My kid spends literally 2 hours or more a day playing with little dolls, making up and reenacting stories with them.

It’s a ragtag mix of Daniel Tiger characters, Trolls, and Calico Critters, with the odd monster finger puppet thrown in. Her stories are amazingly creative and weird and funny, but I’m hyper-aware that there are few human dolls I feel comfortable having in our home.

So far, I’ve been relieved she hasn’t discovered Barbie. And when I saw the article about these new dolls, it seemed like a pretty good thing to get instead if one of her kindergarten friends teaches her about Barbie and she starts begging.

I agree with you that they shouldn’t all be slim, and the thin lips etc made my hackles go up too.

I have much more forgiveness for the dolls being prepubescent. My kid plays with almost all her figurines as if they are kids; it’s exciting for her to picture kids going to “magical worlds,” etc.

I wonder if she would play with a Barbie as if it were a kid too, or if the shape would make her think of it as a grownup. It saddens me to imagine her moving on to “grownup” stories before she’d otherwise want to.

Anyway, it’s not perfect. Your concerns are more than valid. I’m glad you wrote ’em. I’m glad I read ’em. But from where I’m standing, with a kid who LOVES little dolls, giving her 2-inch-tall figurines with no changeable clothes (she covers them in hairties, paints them with nailpolish, and switches their heads), I’m excited to know there are more options (and will continue to be, I’m sure). Most of the old options sucked oh so much more.

Written by

Empathy for the win! Published in Gen, Human Parts, Heated, Tenderly —Feminism, Sexuality, Veganism, Anti-Racism, Parenting. She/They darcyreeder.substack.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store