Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Barbie Who?


I'll start off by saying that Barbie is NOT allowed in my house.

When I was young I loved playing with Barbie and her friends.  Not as much as babies and reading, but she was definitely next in line.  I could easily spend hours dressing her up, making her hair pretty, and acting out scenarios.  I didn't even need, much less have, the dream house or a car for her.  Just gobs of clothes and shoes.

So why don't I allow my girls/children this same enjoyment?  I honestly don't know.  Whereas I do think Barbie style dolls give a false sense of what a girl should strive to look like, it's not enough to make me hate her altogether.  I believe real life shapes how a child grows up, not make believe.  

Maybe it's just the idea of another toy with tiny parts everywhere that I am so against.  We already have an incredible amount of tiny LEGO blocks filling the house, plus Polly Pockets and Littlest Pet Shop pieces.  The last thing I want to add is miniature high heels for the baby to choke on.

Fortunately, I haven't yet had to tell my kids no to Barbie.  Even though my 6 year old daughter knows of her from reading books and play dates she has yet to ask for one.  Thank goodness!  She, like me, loves her baby dolls and reading, plus LEGOs.  The 18 month old clearly has no clue such a toy exists, she too is a baby doll lover.  And I'm happy to report, given I dislike Barbie, that my 9 year old son has never shown interest in her.  Whew!

Disclaimer:  If you read this and think it would be funny to buy my child a Barbie please know it will either go directly in the donate/re-gift pile or trash.

This post was inspired by the memoir Raising My Rainbow by Lori Duron describing her journey raising a gender creative son.  Join From Left to Write on September 5th as we discuss Raising My Rainbow.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

I found the book very interesting and would recommend it to all parents.  I don't agree with all the steps/conclusions she has made with regards to her son, but I do highly respect her for being willing to stand up for her son and love him for who he is.  Lori gave an interview on the Today show that can be found here.


  1. I just caved on my no Barbie rule, thanks, in part, to this book. My thinking being that if it could make one child really happy, and at 8 she is well grounded in who she is, why not? She went crazy when she opened it, part in shock that I bought this, and then she and her sister immediately took all her clothes off. This is the fun in Barbie?

  2. I also have a no Barbie rule. Of course, my daughter is dying for one. I did let her have a Disney Belle doll (which she also begged for)--and she never played with it. I have a feeling Barbie would go the same way, but why spend the $10 to find out?

  3. we had a different rule in our house when our boy was little. maybe it's the masculine corollary of the no-Barbie rule in houses with girls. and it was: no guns. no war stuff. of course, that didn't stop The Kid from fashioning guns out of whatever he could find -- legos, sticks -- and the argument about why we were not buying him camo pants even though everyone else in 2nd grade had them, stretched on and on. and guns were everywhere. action figures (boy-dolls, in other words) tend to come standard with guns -- guns are to action figures as shoes are to Barbie! it was particularly hard in the summer when water-toys are needed. how many water squirting devices have you ever seen that aren't gun-like, triggered up and ready to go? we tried with animal shapes water-shooters, but they were lame. it was the super-soaker that did us in. how not to have fun running around the yard, all three of us, Kid and parents, shrieking and laughing as we hosed each other down with tons of water. have your rules for as long as you want to sustain them, then give them up if you feel like it, if the moment is right. thanks for reminding me of all of this. blog post to follow! xo


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