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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> OK dd had her first party (5 yrs), I knew it was going to happen at some point, but one of the gifts, in fact there were only 2 that I would consider appropriate<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> , OK so that's my problem - right?!? Barbie, My Little Pony and Cinderella's Palace - all singing, all dancing, of course the favourite is Barbie, so do you just let it go, or one day are we just not able to find them - is this really terrible to think, am I that ungrateful, I guess I just thought that people would know what we would prefer - or maybe I should have just said no presents - or is that even worse - genuinely WWYD?, don't flame me too much for being ungrateful - I am grateful, we're not blessed with loads of money so gifts are appreciated, I guess I just hoped for more appropriate things, but if dd is delighted and LOVES (her words not mine) her Barbie, do I just get on and let it go and maybe thank heavens that it has at least taken 5 years to get one! (DH was horrified and wanted to bin the whole lot last night - I did manage to talk him out of that one!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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When DD1 was getting rewards at the 99cent store for potty training, she picked out a knock-off Barbie once. I hated it! But she thought it was great. I let her have it. I had them as a kid and I turned out okay. Mostly, she just likes to undress her and stuff. She's also fascinated with the over-sized boobs, but she has a boob fixation (sp?) right now. She refuses to pretend nurse anymore because she knows she doesn't have boobs <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
At 5, I think your DD would notice if her doll disappeared. I would let her have it. I just wouldn't buy any accessesories and encourage it to much. Maybe she has a tiny baby, and they could play mommy and baby. Or her Barbie could go to "school" and become a brain surgeon?
 

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The gifts are for her, correct? I see a lot of talk about people knowing what "we" like or think is appropriate -- I assume you are talking about dh and yourself?<br><br>
These are your daughter's gifts. They are not violent or pornographic or illegal -- even if they send social/gender messages you don't appreciate (and I agree!), the best way to counter-balance that is just to live your life. Believe me, she will learn way more from you than she will from Barbie.<br><br>
I would think the resentment from taking away something she so obviously enjoys will have longer reaching consequences for your relationship than playing with a big boobed blond doll will.<br><br>
I vote to let her keep it. They are her gifts after all and I don't think you should have a say in what she likes or doesn't like (as long as they aren't the above mentioned examples).
 

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I hate barbie, I never liked her as a kid either but my oldest dd's granny loved barbie & never had a girl of her own & bought dd lots of barbies, she grew out of them & passed them to her sister, at wich point I gave up & even bought one barbie, it was a Navajo barbie, I was just so happy that they had a NDN barbie that wasn't pocahontas. Anyway dd #2 will be 7 this fall & she has gotton rid of all her barbies except her Navajo barbie. The barbie thing will end & her baby dolls & kitchen set have outlasted barbie.<br>
Anyway next year, let the other parents know what kinds of things your dd likes (as in what you approve of). I usually do this, although I don't have as many toy dislikes as some parents I have found that for the most part toys that I am not thrilled about don't tend to hold my dc's attention for long. Must admit that barbie was a couple of years, but in the scheme of things that doesn't seem long now.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>captain crunchy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9031409"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I vote to let her keep it. They are her gifts after all and I don't think you should have a say in what she likes or doesn't like.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
Boring, but relevant story:<br>
My Dad absolutely went bonkers when he caught me playing Barbies with the girl who lived next door. I got a spanking, wasn't allowed to play with her for a week, and was told that Barbies were not "appropriate" (paraphrasing- I doubt my Dad has ever used the word "appropriate" in his life) for boys and that if I wanted to play with dolls that I should play with my G.I. Joe.<br><br>
The thing is, I never had the slightest desire to be or to emulate Barbie in any way...Barbie just had way cooler accessories than G.I. Joe: Barbie had colorful outfits; Joe had drab uniforms, Barbie had a house with real furniture and appliances; Joe had a "command center" with no place to cook or sleep, Barbie had all the things one might actually use in real life; Joe had an unhealthy fascination with firearms and other implements of destruction that had no use in day-to-day life.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BamaDude</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9031867"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The thing is, I never had the slightest desire to be or to emulate Barbie in any way...Barbie just had way cooler accessories than G.I. Joe: Barbie had colorful outfits; Joe had drab uniforms, Barbie had a house with real furniture and appliances; Joe had a "command center" with no place to cook or sleep, Barbie had all the things one might actually use in real life; Joe had an unhealthy fascination with firearms and other implements of destruction that had no use in day-to-day life.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Let her keep them. My experience is that toys with play value get played with, and the ones without don't. So, those you can sneak out to the garage, and leave them there until she notices they're missing. With any luck, she won't.<br><br>
There are worse toys than My Little Pony or Barbie (really).
 

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When my dd was little Barbie was a major area of contention between us. She desperately wanted Barbie and I hated her. I finally gave in because it was causing too much strife between us. She ended up with a huge Barbie collection over time and played with them a ton. She is now 15 and also hates Barbie. She has the best body image of any teen girl I have met and is so confident and sure of herself. I kept the dialogue open about what I don't like about Barbie and apparently she listened while she played with them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I am glad I didn't alienate her over a toy and that we are so close and she feels so good about herself. It just proved to me that it is about the parenting and what we tell our kids and how we act much more than some random toy they play with.<br>
Wendi
 

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If she loves it, let her keep it!<br><br>
I grew up in a family that collects Barbies (I had over 100 by the time I was 7), but who also valued real women. I got a lot of talks about how Barbie was a fictional character, and no one really looks or acts like that, it's all make-believe, etc.<br><br>
I think a toy can only do as much damage as a parent will let it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I totally disagree that you don't get a say in what she likes or dislikes. Well sort of <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I mean, obviously you don't get to say what she likes or don't likes, but you do get a say in what influences you want in your child's life. If you'e not ok with Barbie, you are under no obligation to keep the gift or let her play with it.<br><br>
My 5yo got barbies as well for her birthday. But, she also really, really wanted a video that she didn't get so, I gave her the option of taking the barbie back and using the money for the video which she chose to do. (taking stuff back is easy since most everything comes from target or walmart)<br><br>
I've also had barbie or other stuff I feel is inappropriate "disappear". Kids loose toys all the time. They don't suffer long term damage when toys disappear so I have no qualms about making nasty toys disappear. By the next day, she's forgotten about it anyway.<br><br>
Bottom line is that just because this was given to your DD as a gift doesn't mean you are obligated to alter your feelings as a parent. If you don't like it, don't feel it portrays an image you're comfortable with etc... it's your call.<br><br>
Personally, if it's already open, I'd let her play with it for a few days. Chances are she'll loose interest and at that point, I'd throw it away or donate it or whatever.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lactivist</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9032770"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When my dd was little Barbie was a major area of contention between us. She desperately wanted Barbie and I hated her. I finally gave in because it was causing too much strife between us. She ended up with a huge Barbie collection over time and played with them a ton. She is now 15 and also hates Barbie. She has the best body image of any teen girl I have met and is so confident and sure of herself. I kept the dialogue open about what I don't like about Barbie and apparently she listened while she played with them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I am glad I didn't alienate her over a toy and that we are so close and she feels so good about herself. It just proved to me that it is about the parenting and what we tell our kids and how we act much more than some random toy they play with.<br>
Wendi</div>
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Thank you for sharing this! I haven't faced the Barbie thing yet, but I know it is coming, because I so dislike Barbie and therefore, I know it is inevitable that my DD will adore her. so, your post gives me hope!<br><br>
To the OP - let it ride for a while, and see what happens. Usually the toys I despise end up going to the bottom of the pile, and then I put them on "permanent assignment" in a box in the basement (we do rotation with all our toys, so the kids are used to things coming and going). I also find that if I let go of my dislike of the toy (not saying you have to love it, just not muttering curses at it under your breath!), then she starts to care less about it. They feel everything we think, I'm convinced!
 

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I have been wondering what I will do when this (inevitably) comes up with us. I've decided not to give the (damned) doll too much power. It's not the dolls themselves that bother me, rather the narrative of female-helplessness that the movies and often the stories present. Regarding the negative body-image argument, I'd say there's so much in culture that feeds that, I'm not going to lay that all on the doll if DD liked it and wanted to play with it.<br><br>
I've only skimmed your other responses but I agree with the PP who said "make her a brain surgeon" or something to that effect! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
All that said, I really hate Barbie myself and I never played with her as a kid. However, she seems almost Amish compared to a lot of the dolls and toys for young girls now.
 

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My dd is a preteen who plays with Barbie and also has a wonderful healthy self image. We try not to ban toys, tho we don't play with guns <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
What's the matter with My Pretty Pony?
 

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my girls like barbie- they draw all over her face and legs so she can have "pretty tatoos!"<br>
The barbie movies lately have some redeeming quality, focusing on her being the hero, and not helpless.<br>
But I make sure to tell them, that real girls don't look like barbie, and she is a toy/doll, just like raggedy ann, or dora.<br>
they seem okay with that.<br><br>
now Bratz?<br>
no way- they are appalling, just their name is enough to keep us away.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>amyjeans</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9034720"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">my girls like barbie- they draw all over her face and legs so she can have "pretty tatoos!"<br>
The barbie movies lately have some redeeming quality, focusing on her being the hero, and not helpless.<br>
But I make sure to tell them, that real girls don't look like barbie, and she is a toy/doll, just like raggedy ann, or dora.<br>
they seem okay with that.<br><br>
now Bratz?<br>
no way- they are appalling, just their name is enough to keep us away.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
Not much more to add to the above!<br><br>
I was pleasantly surprised at the Barbie video I saw recently (though I did think that the "redeeming qualities" were probably added for the parents and my DD probably wasn't paying much attention to them - more just the pretty clothes! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> )<br><br>
The eternal question - at what point does limiting your children's toys/books/videos/videogames/dolls go beyond helpful and turn them into "forbidden fruit?" We just have to do our best and use our judgment and knowledge of our children in our decision making process.
 

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Here's a weird idea that just crossed my mind as I read this.<br><br>
We don't have Barbie. She does not appeal to Dd (fortunately her peer group of homeschoolers have emulated fascination with other thigs).<br><br>
But I saw one in a store while shopping alone and I thought the accessories were so cute. I almost wanted the tiny teacups to play with myself!<br><br>
As a child, I had a friend who had Barbie. I never much liked it but I played along, mostly to be companionable. And by the way, it never occurred to me that this plastic thing had anything to do with what I might or might not look like some day.<br><br>
I'm wondering about actually going for some accessories; one that you like. I differ a bit with those who say a child's tastes must be fully honored. How much of a child's tastes are really their own anyway when they may be exposed to friends, to media, to the stores. So why not instill some good parental taste too? Get the accessories you like - this will also make the whole thing less awful for you.<br><br>
Then, maybe you can replace Barbie (she might disappear under the couch or someplace, after the initial love, she'll probably be forgotten, as happens with many children) with some nice Magic Cabin little blossom doll; a similar size, but a world different from Barbie.<br><br>
Just an idea for you, in case you need some others.
 

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I think Barbie can be just another doll especially if your DD doesn't watch TV and see Barbie in commercials or movies.<br>
I am reading, "Packaging girhood" and it fascinating and Barbie is mentioned b/c of it's marketing.<br>
Polly pockets were mentioned also b/c apparently these dolls go clubbing and have pool parties and do things children are not doing...but my DD has polly pockets and she has never once seen a polly pocket commercial so her dolls; Barbie, Pollys and Beanies play imagination games.<br>
Barbie has been her grandmother and her POP pop in many a game.<br>
I think the fashion side of Barbie is the boring and also the most worrisomepart....but Barbie can be fine addition to the dolls (and trucks and puzzles and books and balls and blocks.) that ALL kids play with<br><br><br>
Bamadude..I'm sorry that happened to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I guess my problem is that I don't like Barbie, never have, even as a child I didn't like dolls in general and dd is such a girlie girl it's put me in a bit of a spin really - anyway thank you all for your responses.<br><br>
I think your right in that dd would notice if her most prized possession disappeared - I don't think I would have done it but it cross my mind for more that a minute or two!! However, I will tell her how I feel about Barbie and the representations etc., I like the idea of turning her into a brain surgeon or pilot or something like that - buying an accessory which could represent something else to dd other than the garish sparkling bright pink dress she turned up in<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> , and yes it could have been SO much worse and if a Bratz arrived I'm afraid that I wouldn't even think about putting her out in the bin - thank heavens they are not too popular over here - guess there is one plus to living in suburbian paris scrawl!! The kids don't watch too much TV, and I don't let them watch the channels where there are adverts so that's a bonus and most of the time if they want something to watch it's a DVD which we've got when back in Scotland, I'll have a look into the Barbie DVDs and maybe I'll surprise her!! DD has a very positive body image which I am very conscious (sp?) of promoting (something which was very difficult for me and still is - don't want to put my dilemmas on my child as my mother did to me) and as for the big boobs - she won't realise probably because mine are so enormous!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> So deep breath, problem resolved and we just wait for the next thing that life throws at us!<br><br>
Lactivist - your post has really helped me and the one that I probably relate to most so thank you for your honesty!<br><br>
PS the My Little Pony - nothing wrong I guess, it's just it's all bright sweetie pink, plastic etc and feels horrible - but that's all me and dd loves them too!<br><br>
Again thanks for the replies.<br><br>
PPS Bamadude I'm sorry you had such a rough time.
 

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On the one hand, your daughter would possibly get really upset if you took the toys away (not necessarily "far reaching" consequences into your relationship, but unpleasant in the short while). And yes, they ARE your daughter's gifts. Whether they are pornographic is subjective (I consider them an unreasonable expectation of the female body, a half-baked male fantasy, and therefore borderline pornographic).<br>
On the other hand, it's OUR job to sometimes be unpopular and uphold certain messages in the household.<br>
So I genuinely would be in a quandry if I were in this position. I would probably let her use the Barbies, discuss why I had an issue with them (like PP suggested) and then wait for my DD to fall in love with a different toy and make the Barbies "disappear" one day. If she didn't notice, I'd keep them somewhere where they wouldn't be found. By anyone. Ever. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
Okay, we have the anecdotal evidence that one girl played with Barbie and grew up to have a great body image. How about this: I played with Barbie at a friend's house and I wondered for a little afterwards why I was born with dark hair. I thought blonde was so much prettier. I was five, and WAY TOO YOUNG to start having image problems. In the eighth grade, the same girls I played Barbies with would tease me about how flat-chested I was. So IMO, Barbies CAN lead to image issues, crises, and expectations for most girls.<br>
If your DD had gotten a Bratz doll, I would've suggested donating it to charity. A charity for lonely, dirty old men.<br>
Because ya know, they love that stuff.
 

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I would let her keep it. I have two daughters, and Barbie was given to both of them at parties. My 20 year old is now a super-feminist.<br><br>
One of my daughters was frequently invited to parties where the mother would specify on the invitations what kinds of gifts were not acceptable to her with lines such as -"No weapons please!". I have to admit that I was a bit put off by that. Part of me wanted to send my daughter off with a plastic sword. (I didn't). It seemed to me to dampen the spirit of parties and gift giving.
 

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OMg I would be the same way <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 
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