Barbie Free Since ’93

It was Christmas break, 1993. Ken and Barbie were smooching on the bed (as always), and all of a sudden, I realized that I was bored. And that was that. My precious and innocent little sisters were free to play “wholesome Barbie” once I was out of the equation.

Barbie free since '93

As a kid, I LOVED my Barbies. I was sinfully jealous of most of my friends who owned the dream house, cars, and clothes for the Ken dolls (but that’s another story). All we had was a bunch of Skipper dolls, one Hawaiian Ken, and a couple of blonde Barbies, with limited outfit options. And there was also a huge chunk of my childhood in which they got hidden away by my mom after she caught the Barbies living in sin and in a nudist colony.

Looking back on it as an adult, I realize that it was a carefully orchestrated plot by my mom: the sheer lack of dolls, their crummy clothes, only ONE Ken doll, no accessories. On the other hand, we had no shortage of other baby dolls and good books. And you know what, I think I’m turning into her now that I have three little girls of my own.

Recently my dad posted this video. I don’t know, maybe the fact that I am a girl mom coupled with my raging twin mom hormones, I found myself in tears and saying YES YES!!

My home is Barbie free, and it will stay that way. Here’s why:

1. In our society, little girls (and women) are already bombarded with images of what they SHOULD look like. I don’t want my girls to have a toy that communicates that same message. In our house, we use words like “strong” and “beautiful” and “smart” and “kind.” These words go past the way my girls look into who they are. Toys like Barbies and Bratz and various other dolls are the antithesis of beauty within.

2. I want my girls to value each other’s’ differences. Barbie dolls are all the same. They have the same bodies, the same hair (mostly still blonde, even in 2015), the same makeup (and LOTS of it), and they are almost all caucasian. The last thing I EVER want to communicate to my girls is that sameness is preferable. Side note, my wonderful husband noticed when we viewed Cinderella as a family, that every girl who gets turned down by the prince is brunette. These are subtle things that WILL make it into our girls’ minds. Let’s not fool ourselves.

3. Barbie dolls sleep around.* Ok, just kidding . . . sort of. Maybe my Barbies were the only ones who went to far with each other, but I doubt it. I just want to know that when my girls are in the other room playing with their dolls, that they are not making them have sex . . . just saying. Reading books vs. Barbie sex-capades? Easy choice.

So here’s the deal. Am I psycho mom who won’t allow evil Barbie to taint my precious and innocent girls? NO! Right now, my two year old is on a walk with her Mimi whilst pushing a stroller carrying a 1950’s baby doll AND a scantily clad 1980’s Barbie. When in Rome, right? And Rome = Grandma’s house with 1980’s Barbies, and probably friends’ houses. But the rest of the time, they will keep hearing from me loudly: You are beautiful, you are smart, you are kind, “it’s you I like,” and here’s a baby doll. And we’ll stay Barbie Free.**

*I just hope when the Barbies with which they play do have sex, that they use protection.

**You are a good mom, even if your kids play with Barbie! It’s all about picking your battles.

Anna is wife to Matt and mom to two little ladies: Charlie and Georgia, and dog mom to the best dog ever, Attie, and the worst little Beagle ever, Toby. Besides chasing around her girls full time, Anna spends her spare time running her business, Fit4Mom SW Fort Worth. And can be found enjoying British TV, dark chocolate, and a good cup of coffee with her husband.



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