No Barbies Allowed!
I have been asked why I feel so strongly about not allowing Barbie Dolls in our home.
To follow are reasons why I believe it is better to leave them on the store shelf.

1) It may be the most obvious of reasons... but Barbie’s appearance is unrealistic and unobtainable. Many people still hold this to be a standard of beauty... voluptuous but thin... exaggerated, long legs with feet permanently molded for high heels... long, blonde hair (you MUST be blonde)... blue eyes... perky, blank look on your face. There are so many beautiful shapes, sizes and colors in the world... why are we still glamorizing the Aryan look?

2) Barbie teaches young girls to be materialistic. There isn’t much to do with Barbie except collect clothes, accessories, dream houses and pink Corvettes. The commercialism of this doll is nauseating... she is everywhere. If all the money spent on accessories for a doll were instead used to feed the hungry, create scholarships for young women, restore pride to our neighborhoods... you know where I’m going with this one. I would much rather my time, money and energy go to empowering my daughter. I would much rather her to be outside, exploring her world than inside dressing and undressing a doll in baubles and evening wear.

3) Barbie’s niche is a big, fat stereotype! You can purchase “Shopping Fun Barbie,” “Ballerina Barbie,” I once saw a girl unwrap “Barbie’s Laundromat” - a birthday gift from her mother.

This is an old argument as well... and the people who make Barbie have created “Teacher Barbie” and “Pet Doctor Barbie” (I guess they didn’t think there would be an interest in “Barbie, MD”) but that doesn’t even begin to graze the stereotype of what is women’s work. Don’t get me wrong... I am a stay at home mom... I do so by educated choice. If I wanted to pursue a full time career outside of the home I would be fully supported by the people around me. It was my choice to take a very active role in raising my daughter so I could battle the daily bombardment of stereotypes (even as a baby she accompanies me to my outside interests.) Yes, I do the laundry - but I don't own a pink ironing board.

4) If you don't think children are effected by all this, read the following about my 5 year old niece...

A while back, when she was 4 years old, my niece asked If I would play Barbies with her. She would be Ken and I would be Barbie and I had to do everything that Ken told me to do (her words!) We had the dolls walk up to each other ‘do da dee da doo’ then I said (as Barbie to Ken), “Hi, honey. Boy was it a hectic day at the law firm. My case load is overwhelming right now. Did you shampoo the carpeting?” My niece gave me this ‘you’re not playing right’ look and said, “Here, you be Ken and I’ll be Barbie. You’re not very good at this.”

Please email me with your comments.


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