Saturday, October 2, 2010

How I deal with the Anti-Waldorf Doll

 Auri's Barbies

I've always had a serious hatred of Barbie. They always seemed to be everything I didn't want for my precious little girls. 

Plastic. Lots of make up. And let's not forget.....

Atrocious and Overtly Sexual clothing. 

I kept this out of our lives for most of Auri's 9 years. With only a few barbie play dates here and there. But it was a struggle because so many little girls have them and all of the adult life accessories that come with them. 

I've watched children play with barbies and it almost always involves adult life play that I don't want my little girls getting a taste for. "Oh, I have to get ready for my date tonight. My boyfriend is coming over." "I'm a rock star, where's my fancy car?"  " I need a bigger house. I need more clothes. I wish I made more money so I could buy more things." 

Life was always dates, parties and materialism. Not things I hope to encourage.

So when Auri became friends with the little girl across the street who played barbies I decided I needed to look at these things from a new angle or I was going to have problems. 

My new angle. 

I decided that I would look for more appropriate clothing that I would be okay with my girls wearing in real life. My rule is that if I wouldn't want to see it on my girls, then I don't want to see it on their dollies.:o)

I also found some outfits that can let them play out their real life activities.
Like Hunting Gear. Including Safety Vest.
Barbie is safe and legal when she goes hunting.:o)

I was also able to support work at home mom's and buy handmade. I can specify the materials used. If I'd wanted to I could have had organic cotton. I like being about to choose who makes my children's toys and what they're made of.
Everyday clothes and interchangeable jackets.

Because Barbie doesn't wear any and I'm not okay with that.

I bought the dresses ready made and for about the same prices as store bought. The jackets, skirts, and panties were slightly more expensive. But not enough to make me think they were pricey.

Auri made this purse for her dolls.
Is this the perfect solution to the plastic doll issue? No, I'm still not thrilled with Barbies. But at least it doesn't make me sick to know she's playing with them. 

The play is a lot more domestic with these changes. The dolls put on their aprons and cook. They take care of babies. They feed their animals. They hunt. They garden. They keep house and help each other. They sew and knit. They do the things that we do every day and they do things that I want to see my girls doing.

I don't know that the clothes made all these differences. It might be a developmental thing. But I know that when the clothes changed, the play changed. And that's a pretty good indicator to me. 

I'm glad that this isn't a thing I have to fight anymore. Having plastic dolls was not my ideal. But worrying more about the way the dolls were played with instead of what they made of has been a breakthrough for us. 

And I'm glad that this is no longer a source of such inner conflict for me.
Barbie has made her way into our home.

But she lives by our rules.:o)

Barbie clothes found on Etsy from Modest Barbie and Grandma Linda's House.


momma rae said...

good for you!! my daughter is 6 and we have not had to face this yet, but i know it's coming one day. i am impressed with how you rose to the challenge and found a way that you could be more comfortable with the play rather than banning it altogether.

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing the site where you found those adorable outfits! both of my girls love barbies. :)

dionne said...

What a great solution. So interesting how a change of clothes and the influence of a loving parent can change the play (and ultimately the lives) of our children. We haven't had Barbie forced into our world yet but I'm certainly going to keep your creative fix in mind if she ever joins us :)