a woman should be, if she wants to be beautiful.

i'm sure someone's already mentioned this, but...
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If scaled into real life proportions, she would be 5 feet, 9 inches, (1.75 m) measuring 36-18-33. According to research by the University Central Hospital in Helsinki, Finland, she would lack the requisite 17 to 22 percent of body fat required to menstruate. [1] The chances of meeting someone with Barbie's measurements is 1 in 100,000.
now, don't get me wrong... i don't think there is anything wrong or ugly with thin and busty blonde haired blue eyed women. my own daughter is a tall and slender blonde haired blue eyed (and if she's anything like me) future busty woman! but i still can't get past the man-toy origins, the rampant consumerism, the narrow definition of beauty... i don't think my daughter's entire self esteem rests on her choice of doll, but i don't want to pretend that barbie (and most popular children's media) is already selling them the idea that if they were only thinner and prettier, with deep closets, that they would find bliss.
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Old 09-22-2005, 07:09 PM
 
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I've really enjoyed reading everyone's responses to this thread. DD is almost 3, but my MIL has been threatening to unleash my SIL's old Barbie collection on us since DD turned 2!

I never had Barbies as a child (my parents had a problem with the message they conveyed, etc.), but by the time my youngest sister was born, 10 years after I was, my parents loosened up a little and she was allowed to have some.

While I think I'll do my best to keep my home Barbie-free, I won't freak out if she receives gifts that have Barbie's name on them.

Brackin
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Old 09-23-2005, 12:14 PM
 
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i never had barbies when i was little. i swore my daughter would never have barbies. but i think when you ban a toy from your house it makes it more appealing. she has a few i've bought her used . she played with them about 2 days and now they are at the bottom of her toy box.
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Old 09-23-2005, 12:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveMyLittles
barbies, of all different ethnicities. my husband happens to be the toy buyer. it's great that barbie comes in different shades of brown skin and different hair colors... but we're still talking about a very narrow definition of beauty. barbie, no matter what her skin tone, has the same proportions the same facial features, etc... it's not that there is something WRONG with being thin and busty. what's wrong is the idea that thin and busty is the ONLY way a woman should be, if she wants to be beautiful.
This is part of my problem as well. You are starting to see more variance in beauty pagents these days but not enough. The women of other ethnicities that are allowed into the "beauty" circle look just like a white woman (bone structure wise) who just has more melanin in her skin. When will we see a wide chin structure and wider nose on a beautiful doll? Part of my problem with barbie is the whole look-alike thing. I also wish they would put out a more athletic body as opposed to the emaciated body. I want my daughter to follow after the "strong woman, wise woman, successful woman" path over the "hot party babe that shops a lot and focuses on clothes a ton". I love the idea of an adult doll but the options I would agree with are limited.
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Old 10-05-2005, 11:01 PM
 
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My DD liked barbies too, But We don't have a lot of room to store all of the goodies, and I HATE berbie. We mad a compromise. If she got rid of her barbies and brats (ugly nasty little dolls that wear g-strings *shudder* I would let her get any large polly pocket dolls that she wanted. *smile*

Polly is still a lot about buying things and having lots of clothes, but she dosen't wear a load of makeup, and isn't hugely malproportioned. Polly is a 6th grader (or thereabouts) so dosen't have hips and large breasts. There are boys and gilrs, dogs, horses, cats etc, and the movie that was given out with one of the toys teaches creativity, problem solving, and coping with "disaster" in an efficient manner. *smile* Just because polly is rich and has a lot of stuff dosen't mean she is a bad character. *smile*

My youngest (4) also plays with the pollys, but she prefers her ponies which we have NO accessories for besides a toy barn and a fence. She plays with her 5 ponies the same as most children play with their dolls. *smile*
-K
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Old 10-06-2005, 03:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by never
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.

exactly.

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Old 10-06-2005, 03:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mystic~mama
exactly.
Awesome. Someone agreed with me.
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by never
Awesome. Someone agreed with me.

I didnt get to finish my whole reply...

I was surprised to read all the posts which said barbie wasnt that big of a deal...I disagree. I read many replies saying, I played with them and I'm fine or I dont think they are harmful, I dont see any harm done.... ....

our girls are slowely shaped and molded and barbie is a part of it just like what never said..

I wont buy one for my dd...I think she would like them, they appeal to little girls, what girl wouldnt play with it but it is up to me her mother to deciede what shapes my daughters image of women and life so to me Barbie is a big deal and something I am not willing to allow in my home.

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Old 10-06-2005, 07:50 PM
 
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My experience with Barbie... I played with them allot, the not so glamourous ones (the fake ones!) ...I'd cut off their hair and make them into boys LOL LOL and they used to drive around in fruit basket cars on dates...I acted out alot of dramas with my barbies... and I think we all have all sorts of dramas we need to act out whether we want to admit it or not, and it's probably better done with barbie than in real life .... I didn't end up anorexic, or a consumerist, ... I still am same old me veg head , with dreads and not a dime to my name LOL
But that said Barbies are kinda freaky, but sometimes when you are playing your in an imaginative state anyway...probably what i'm trying to say is they won't tarnish the child for life or anything

: Lisa
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Old 10-06-2005, 09:26 PM
 
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lisa,

I like your take on it...I realize mine is extreme and as I learn time and time again,

never say never...


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Old 10-06-2005, 09:36 PM
 
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I found this thread and thought it to be toatally crazy! i think I have to agree with this post.
Lisa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move
My DDs have Barbies. They got interested in Barbie when they were very young and now (they are 7 and 8) have pretty much outgrown Barbie.

I agree with pretty much everything you are saying about Barbies, but the bottom line for me is that I don't feel the need to control which toys my kids can play with. When I was weighing the decision, I had to figure out which of my parenting values was more important -- my desire to give my kids as much control over their own lives as possible OR my dislike for Barbie's unrealistic proportions.

.

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Old 10-07-2005, 06:27 PM
 
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My family deals with forbidden gifts the same way we deal with halloween candy (they are allergic to blue 1 and red 40, and are not allowed to have caremel, and are restricted on their chocolate intake)

We still go trick-or-treating, but we sort the candy together picking out the red, blue, orange, caramel, and green candies that they cannot have. Then we weigh the candy and I pay them per pound store value that I would have to pay to buy the candy. Then we go to the storeand they can use that money to buy something they are allowed to have like a toy or sugar-free naturally-dyed candy.

Essentially, your kids won't be dissappointed when they can't have a gift they are given if they are allowed to return it for something else they are allowed to have. And you can STILL instill your values about the forbidden item by talking about it with your child and looking at it when you are returning it. It DEFINITELY does not need to stay in your house for you to teach how much you dislike it and why.I think that's rather counter-productive, as it can teach your children to accept meekly the things that they despise instead of standing up for what they beleive in. (my opinion)
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:47 PM
 
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Yeah sure Barbie seems harmless, and a lot of our generation played with them...

There is also a lot of image issues and eating disorders with our generation too, had to come from somewhere...

I just tell my 4yr. old I'm sorry honey our family does not buy into Barbie, she is not an appropriate toy (BratZ dolls included) . If she plays with them somewhere else that's fine. I'm just not spending any money where Barbie is concerned.

She seems to be ok with it and at Target the other day when we went by the "dreded " isle, she kept saying , " That's not appropriate mom, they shouln't have Barbie here" Can't tell you how happy I was, even if I got some weird looks from other moms.
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:54 PM
 
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rebeccer~~



your raising a smart little girl! :LOL

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Old 10-10-2005, 09:11 PM
 
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I played with Barbie. I wanted to grow up to look like my mom and aunts. I really don't have a problem with the doll herself.

What I do have a problem with is mass-produced, environmentally harmful, consumerist crap.

When my dd is old enough to specifically ask for a Barbie, if she does, we will find one at a second hand store or a garage sale.
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Old 10-11-2005, 07:36 PM
 
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My mom wouldn't buy me barbies but I was welcome to buy them with my own money. I had several and I loved them! Every birthday for several years I'd use my cash gifts to buy barbie stuff. I loved barbie and yet I turned out quite well adjusted :LOL

I'll probably buy barbies for dd if she wants them. I'm just over being terribly concerned about things that I honestly don't think make that big of a difference in the grand scheme of life. It takes a lot more than a few barbie dolls to create an eating disorder, imho.
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Old 10-11-2005, 07:46 PM
 
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We had a barbie (she tanned and her scalp turned so you could choose blond or brown hair). I never really thought of her as the perfect female form or compared myself to her, she just fit better in the dollhouse than my other dolls. I think my body image problems came from my dad telling me I was fat, not barbie.
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Old 10-13-2005, 01:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by luckylady
Not only are Barbie's proportions all wrong, so are super models in magazines. Did you know that the women, who are already a standard most of us cannot meet up to...
Interesting phrasing. I have no desire to "meet up to" the "standards" of a fashion model. I think many (most?) of them look unhealthy, and not particularly attractive. Photoshopping them to exaggerate that just strikes me as odd. I'm not sure why a look that a healthy woman would find virtually impossible to achieve is considered desirable by some, but it doesn't interest me at all.

With respect to dd - I think she'll learn a lot more about what it means to be a woman from interacting with me and her aunts and grandmothers on a day-to-day basis than she'll ever learn from some stupid doll someone buys her, if they happen to do so.

I didn't like Barbie as a child. I enjoyed toy cars, stuffed toys, Lego, my microscope, my cap rifle, my Etch-a-Sketch, running around outside, magic tricks....lots of things. I have serious issues with food, if not a full-blown eating disorder. That's not because of pictures in magazines or skinny celebrities, and it's certainly not because of the Barbies I didn't play with. It's because the wife of the man who was molesting me bought me off with candy. Barbie doesn't worry me that much - there are much more malign influences on children's thinking.

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Old 10-13-2005, 02:28 AM
 
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At 4 years old I don't think my dd needs a fashion doll, anyway.

As much as I hate barbie, if she gets to be 7 or so and wants a fashion doll, I much prefer barbie to Bratz. I have an all out ban on anything Bratz related and I'm not giving an inch on it. She calls them "those dolls that mommy hates!" >:/
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Old 10-16-2005, 04:02 PM
 
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recently, the Barbie's in my house staged a protest against Circuses, Fur, and the Iams company. ( that was damn funny).
1 Barbie is a Midwife and has a complete set of tools and bags that she takes with her to the homebirths of the other Barbies. It is also widely accepted in our home that poor Barbie cannot breastfeed because she was born without nipples, poor dear.

The point to my insanity? Barbie and playing with dolls are what you and your child make of them. Likewise you can let a couple of rowdy kids loose with a couple of handcrafted Waldorf dolls and watch them wrestle and craft guns out of sticks.
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