Because they’re dolls

Because they're dolls

Poss might be well and truly entering the tween years, but she may have missed the memo. Dolls of all sizes and types litter her bedroom floor; baby dolls, Barbie dolls, American Girl Dolls. She’s not fussy. If it’s plastic and the size of Hugo or smaller, she’s into it.

She seems to enjoy dressing them and undressing them again more than almost anything. Which means we often have dolls of all different states of nakedness strewn across the room, their legs in the air, their arms reaching for invisible friends.

While the inevitable mess annoys me and stepping on a loose Barbie shoe is on a similar pain level to a loose piece of Lego, I’ve never once thought to myself “gee, those Barbies could do with some underwear”.

Because you know, they’re dolls. And who cares. Yet it seems I may be alone in that.

Some parents are taking it upon themselves to cover up the dolls ‘immodesty’ permanently with either Sharpies or nail polish. I’ll let that sink in for a moment. Because, you know, they’re dolls.

Checking out Pinterest, there are a number of popular choices: you could go with a fetching neck to knee design, or if you’re feeling a bit more risqué, a simple bikini option might be more to your liking. If you’re feeling like mixing it up, maybe add some dots, or a cute stripe, make a thing of it. Why not?

Luckily there are heaps of tutorials are readily available, just in case you couldn’t devise this level of crazy on your own. Just Google it or spend some time on Pinterest. It will show up in your feed eventually. Or you know, don’t. Because they’re dolls.

Maybe I’m missing something? Please tell me if I am. I’d hate to be the only parent not covering up their kid’s dolls bits. Or actually maybe I am ok with that.

Did Barbies grow graphic genitals in the last few years that I’m unaware of? Even if they did, as long as it’s anatomically correct, does it matter? I mean, anyone who is looking at Barbies noting anything other than the fact they are toys, is probably over thinking it.

Kids certainly don’t notice it. If our experience is anything to go by, a naked Barbie is simply a great opportunity to try a new outfit, not something to be offended by, to be sexualised in any way or to cause ‘impure’ thoughts. Whatever the hell those are.

And where do we draw the line? Shall I pull out all the surfing magazines in Poss’ room and make sure that those girls are covered up too? I’m sure I can wield a Sharpie to fix them.

What about the gymnast books? Is a girl in a leotard in the same category as a naked Barbie?

How about the copy of Disney’s Little Mermaid? I mean, her stomach is on display? And that seashell bra? Please.

Now I’m all confused about modesty and pure thoughts and might need a lie down.

And I’m left wondering, that if you look at a nude doll and think anything other than ‘oh look, they’re dolls, let’s play’, then maybe we should be more concerned with your modesty, than that of Barbie’s.

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  1. I am not on board with painting permanent underwear onto dolls lacking genitals at all. Considering I think in an ideal world women’s breasts would not considering “rude” or “immoral” I am so far away from empathising with underwear painters that I literally can’t even. Nope, not one bit! The things you learn on the internet!
    Jessie Reid recently posted..Eyebrows and Other ThingsMy Profile

  2. I’m speechless. They’re toys for goodness sake. Have we retreated into some puritanical era. I thought the community had evolved. Especially since the “sexual revolution.” I actually think we have gone backwards with regards to sexuality. I doubt whether “Number 96” would ever be allowed to be made these days.

    There seems to be this faux outrage around sexuality and the sexualisation of our children. But its us, the adults that are creating the sexualisation, and in the wrong areas. Instead of worrying about dolls and toys, perhaps the areas of concern should be the misogynistic and totally sexualised video clips that are shown on television. Perhaps the “lads” magazines that are equally sexualised and misogynistic should be reigned in. Stories on how to turn “no” into “yes”, how to ply a girl with drinks to have your way and the “stories” that accompany the photo shoots of the “models” that highlight their sexual “fantasies” need to be called out for what they are.

    Why? Because these are the sorts of things that have negative impacts on young boys in adolescence , boys that are discovering their sexuality and their hormones are causing so many changes. They then believe these stories and articles as “gospel” and treat girls accordingly and do understand when it lands them in trouble because the behaviour is unacceptable.

    Why? Because I am seeing more and more that young teenage girls who are friends of my younger daughter start to believe that behaving like the girls in those clips or in those magazines is the only way to get a bloke. That these stories and these film clips tell them that they are worthless without a bloke and the whole reason for their existence is to please “their man”.

    All the hard work and positive role modelling that we as adults do is undermined by these sorts of things. NOT by dolls that have no underwear and have no genitals. The world has lost focus.

    Rant Over.


    • An excellent rant Patrick and I couldn’t have said it better myself! There are so many other things we could be doing to help combat the sexualisation of our children, that putting nail polish underwear on dolls seems a bit ridiculous… Thanks for taking the time to share your considered views, I really appreciate it.
      Renee recently posted..Sometimes you just need a ‘helpling’ handMy Profile

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