Monday, February 8, 2010

A Shocking Turn of Opinion

Those of you who have been following my blog from the very beginning will find this to be a shocking post! The above pic shows a couple of Alathia's birthday presents. Including (gasp!) a Barbie!!! One of my first-ever posts on this blog, which I deleted a year or more ago because it was lame, explored whether or not Barbies were okay for little girls to play with. I had read an article talking about the evils of Barbies and was inclined to agree with their points but still was unsure. Over these last few years as I've thought more about it and watched my daughter play with them continually at friend's homes and question why she couldn't have any of her own, etc. I came to the realization that I was comfortable with her playing with them. I grew up with them and had much fun with my Barbies and have a healthy perspective on what true beauty is in spite of not having a body that looks like Barbie's. And I'm pleased with the changes they have made in her physique even since I was a kid in the eighties.
My husband, however, wasn't as "on-board". But, after some serious discussion on the issue he revealed that his biggest concern was for our boys. Let's face it, most little girls with Barbies leave them naked all over the house, and he didn't want our boys growing up seeing that all the time, even though they are only dolls. Though I wanted Alathia to be able to have a Barbie, I did understand and agree with his point. So, he said if there were Barbies that had "painted-on" swimsuits like the little Dora dolls she had received for Christmas, then she could have them. I was doubtful of finding any that fit this description since I had seen few, if any, when I was a child. One night when Josiah took his little girl on a Daddy/Daughter Date they had ice-cream at McDonalds and went across the street to walk through Alco together (lots of exciting things to do on a winter night in this town!) He saw a Cinderella doll (just like a Barbie) in the toy section that had a painted on swim dress that changed colors in water. He came home and excitedly told me I could go back and purchase it sometime for her upcoming birthday.
I, being the frugal zealot that I am, looked online for deals and also determined that I could not pay the $15 for the doll without first checking Wal-Mart. So when I did my huge shopping trip in a nearby town a week ago to shop for bulk cooking I looked through the Barbie section in this "real" store and called Josiah excitedly on the cell. They had ballerina Barbies for only $6 with painted on leotards AND tights! And Alathia is having an Angelina Ballerina birthday party so the theme fits! The princess dolls with the bathing suits like he had seen at Alco were only $7.50! And, they had much more variety; four different kinds instead of one! They also had Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, and Sleeping Beauty ballerina Barbies for around $7 with the painted on outfits too! We ended up getting her the brunette ballerina pictured above and my mom got her the Cinderella ballerina as a gift from Grammy so she will have two that she can play with together!
In the future I think it will be fun to sew little outfits and accesories for her Barbies. If any of you have ideas in this department, please share them! Alathia is REALLY into dressing her dolls up now and she would love having some fancy ballgowns or long dresses for her ballerina ladies to wear.
I do not look down upon mothers who have made different choices. I highly respect those who feel Barbies are not a good toy for their daughters and veto them completely and I highly respect those who are very laid-back and see no reason to limit their choices of Barbies. It is a decision that those of us with little girls have to make as a couple.


Guntzel Girls said...

I bet she will be soooo excited on her birthday! We also played with Barbies a lot when we were little and I don't think they had any negative effects on our self-concepts. We never had any brothers, though, so I hadn't thought of the effects Barbies might have on boys. Thanks for bringing that up!


The Three 22nds said...

I got my first barbie when I was in 3rd grade- I ripped the package open at a birthday party before my mother could return it! After that we got some more but had a rule: permanent underwear. Our barbies were all required to have at least a one piece leotard/swimsuit on. She would not tolerate naked barbies laying around the house.

We were all girls in our house, but now with little boys in the house I can see Josiah's point.

I have some barbies that I have taken out occasionally and let the boys play with, but they like the baby ones better anyway.

I am not sure what we will do if we have a girl!

the momma said...

you could (WITHOUT ANY HELPERS PRESENT!) use nail polish to paint on 'clothing' if you run across some naked bargain dolls.

I wish you success on sewing Barbie clothes :-) I don't think I would attempt sewing something so tiny. My mother in law used to sew Barbie clothes for her girls - complete with facings, if you can imagine. I always hated it when she'd inspect my sewing....

Lea said...

The pattern catalogues have barbie (I believe the label used is actually 'fashion doll') patterns and there are some lovely crochet patterns for historic ball gowns out there as well. Look at garage sales and thrift stores for 1970/1980 style barbie clothes patterns if you want things that might be more modest - you should be able to get them for a song. Our JoAnn Fabrics has $1 pattern sales on two brands a couple of times a year so you can get new patterns inexpensively as well.

Sewing on them is a bit of a pain - they're SO tiny! - but it's a great way to use up scraps and help your daughter learn about picking material.


Thia said...

What fun she'll have! The big Barbie "thing" here is that I have to confiscate any accesories that come in the house. I can't have shoes ending up in the babies our Barbies go barefoot.

LS said...

Good idea themomma! I'll have to try that!

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