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A Wholesome Alternative to Barbie?

I’m not the hugest fan of Barbie. For starters, there’s that whole unrealistic body image thing, holding up an ideal for our girls that’s not even attainable with plastic surgery, a gym membership, and bulimia. Yeah, and who really wears high heels ALL the time? Then there’s the fact that the clothes all seem to fall into one of three categories: Slut Barbie, Ultra-Feminist (plus high heels!) Barbie, and Glitzy Frou-Frou Princess Barbie. I have yet to find a Modest Maiden Barbie, a Wholesome Servant Barbie, or a Gentle Homeschooling Mommy Barbie. Not to mention that somehow, it’s impossible for girls to keep their dolls dressed, and when I walk into a room and find naked women on the floor, it strikes me as inappropriate, even if they are only plastic and 11.5 inches tall.

So what’s the problem, you ask? If I don’t like Barbie, why don’t I just put my daughters’ birthday budgets towards some Elsie Dinsmore books and a nice potholder loom? The problem is, I had a giant Barbie collection that I played with constantly as a child and somehow never managed to give up. Since the dolls were sitting in my basement, I let my girls play with them. It seemed hypocritical to me to say that I wanted to keep them, but they couldn’t have them. But every time we got them out, I was cringing on the inside.

When a good friend of mine was shocked to find my daughter playing with a Barbie and asked me about it, I realized I had no justifications. Barbie must go. My entire collection (including hot pink RV and my favorite pair of tiny high heeled shoes) is currently in our garage awaiting deportation. But we never like to take something away from our children without replacing it with something. The Christian life shouldn’t just be about putting OFF the bad, but also putting ON the new. So we are looking for a wholesome replacement for my Barbie doll collection, something that will give my daughters (potentially) hours of creative doll play without the smorgasbord of drawbacks, and I thought, who better to ask for recommendations than all of you. So what do you think? What’s a new collection we can replace the Barbie dolls with? Any and all suggestions would be welcome.

55 comments to A Wholesome Alternative to Barbie?

  • Heather

    I had Barbies when I was young, but really preferred my Honey Hill Bunch dolls because I was able to save my allowance to buy them. I had similar envious feelings about not measuring up to the Barbie aesthetic. When my son was small, he had a boy rag doll from Ikea, a small water-filled baby doll, and a vintage My Child girl doll. From preschool to grade two, he had four little Kelly dolls (2 boys, 2 girls, different ethnicities) and we made a small 6 room dollhouse for him to play with.

  • Matthew

    My wife and I have bought our daughter modest, artsy, handmade outfits from Evensens Productions, for my wife’s old Barbies. These outfits won’t correct Barbie’s body proportions, but as this clip makes clear (from the Onion network of fake news, intended as parody), it’s possible to play with a doll without idolizing the doll’s proportions. It’s much harder to play with a doll whose attire and accessories embody the world’s values, while trying to remain true to our traditional faith, to the glory of God. Thankfully, it’s possible to make or buy alternatives.

  • Shannon

    I was researching today and there is a doll called Lottie doll. It is more built like a little girl. Very cute alternative! So far I have them on Amazon and ebay.

  • Linda

    http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/WRFollowingtheSon

    Bible costumes for Barbie and Ken. Buy dolls at good will and MAKE MODEST CLOTHING and use them to tell your child a Bible story. I thought kids might go crazy to make a table top scene (like a diorama) of a scripture or a bible story using toys. Put toys (donated for this cause) toward teaching children about God. Change the scene once a month and get kids excited to come and see what will be the next display. You can not expect the world to create a doll that relates your Christian values. MAKE IT YOUSELF. Be creative. Instead of BUYING Barbie her ridiculous pink rhinestone dream house make a realistic house yourself. A real home like yours with perhaps Christian themed touches such as a framed favorite bible verse on the doll house wall.
    Barbie can be a Christian and have a Bible and go to church. Be a Sunday school teacher. Guide children to “play” and imagine wholesome things by playing with them. My mom made my Barbie cloths They last forever because they were not junk.
    Besides there are worse things than Barbie on the shelves. BRATS and Those gray zombie dolls. ICK! Satan is creeping into homes via Mattel.

    Turn Rahab the harlot Barbie into the believing Gentile who because an ancestor to Jesus. There is Lydia the seller of purple. Dorcas the widow who sewed for her friends and died and was raised from the dead. The adulteress woman at the well. The Moabite Ruth who although a Gentile of an Idolatrous people came to believe in the God of her godly mother-in-law. Barbie is a sinner just like a real woman who can be transformed by Jesus via a Christian Mom’s imagination and perhaps dads handiness with some wood scraps, paint, and a hammer.

    Little kids use their dolls to make skits for YouTube. I could not FIND ONE with a “Christian theme” So write one, video you own skit, and be the first. These are hot and viral on YouTube. I imagine kids putting themselves though college someday from the money these silly things make.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/mewmewpowerfanlover/videos

    Your Barbie dolls with your imagination can become a missionary via such videos and tell kids the gospel or Bible lessons. linda dot pettit At Verizon dot net

  • J. A. M.

    I don’t like barbie either. She doesn’t look like a real woman, she has skimpy clothes, and teaches girls a bad message about how our bodies should look. Here are some alternatives I would choose for little girls:

    Lammily – The best decision. This doll is a good substitute for barbie because her body was designed in the shape of the average 19-year-old woman, she wears normal clothing and has little makeup. Great articulation. You can find her at http://www.Lammily.com/average-is-beautiful

    Mixis(You can order these at store.mixis.com), these are dolls of mixed ethnicity and culture, who have realistic body types. Right now there is a sale going on, I believe. Dolls are only 24.99 which is a good price for this doll. Also, outfits as low-priced as 9.99

    Liv Dolls – Aren’t much different from barbie, but still more modest in most cases. They are also quite a bit larger than a barbie doll. They have wonderful articulation(just like the Lammily doll). I find these on Amazon.com

    American Teen – This doll is interesting, could be better. It is only a tiny bit smaller than barbie, and is made to have the body-type of your average teen. Cheapest I’ve seen em’ is 19.99 on Amazon.

    Moxie Girlz & Moxie Teenz – These dolls are cute. Their slogan is “Be True * Be You”, something more girls should be taught nowadays! Although they are very much like “Bratz Dolls”, I would say Moxie dolls are a healthy option for young girls. Also found these on Amazon.

    Rosie O’Donnell – A more plus-sized barbie doll in short, this is a modest-dressed, fun-looking, and quite cute doll that is a good choice for any family who wants to teach their daughters a positive message. Again, Found on Amazon.

    I would also suggest Momoko dolls and Kurhn dolls, cute dolls from japan which you could buy if you happen to have a lot of money in your pocket!

    I really hope this helps!
    -Initials: J.A.M

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