Recently, I opened my daughter's first barbies. I found them sitting in their closet, just waiting to be played with after I bought them last Christmas because I was so excited to be shopping for girls.
The girls each got one from the boxes and looked at their new dolls with curiosity.
"This was mommy's favorite toy growing up."
I know there is a lot that people have to say about Barbies, and I'm not here to defend the way her body looks. To be honest, I don't think I really thought about Barbie's body when I was a kid. The most I noticed about her body was that her legs didn't bend all the way when she was sitting, and that some came with straight arms and some came with bent arms. I didn't compare my body to hers. I thought she was pretty, of course, and I also thought that princesses were pretty, beauty queens were pretty, girls going to prom were pretty, brides were pretty, and my mom was pretty.
I think that we as parents may put too much emphasis on things like bodies that our kids probably wouldn't even consider if we weren't pointing it out. Why would I let a doll decide the way my daughters feel about themselves, anyway? It's my job, as their mother, to help provide them with the strength they need to face the society we live in and to go out into it as strong young women that are confident in themselves and their bodies.
I'll be ok with my daughters playing with Barbies as they grow up because Barbie helped create friendship for me that has lasted a lifetime.
My sister and I had a huge Barbie collection growing up. My parents literally had to partition off part of the basement so that all our Barbies could live it up in their Malibu Dream House with their boyfriends, the New Kids on the Block. Yeah, we didn't get the point of Ken, he was obviously too clean cut, and we needed boys with a little more grit. Makes sense, now, that my sister is engaged to a guy that grew up in Boston.
This is the version of the dream house we had. We LOVED that house.
I remember my first Barbie. She had a gown that was also a handbag. And she could take the handbag part of the gown off and have a cute short dress underneath. I loved dressing her, I loved all the barbie shoes. I remember the Miss America barbies we got, and cowgirl barbie, and all the skippers, too. Oh and let's not forget my favorite, totally hair barbie. I think I had that one in every variety she came in.
Totally Hair Barbie. My fave.
My sister and I played Barbies together daily. When I think of the countless hours we spent playing barbies and being friends, I look forward to my daughters doing the same. I can't wait until I hear them playing make believe with their dolls, creating memories that they will have when they have daughters of their own.
What do you think of your daughters playing with Barbies? Are you for or against it?