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.